Innovative Strategies

Introduction to Innovative Strategies

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NCWD/Youth's Innovative Strategies features workforce development programs and practices that serve youth with disabilities, either as a target population or as part of other youth populations. Both state and local level practices are featured. Its purpose is to improve services to youth with disabilities throughout the workforce system by making available information on quality workforce development programs and practices. The programs and practices are organized around three broad categories:

State and local programs funded by the Office of Disability Employment Policy

  • Chosen from among grantees funded to implement High School/High Tech or mentoring programs; or for selected states to develop the use of intermediaries to improve transition outcomes for youth with disabilities.
  • Grant recipients include both states and organizations, depending upon the type grant.
  • Local sites profiled for High School/High Tech and state intermediary grants are the subawardees of those that were funded.

Exemplary programs meet the following basic criteria:

  • Provide workforce preparatory experiences;
  • Provide youth development and leadership opportunities;
  • Tailor services to individuals;
  • Demonstrate awareness and attention to serving youth with disabilities;
  • Have quantitative or qualitative outcome data; and
  • Effectiveness has been validated by an outside source within the past 5 years.

Promising state and local practices

  • State practices that are intended to make system-wide improvement in workforce development and related services for youth with disabilities.
  • Local programs and practices that show promise and met some but not all of the criteria for inclusion as an exemplary program.

State Perspectives on Using the Guideposts for Success

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