Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Steven A. Matarelli


In the State of Indiana, for students over the age of 14 who have been diagnosed with intellectual or developmental disabilities, the transition from special education to Medicaid waiver oversight should occur seamlessly, but gaps in integrated and aligned goal development strategies remain. As a consequence, students who need adult-based support may not be receiving the full scope of services to which they are entitled. Using common-pool resource theory as a foundation, the purpose of this explanatory case study of transitional services to Indiana Medicaid was to understand, from the perspective of disability support service staff, the barriers to effective quality of life outcomes and collaboration among government agencies involved in the transition process. In-depth interview data were collected from a total of 6 vocational rehabilitation specialists, directors, and transition coordinators. These interview data were inductively coded and thematically analyzed according to identified common pool action areas. Key research findings included: (a) the need for implementation of student self-determination principles, (b) a strengthening of sustainable goal development directed toward student employment, and (c) an overall enhanced collaboration between key disability service support staff roles to create sustainable structures. Positive social change opportunities include recommendations to the Indiana Division of Disability and Rehabilitation Services to improve the overarching student-to-adult transition process, reduce redundant funding streams, and streamline goal development to create a sustainable, collaborative experience for students over their lifespan of support.