Carolyn Beard

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Wholeben, Brent E.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations


Students with disabilities; Interorganizational relations


The purpose of this study was to identify individual student needs, availability of services, potential areas of conflict, and potential solutions that would facilitate consensus among team members supporting students with severe disabilities as they participated in transition planning. The methods utilized for this study were a combination of qualitative and quantitative. Data was analyzed from a researcher-constructed questionnaire developed through a Nominal Group Technique (NGT) and distributed to stakeholder groups who participated on transition teams. Findings indicated that the stakeholder groups had similar ideas about students with disabilities during the transition. Comparison of the identified needs indicated that there were a large number of indefinite needs that indicated there was a nonconsensus among the perceptions of the stakeholder groups. The stakeholder groups were less successful in identifying what was available in the community regarding needed services. Reasons may vary for the indefinite responses to the availability question. The stakeholders graded the services that were available but on the average, the services received a “C”. Determining how to define conflict among the team members could be defined by looking at the items considered non-needs versus items considered definite needs. Another option would be to look at the number of indefinite needs in comparison to the definite needs. This comparison shows that there are varying views on what is and is not important. Findings indicated that the instrument did assist in generating solutions to possible conflict. Findings indicated there were common items across the six stakeholder groups. There were a few significant items identified as possible solutions to conflict among team members. However, viable solutions may have been limited by the design of the questionnaire as participants chose 10 out of the 36 items. This study may benefit future research regarding the overall process of transition. This study added a component of transition that could further improve transition services with the expansion of potential solutions for conflict resolution. The development of an instrument to evaluate the types of conflict among stakeholder groups during the transition process could further improve transition planning.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [240]-241).


ix, 258 pages




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