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Vol 56 No. 10 | Sept. 2004
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Powers’ Research Examines Gender Impact on Transition Planning

Kristin Powers, an assistant professor in Educational Psychology, Administration and Counseling, is participating in the second year of a $70,000 sub-contract from Oregon Health Science University to examine how gender impacts transition planning for students with disabilities.

As co-primary investigator of an overall $500,000 project, Powers explained that the research is meant to determine if being female and disabled translates into double jeopardy in post-secondary outcomes.

“ We want to explore the planning process to discover if there are gender and equity issues in the preparation of girls with disabilities as they move from high school to the working world and College,” she explained. “There is a requirement in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act that says schools must engage in transition planning. Students and their families ought to have a big part in that planning. My research examines that planning process.”

In its first year, the project examined 400 transition plans from two large urban West Coast school districts.

“ We found the planning process itself to be so poor that any gender disparities were small,” she said. “It wasn’t just terrible for girls; it was terrible for everybody.”

The second stage of the research switched from document review to focus groups, which included teachers, parents, and young women with disabilities.

Powers served as a school psychologist and assistant to the Assistant Superintendents of Special Education and Research in the LBUSD for three years.

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