Key Elements of a Successful Transition

The Strategic Planning Participants developed a consensus document that highlights the key elements that lead to successful transition outcomes for students with MDVI (Multiple Disabilities and Visual Impairment). They are divided into three major areas:



Who is involved?

Photo of man with hearing aids and glasses speaking to another man in canteen.


  • Involve the target person; identify person's   preferences and abilities.
  • Involve the family.  Include siblings and extended family.
  • Involve the community from the beginning of planning.
  • Assure that plan fits well with community.
  • Engage with village leaders and government representatives to get their commitment and support.   

For an example of the target person being involved in the planning process, see Prabakaran and the way in which his dreams shaped his future.


Quality of Life

Photo of Indian girl with colorful yarn on her lap.

  • Make quality of life and whole life planning the center of the transition process.
  • Meaning, purposeful activity that gives the person joy is a more useful term than "employment".
  • Interdependence is valued - develop competence and skill to whatever extent is achievable for the individual.

For an example of quality of life, see Hansa's active participation in the life of her village.

Identifying Resources and Challenges

Teenage girl with hearing aids and glasses works with her mother to package curry powder.

  • Respond to challenges specific to the environment, including community, culture, languages.
  • Include job identification in process.
  • Provide a range of choices.

For an example of identifying resources and challenges, see Sathiya's story and how she and her family identified a need in the community and responded to it by creating the job of producing and selling curry powder.


  • Advocate for policies that support helping young adults achieve success
    The Disability Legislation Unit at Vidya Sagar, Chennai in India is run entirely by people with disabilities. They have advocated successfully for individual cases and also for facilities for all, such as the Public Interest Litigation for accessible public transport.
  • Empower family and student to operate whole enterprise
    Learn about how Sathiya's latest industry of curry powder is the result of planning and implementation of her family and neighbours.
  • Utilize all applicable laws and resources and schemes
    Such as The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act
  • Build general awareness of abilities of individuals with multiple disabilities    A gorup of women and a child sit on the floor.
  • Empower families to form networks and to initiate the transition





Program Elements

Photo of students working in the school garden in Shanghai

  • Build in follow up
  • Plan for exit upon entry
  • Focus on functional skills to support desired outcomes
  • Design program to meet the needs of the child
  • Develop a student portfolio/video to help others see student's capabilities
  • Provide structured training and support to families
  • Provide a range of choices
  • Monitor and evaluate programs

For an example of the way in which a program can focus on developing functional skills, while also providing a range of choices, see Shanghai School for the Blind.

Critical skills and competencies for students

Photo of young man using tactile sign language with a young woman.

  • Ability to communicate to make own needs and wants known
  • Ability to move about safely and purposefully in the environment
  • Self-awareness - knowledge of one's body, self care and sexuality
  • Skills that support student's successful involvement with family and community
  • Ability to make decisions and learn from mistakes, the  "dignity of risk"

For an example of the development of critical skills and competencies, see Pradip Tells His Story.