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Best Practice Guidelines

"The Best Journey to Adult Life" for Youth with Disabilities: An Evidence-based Model and Best Practice Guidelines for the Transition to Adulthood for Youth with Disabilities"

© Debra Stewart, Matt Freeman, Mary Law, Helen Healy, Jan Burke-Gaffney, Mary Forhan, Nancy Young, & Susan Guenther, 2009; Published and distributed by CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research 

The "Best Journey to Adult Life" is a model that represents the dynamic and ever-changing developmental process of a young person's lifecourse, with the transition to adulthood depicted as an important 'journey'.  Best Practice Guidelines for the transition to adulthood for youth with disabilities have been written using the words of youth, parents, community members, service providers, educators and researchers in Ontario, Canada. The Guidelines are organized into six main themes that emerged from comprehensive literature reviews, consensus meetings and focus groups with key stakeholders.

  1. Collaborative initiatives and policies are necessary supports for the transition to adult life.
  2. Building capacity of people and communities will enhance transition process.
  3. The role of the "Navigator" within communities facilitates capacity building.
  4. Information and resources are available to all involved in the transition process.
  5. Education is a critical component of any transition strategy.
  6. Ongoing research and evaluation provides the evidence needed for success. 


Within each theme, guidelines are provided for three key phases of the transition process: preparation, the journey itself and the landings in the adult world. Specific guidelines within each phase are written for the key stakeholders involved in the transition process. These Best Practice Guidelines are generic and can be used and adapted by different communities and services.