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Intersection Newsletter masthead.
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Intersection: Navigating the Road to Work

Volume 11, Number 3

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.

NCWD/Youth Publishes New InfoBrief Entitled Understanding the New Vision for Career Development: The Role of Family

NCWD/Youth's new InfoBrief introduces families, including families of youth with disabilities, to a new way of looking at career development for youth. This brief discusses the three phases of career development, highlights Individualized Learning Plans as a tool for facilitating the career development process, and offers strategies on how families can encourage the young people in their lives to pursue lifelong learning and skill-building in preparation for entering the world of work.

Illinois ILP Guide Utilizes NCWD/Youth Research to Support Educators

A free guide released on March 10 by the Pathways Resource Center at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign aims to help educators create relevant, motivating, and engaging educational experiences that serve as the foundation for students to achieve their college and career goals. The guide is designed to support educators across the state of Illinois, and specifically the Illinois Race to the Top districts who are required to pilot an Individualized Learning Plan (ILP­) process as part of their grant. The guide was informed by NCWD/Youth's extensive research on the use of ILPs nationally.  

ODEP Publishes Individualized Learning Plan Info-Comic

The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and NCWD/Youth have found that Individualized Learning Plans (ILPs) positively impact self-determination, leadership abilities, and awareness of career opportunities for all youth including youth with disabilities. Based on this research, ODEP has released an info-comic entitled Shelly Saves the Future: A Story of Career Development in which high school senior Shelly learns how to take charge of her future by using an ILP. Read the accompanying blog post here.

DOL, HHS, and HUD Issue Joint Letter to Improve Summer Youth Employment

The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Housing and Urban Development released a joint letter on April 2nd encouraging their networks of state and local youth service and workforce development providers along with Public Housing Agencies to develop summer jobs programs for low-income and at-risk youth that provide employment and educational experiences, and develop essential skills such as financial literacy and time management.

OFCCP Launches New Outreach and Recruitment Database for Contractors

On March 13, the Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) launched a new database to help contractors find qualified workers with disabilities and veterans and to assist contractors with establishing relationships with national organizations and local community groups that have access to these workers. Contractors, as well as others, can visit OFCCP's Disability and Veterans Community Resources Directory. This new resource supplements the agency's existing Employment Resources Referral Directory (ERRD).

Call for Featured Partners with Pathways to Employment Project

The Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration is working with the Employment Pathways Project to connect local youth providers and grantees to businesses in the network.  The Employment Pathways Project is releasing the new Employer Engagement Platform, a website that will give employers resources and information to build employment pathways for the young adults in their communities. Within the online platform, a partner directory will provide employers with easy access to a vetted list of community-based partners that they could potentially collaborate with in order to build pathway opportunities.

Institute for Community Integration Releases New Policy Research Brief

The Institute for Community Integration's Research and Training Center on Community Living at the University of Minnesota, a partner in the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth, has published  a Policy Research Brief entitled Employment First Across the Nation: Progress on the Policy Front.This brief uses an online, interactive format to show how states are adopting Employment First policies, connect readers with the actual policies in states, and provide additional resources to advance employment of people with disabilities.

My Brother's Keeper: Creating Opportunities for Boys and Young Men of Color

The White House has launched a new initiative, My Brother's Keeper, which will bring the public, private, and nonprofit sectors together to create opportunities for boys and young men of color to reach their full potential. The President also created the My Brother's Keeper Task Force, which will analyze how current initiatives  help support young men of color in working and determine how the federal government can support those efforts.

New Toolkit on Restorative Practices Released

Educators across the nation recognize the importance of fostering positive, healthy school climates and helping students learn from their mistakes. Increasingly, they are partnering with parents, students, district officials, community organizations, and policymakers to move away from harmful and counter-productive zero-tolerance discipline policies and toward proven restorative approaches to addressing conflict in schools. A new toolkit, Restorative Practices: Fostering Healthy Relationships & Promoting Positive Discipline in Schools aims to help educators better understand what restorative practices are and how they foster safe learning environments through community building and constructive conflict resolution. The toolkit was developed by the Opportunity to Learn Campaign, Advancement Project, American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association with the help of a working group of educators and school personnel.

Attendance Awareness Campaign to Launch in April

April 8 marks the beginning of the second annual Attendance Awareness Campaign of which NCWD/Youth is a Collaborating Partner. Organized by America's Promise Alliance, Attendance Works, the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, Points of Light, and United Way Worldwide, this campaign aims to improve student success by targeting chronic absenteeism.  The campaign will kick off with a webinar on April 8 at 1:00pm ET and the unveiling of the latest version of the Count Us In! Toolkit.  

Call for Applications: Advocates in Disability Award

The Advocates in Disability Award (ADA) program recognizes a young adult with a disability between the ages of 14 and 26 who is positively affecting the lives of individuals with disabilities and their families. Funded by The HSC Foundation and the Sarah Beth Coyote Foundation, the selected recipient is awarded $3,000 in recognition of his or her disability advocacy and will receive up to an additional $7,000 in funding support for a project to benefit the disability community. The ADA Program is part of The HSC Foundation's National Youth Transitions Initiative.  The application deadline is April 11, 2014.

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.

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