Date of Award

January 2013

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Dana M. Howell

Department Affiliation

Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy


A challenging transition occurs when students with intellectual disabilities leave high school, yet there is little data in the literature covering this period of secondary transition. The purpose of this qualitative study was to describe the perspectives of a young adult with an intellectual disability who completed the secondary transition process, his parent, and a vocational specialist. Data was collected through a semi-structured interview with each of the three participants about their experiences during the secondary transition. Three themes emerged from the data, including "I had no expectations": Expectations of the parent and transition plan; "He can do all those self-help things": Goal and skill development to support independence; and "She is my guardian": Learning how to be an advocate. The results of this study speak to a need for strong advocates for students with intellectual disabilities during secondary transition.