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Facilitating the Transition of Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.

by John L. Luckner, 2002. Austin, TX: PRO-ED. 79 pages, paperback. $10.00

This well-written treatise is the 16th installment in the PRO-ED Series on Transition. The series provides practical information and resources for transition personnel on topics critical to prepare individuals for the challenges of adulthood. Luckner's volume is designed to assist parents, teachers, students, agencies, and other professionals in developing effective transition plans and programming that will help individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing reach their potential in postsecondary settings (work, school, community). The book is organized into 13 chapters with three appendices and a list of references.

Throughout the book, Luckner stresses the importance of communication and planning. Communication takes on special meaning with this population. Not only is it important that all the parties involved in planning for transition be interacting and communicating with each other, it is critical that the communication modes and needs of the student (and family) be considered. This is a complex endeavor that is stressed and described in several chapters.

A second thread woven through the text is the need for early and comprehensive planning. Luckner suggests that transition planning start well before the IDEA-mandated age of 14 years. In fact, the author presents sound arguments for designing a transition curriculum that begins in the elementary years. This is clearly described in chapter 9. Luckner presents a detailed outline of objectives and activities at four levels: elementary, middle school, Grades 9 and 10, and Grades 11 and 12. The chapter goes on to describe "what should be taught," "how it should be taught" and "where it should be taught." This chapter is a must read for those involved in developing curriculum lessons and materials related to transition planning.

In chapter 2, Luckner provides sobering statistics on the employability and employment success (or lack of success) of individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. This lays the ground work for a discussion of the barriers to success (chapter 4) and assessment issues (chapter 8). Formal and informal assessments are described, along with rationales for selecting and using particular assessments, in chapter 8, which offers direction for persons involved in assessing the transition needs of students.

The book also discusses adult agencies (chapter 11), postsecondary education (chapter 12), models for facilitating transition (chapter 6), and the team approach to transition planning and implementation (chapter 7). Tucked at the end of the book are three appendices that should prove to be excellent resources. Appendix A contains a sample Individualized Education Program (IEP) with a transition plan. The plan illustrates how goals, strengths, areas of need, and transition services are integrated into a single IEP document for a 15-year-old girl with a bilateral severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss. Appendix B is a comprehensive list of national organizations for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. Contact information, including Web sites and e-mail addresses, is provided. Finally, Appendix C offers a list of Web sites related to transition planning. These sites are not necessarily aimed at deaf or hard of hearing; however, they provide very useful information, suggestions, and ideas for devising transition plans for individuals who have hearing losses.

Do not be misled by the shortness of this text. Although succinct, each chapter identifies the basic issues and provides a framework for understanding them. The chapters are well documented. The reader also should not overlook the reference list at the end of the book because more in-depth coverage can be found in the referenced articles and books. Luckner has struck a nice balance in presenting difficult, complicated issues in a very readable format. The book should be useful to parents, teachers, administrators, and even students and can serve as a primer for understanding the transition needs of individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.


David F. Conway, EdD, is interim associate dean of the College of Education at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. His research interests include literacy and language development in children who are deaf or hard of hearing, the teaching-learning process, and curriculum development. Address: David F. Conway, College of Education, University of Nebraska at Omaha, 6001 Dodge St., Omaha, NE 68182.
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Author:Conway, David F.
Publication:Communication Disorders Quarterly
Date:Sep 22, 2002
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