Exploring How Transfer-of-Rights and Guardianship Discussions May Affect Transition Outcomes for Students with Intellectual Disabilities

Emerging research identifies that during transfer-of-rights discussions, special educators routinely provide guardianship-related information to students with intellectual/developmental disabilities (IDD) and their parents, contributing to a “school-to-guardianship” pipeline. Because guardianship transfers decision-making authority from student to parent, providing information on guardianship may undermine core aims of special education programs and affect the transition outcomes of students with IDD. The Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston, is partnering with the Self-Advocacy Association of New York State (SANYS), Massachusetts Advocates Standing Strong (MASS), and national experts in guardianship and supported decision-making to explore the relationship between special educators’ transfer-of-rights and guardianship discussions and key predictors of transition outcomes for students with IDD.

Partners: The Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts, Boston is partnering with the Self Advocacy Association of New York State (SANYS) and Massachusetts Advocates Standing Strong (MASS).

ICI Staff:
Allison Hall
Jaimie Timmons
Cady Landa
Jennifer Bose


Project activities:

A literature review about guardianship, transfer of rights and transition planning
50-state analysis of special education transfer-of-rights laws
Telephone interviews with experts
In-person interviews in New York and Massachusetts with students, their parents, and their teachers about transfer of rights and guardianship in Massachusetts and New York.

Accessible project summary

This is a 4 year project funded by the Institute on Education Science, U.S. Department of Education.

We are looking for students with IDD, parents of transition age youth, and experts in transition, transfer of rights, and guardianship to participate in telephone interviews. Know someone who would be interested? Email allison.hall@umb.edu