NCSER Grantees Present at Friends of IES Hill Briefing

March 2016

On March 4, the Friends of IES, of which AERA is a founding member, held a well-attended congressional briefing, “Transitioning to Adult Productivity: Supporting Secondary Students with Disabilities in Successful Movement to College and Career.”

The briefing featured four prominent scholars who have received funding from the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) at the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). The briefing was cosponsored by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR).

Speakers included:

  • Mary Wagner, principal scientist, SRI International
  • David Test, professor of special education, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • Laurie Powers, professor and director of the Regional Research Institute for Human Services, Portland State University
  • Erik Carter, professor, Department Special Education, Vanderbilt University

Deborah Ziegler, director of policy and advocacy at the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), served as moderator.

Wagner began the briefing by highlighting what is known from data in the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 about course taking, high school completion, employment, and postsecondary completion for students with disabilities. Test followed with a description of a NCSER-funded collaboration between communities, schools, and studentlevel teams, CIRCLES, which has shown effectiveness in preparing students with disabilities for employment and postsecondary education after high school.

Powers discussed the “My Life” program, which has helped increase students’ self-determination and improve educational and social outcomes. Lastly, Carter described “Project Summer,” which developed collaborations among communities and employers to assist students with disabilities gain employment in summer and throughout the school year. Both programs have demonstrated substantially positive outcomes.

Photos and the PowerPoint slides are available on the AERA website. In addition, CEC conducted interviews with the speakers about their research.