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Intersection Newsletter masthead.
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Intersection: Navigating the Road to Work

Volume 12, Number 10
October 2015

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 Releases New Guide for College Students

NCWD/Youth has released a new guide, Making My Way through College, aimed at helping students, with a focus on students with disabilities, navigate postsecondary education. The guide provides information and resources on preparing for and succeeding in college and transitioning from college into the world of work. This guide is relevant to any student pursuing a degree or other type of credential (e.g., certification, license) at a two-year or four-year community college, college, or university. The content includes information on getting oriented to college life and one’s school, exploring career interests and making an individualized plan aligned to personal goals, and taking advantage of various opportunities and support to ensure college and career success. Families and professionals who work with students entering or in postsecondary education are encouraged to share the guide with students and youth.

NCWD/Youth Kicks Off Third YouthACT Cohort

NCWD/Youth is proud to introduce its third cohort of participants in the Youth Action Council on Transition (YouthACT). YouthACT consists of teams of youth and their adult partners who work to increase their advocacy and leadership skills to improve transition systems for all youth, including youth with disabilities, in their individual communities. This year’s cohort includes Team Seize Control (supported by the Epilepsy Foundation of Eastern Pennsylvania); Team SoCal P.O.S.S.E. (supported by the Colton-Redlands-Yucaipa Regional Occupational Program); Team Minnesota (supported by the Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health); and Team Master Minds (supported by Ability Connection Colorado). NCWD/Youth looks forward to more great work from these teams. To see some of the latest work from cohorts one and two, check out the YouthACT co-written publication Hitting The Open Road After High School: How to Choose Your Own Adventure to Success!

Join IEL & NCWD/Youth in Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

On November 29, 1975, President Gerald Ford signed into law the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, what later became the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). With the passage of this landmark law, the United States opened public school doors to millions of children and youth with disabilities. The Institute for Educational Leadership believes that access to quality inclusive education is a right for all young people. Additionally, NCWD/Youth and IEL have a long and proud history of supporting youth as they transition into adulthood. For youth with disabilities, understanding disability history and culture presents a core competency for youth development. IEL encourages youth with disabilities to learn about events that shaped disability history, culture, and public policy issues in order to understand their rights and responsibilities.
In recognition of opportunities made possible by IDEA, IEL is collecting stories from students, out-of-school youth, teachers, school administrators, and other individuals personally impacted by IDEA. IEL will publish these stories on the IEL website and share them through social media. IEL encourages creativity in format, media, and content. Stories submitted can be in written, graphic, or video forms. Submissions are due by November 6, 2015.

NCWD/Youth to Present at NAWDP Youth Symposium

From November 9-11, 2015, NCWD/Youth will facilitate two sessions at the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals Youth Development Symposium on Youth with Disabilities & WIOA: What You Need to Know and Partner to Pipeline: Engaging Employers in Youth Workforce Development. The presentations will utilize NCWD/Youth resources including the Guidepost for Employers Success and Disability Inquiries in the Workforce Development System.

IEL Awarded $7.5M to Support Vocational Rehabilitation on Youth Issues

The Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL), NCWD/Youth’s host organization, has been awarded a new five year, $7.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) to provide technical assistance to our nation’s Vocational Rehabilitation system to improve transition programs and services for youth. Known as the Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Youth (VR TAC-Youth), this new technical assistance center is one of five awarded by RSA to assist the vocational rehabilitation system to implement the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The vocational rehabilitation system provides job training services, among other things, to youth and adults with disabilities so they can enter, stay in, and advance in employment. Some of the more important changes to the vocational rehabilitation program contained in WIOA include greater emphasis on serving transition age students and youth, including that states spend at least 15% of their funding on this population. In order to provide high quality technical assistance services to the vocational rehabilitation system, IEL will use several of NCWD/Youth’s publications including its seminal framework the Guideposts for Success

IEL & DCAYA Launch Youth Workforce Leaders Academy Year Two

On October 22, 2015, the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL), in collaboration with the Greater Washington Workforce Development Collaboration and the DC Alliance of Youth Advocates launched the second year of the DC Youth Workforce Leaders Academy (YWLA). Building on the 2014-2015 inaugural program year, YWLA offers a 10-month long professional development opportunity to support services professionals that provide workforce development services to youth ages 16-24. Through monthly live learning sessions, expert led webinars, web-based topical discussions, individual professional development activities, and facilitated peer-to-peer learning; the Academy aims to expand and grow participants’ expertise in providing high quality youth workforce development services to all youth, including youth with disabilities and other disconnected youth.

Professionals in this year’s cadre represent organizations and agencies such as Urban Alliance, the Latin American Youth Center, DC Child and Family Services Agency, and Smithsonian Museums. This month’s topic focuses on an orientation to the national and local landscape of youth workforce development. Future topics will include communicating with youth, program design and delivery, and engaging family members. Program topics are supplemented by NCWD/Youth's professional development materials

Program graduates have an opportunity to continue their professional development and deepen their knowledge by serving as peer mentors for the current class. 

WIOA Advisory Committee Holds Public Meeting to Discuss Interim Report

The Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities met from October 14-15 in Washington, D.C. At this meeting, the Advisory Committee discussed the interim report it submitted to Congress in September 2015 and discussed plans for issuing a final report in September 2016. This meeting also featured a panel of young adults with disabilities discussing policy barriers facing youth and young adults with disabilities.

Connecting Partners and Resources to Prepare Youth for Careers: A Federal Partners in Transition Webinar

The Federal Partners in Transition (FPT) will be hosting a webinar, Connecting Partners and Resources to Prepare Youth for Careers, November 10, 1:00-2:30 PM EST. The FPT workgroup highlights the coordinated strategies of four major federal agencies, including the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Labor, and the Social Security Administration. The webinar will focus on educational practices, career development and employment strategies, and benefits counseling. It is designed to inform the transition community including students and youth with disabilities, their family members, practitioners, vocational rehabilitation counselors, educators, public and private sector agencies, and other partners about a wide variety of federally funded resources.

America’s Promise Alliance/GradNation Releases New Report on Out-of-School Youth

Don’t Quit on Me: What Young People Who Left School Say About the Power of Relationships examines, from the perspective of young people themselves, the roles that relationships with adults and peers play in decisions about staying in, leaving, and returning to high school. Building on previous studies, including last year’s Don’t Call Them Dropouts, this report offers new insights about how support from adults and peers can help to close the remaining gaps between those who graduate from high school on time and those who do not.

Leaders Inducted into Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame

The National Disability Mentoring Coalition recently named 25 leaders as the first inductees into the Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame. Selection criteria included the individual’s demonstrated commitment to mentoring and the impact of his/her contributions on improving the lives of people with disabilities. The Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program (RAMP), which is based on several of NCWD/Youth’s foundational materials and housed at the Institute for Educational Leadership, is proud to be a member of the National Disability Mentoring Coalition.

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!

Also check out these blogs from our partners at the U.S. Department of Labor!

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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