Orange rounded corner
orange line
orange corner
orange line
Intersection Newsletter masthead.
orange lines

Intersection: Navigating the Road to Work

Volume 11, Number 9
September 2014

Welcome to Intersection: Navigating the Road to Work, the electronic newsletter of the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth). The newsletter and the NCWD/Youth website offer information to improve programs and services for all youth and especially youth with disabilities.

IMPORTANT: In order to ensure the delivery of our publication to your inbox, please add our e-mail address,, to your address book and/or whitelist.

U.S. Department of Labor Continues Support for NCWD/Youth

The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) awarded a grant to the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) to continue operating NCWD/Youth for a second option year under the current funding cycle. IEL is excited to receive this award to continue building upon the last 13 years of work by the ODEP-funded National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth. NCWD/Youth will use this money to continue building capacity within and across youth service delivery systems to improve employment and postsecondary education outcomes for all youth, including youth with disabilities. NCWD/Youth has four areas of focus going forward: 1) building the capacity of youth-serving systems, programs, and organizations; 2) individualized planning and career development; 3) youth development and leadership; and 4) professional development for youth service professionals.

NCWD/Youth Shares Individualized Learning Plan Resources

As students and young adults return to school this fall, NCWD/Youth continues to share its resources on Individualized Learning Plans (ILPs) to help promote career development. NCWD/Youth's ILP webpage provides comprehensive information for educators, families, and youth on how to use ILPs to define career goals and postsecondary plans in order to inform students' decisions about their courses and activities throughout middle and high school. NCWD/Youth's newest InfoBrief entitled Families and College and Career Readiness: What Schools Can do to Engage Families in the Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) Process is designed to assist educators in effectively working with parents and family members to facilitate students' career development through the use of individualized college and career planning tools. NCWD/Youth will continue to publish new ILP and career development resources in the coming months.

NCWD/Youth Releases Guiding Your Success Tool for Youth

NCWD/Youth's new Guiding Your Success Tool is designed to engage youth in planning for their futures by breaking down the five key transition areas identified in the Guideposts for Success and encouraging youth to consider how these impact their lives. This tool was developed with the assistance of Cohort 1 of NCWD/Youth's Youth Action Council on Transition (YouthACT), which consists of five groups of youth and adult partners that have received training to develop their leadership and advocacy skills and technical assistance to assist them in becoming change agents in their communities.

U.S. Department of Labor Awards $2,007,322 in Grants to Improve Post-Secondary Education and Employment of Youth with Disabilities

On September 29, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded $2,007,322 in funding to Onondaga Community College in Syracuse, New York and Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tennessee as part of the Pathways to Careers: Community Colleges for Youth and Young Adults with Disabilities Demonstration Project.  The award recipients will conduct pilot projects to research, develop, test, and evaluate innovative strategies for providing inclusive education and career development services to youth with disabilities between the ages of 14 and 24. Vice President Joe Biden announced the award as part of the larger Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Program (TAACCCT) grant initiative, co-administered by the Department of Labor and Department of Education, which promotes job-driven training efforts at nearly 270 community colleges across the country.

U.S. Department of Labor Awards $14.8M in Grants to Expand Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities

On September 25, the U.S. Department of Labor announced the award of $14.8 million to six states—California, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and South Dakota—to support employment opportunities for people with disabilities. This announcement marks Round V of the Disability Employment Initiative, which aims to improve employment outcomes for youth and adults with disabilities by increasing their utilization of existing career pathways through expanding the function of local American Job Centers. 

The Institute for Educational Leadership Announces 2015 National Family and Community Engagement Conference

The Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) is excited to announce the 2015 National Family and Community Engagement Conference, entitled "Shaping Our Future by Leading Together: Families, Schools and Communities." The conference will be held at The Palmer House in Chicago, Illinois from June 22-24, 2015. The National Family and Community Engagement Network will open registration in October.

National Association of Workforce Development Professionals Shares Resources for National Workforce Development Month

The National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP) has designated September as National Workforce Development Month to honor all those individual professionals who play such a vital role in our nation's economic recovery efforts. NAWDP has pulled together a collection of resources and tools to help organizations and individuals promote the value of workforce development, the critical role that highly skilled professionals have in meeting the needs of local employers and job seekers, and the contributions that they make to the nation's economy.

NCWD/Youth Prepares to Celebrate National Disability Employment Month

Held each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is a national campaign managed by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. The theme for 2014 is "Expect. Employ. Empower." The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy offers an online Resource Toolbox for planning events and activities for NDEAM.

A highlight of NDEAM is Disability Mentoring Day (DMD). DMD is a large-scale national effort coordinated by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) to promote career development for students and job-seekers with disabilities through hands-on career exploration and ongoing mentoring relationships.

The Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program (RAMP), housed at the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL), has several sites across the country that will be participating in NDEAM and DMD events.

PACER Center Invites Participation in National Bullying Prevention Month in October

PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center will be celebrating October with the message, The End of Bullying Begins with Me. PACER Center has created a five-step guide designed for students and educators to plan bullying prevention events in their schools and communities. Individuals can also add their names to the digital The End of Bullying Begins with Me petition, sign up their schools or organizations as a Champion against Bullying, and share why they care about bullying prevention.

Senator Harkin Introduces Three Bills as Part of "Access for All" Agenda for Americans with Disabilities

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, introduced three new bills as part of his "Access for All" agenda to help Americans with disabilities achieve economic independence and reach the middle class. The bills include the Universal Home Design Act, the Accessible Transportation for All Act, and the Exercise and Fitness for All Act. This legislation follows the release of a HELP Committee Report, Fulfilling the Promise: Overcoming Persistent Barriers to Economic Self-Sufficiency for People with Disabilities.

NCWD/Youth Blog Posts

NCWD/Youth's blog features current and relevant information related to the Guideposts for SuccessYouth Development and LeadershipInnovative StrategiesProfessional Development, and more!

Important Information

If you know of others who might be interested in the newsletter and the work of NCWD/Youth, they can sign up online. All comments, inquiries, and suggestions for transition related resources and tools should be sent to

This document was developed by the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth, funded by a grant/contract/cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy (Number #OD-23804-12-75-4-11). The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the U.S. Department of Labor. Nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply the endorsement by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Note: There are no copyright restrictions on this document. However, please credit the source and support of Federal funds when copying all or part of this document.

orange corner
orange line orange corner