There are positive laws on the books now that, if effectively and proactively enforced, would make a real difference for youth with disabilities - IDEA, ADA, and Section 504. Yet instead of rigorous enforcement of the transition requirements, the US Department of Education is stepping back from "compliance" monitoring and shifting toward "results driven accountability" that looks primarily at test results (an important outcome, true, but not the only one of importance.) In NJ, what youth with disabilities get in their transition plans usually have little or nothing to do with the youth's strengths, needs, hopes and dreams for an adult life with meaning. And far too much of the burden is placed on parents instead of on the systems that should be accountable. This is especially true for families who already face the greatest burdens - low income families, families of color, immigrant and limited English proficient families. What's the use of a law if it isn't enforced?
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