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Intersection Newsletter masthead.
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Intersection: Navigating the Road to Work

Volume 11, Number 11
November 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.

NCWD/Youth Staff Attend White House Event on Addressing Challenges for Women and Girls of Color

On November 12, 2014, the White House Council on Women and Girls released a report entitled Women and Girls of Color: Addressing Challenges and Expanding Opportunity. The Council on Women and Girls hosted a meeting with stakeholders including NCWD/Youth to discuss a range of issues that impact women and girls of color. The report and the event highlighted some of the disparities that persist for women and girls of color in education, employment, and healthcare.

White House Releases PSA on the ACA and People with Disabilities

On November 14, the White House released a new public service announcement on how the Affordable Care Act helps people with disabilities. It explains how individuals with disabilities can no longer be denied health coverage because of their health history. The public service announcement's release coincided with open enrollment, which began on November 15, 2014 and ends on February 15, 2015. This time period will be a chance for individuals already enrolled in healthcare to re-enroll and for individuals not yet enrolled to sign up to begin receiving healthcare by visiting

Michelle Obama Announces New Challenges for College Students

First Lady Michelle Obama announced two commencement challenges as part of her Reach Higher Initiative, which encourages students to complete their education past high school at a professional training program, community college, or a four-year college or university. Schools and student groups are invited to create video submissions that capture their efforts to make attending and completing college a reality for all students. Finalists could have the opportunity to hear from the First Lady at their commencement ceremonies. The Near Peer Mentoring College Challenge is for college students, teachers, and administrators to share how they opened up their campuses to students who do not always envision themselves attending college while the FAFSA Completion Challenge is for high school seniors to show how their schools are taking action to increase FAFSA completion rates.

TransCen Establishes New Employment Research and Training Center

Youth and young adults with disabilities often need specific help making the transition to becoming employed adults. One important resource available to provide this help is the system of state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies, which provide resources and services to facilitate employment for people with disabilities. TransCen, a partner in the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth, has established a new center to research the conditions under which this help is most successful and to translate what is learned from this research by providing training and technical assistance to VR agency programs throughout the U.S.

Called the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on VR Practices for Youth and Young Adults, the Center is designed to answer questions about what leads to the most successful employment outcomes for youth and young adults with disabilities eligible for VR services. The Center will study under what conditions VR services are most successful for youth with disabilities, what are the attributes of staff most successful in working with these youth, how effective models of service can be replicated, and how specific paths to career development, such as post-secondary education, lead to ongoing adult employment. The Center is funded by the National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research of the U.S. Department of Education.

U.S. DOE and DOJ Issue Guidance on Communicating with Students with Disabilities

On November 12, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights and Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services and the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division issued guidance about the rights of public elementary and secondary students with hearing, vision, or speech disabilities.

Three federal laws address the obligations of public schools in meeting the communication needs of students with disabilities: the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. These three laws approach meeting the needs of students with disabilities in different ways. These federal offices offer this new guidance to clarify how schools and educators should approach their work to meet the needs of their students with disabilities and comply with these three laws through a Guidance Letter, Frequently Asked Questions, and a Fact Sheet.

Campaign for Youth Releases Road Map to Improve Employment Outcomes of Youth & Young Adults

The Campaign for Youth recently updated Our Youth, Our Economy, Our Future: A Road Map for Investing in the Nation's Talent, an investment strategy that offers a set of recommendations to help an estimated 6.7 million young people ages 16 to 24 who are unattached to school or work return to education or engage in a career. Youth and young adults ages 16-24 face an unemployment rate more than twice the overall unemployment rate. Helping disconnected youth access postsecondary education and the workforce is a critical solution to the issues of persistent poverty and income inequality, and it also helps to meet America's workforce needs. The strategy offers the following seven overarching ways to bring these recommendations to reality:

  1. Make reconnecting youth a national priority.
  2. Invest in high-need communities.
  3. Involve young people in finding solutions for their own generation.
  4. Build capacity to utilize research-based practices and knowledge to expand high-quality programming.
  5. Create pathways to financial independence and social mobility.
  6. Develop work-based learning opportunities that are relevant to careers and have real world applications.
  7. Create a policy and research infrastructure to ensure program quality and accountability.

U.S. Department of Education Announces New Performance Partnership Pilot Grants

On November 24, the Departments of Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services, along with the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Institute for Museum and Library Services, announced the release of funding as part of its Performance Partnership Pilots (P3). The objective of P3 is to improve educational, employment, well-being, and other key outcomes for disconnected youth through a combination of innovative strategies in implementing evidence-based practices, establishing effective administrative structures, aligning outcomes and performance measures, and integrating data systems. P3 functions by allowing states, localities, and tribal governments increased flexibilities in the blending and braiding of Federal funds for programs that serve disconnected youth or prevent youth from disconnecting during the transition from school to work.

Prospective applicants may register for a webinar on Monday, December 1 from 3:30-5pm to learn more.

American Youth Policy Forum Releases Directory of Afterschool Resources

The American Youth Policy Forum published Better Together: A Resource Directory for Afterschool System Builders, a directory that identifies over 50 organizations offering resources and tools on afterschool system building. Organizations included serve a national audience, provide free resources or tools to local afterschool system builders and either conduct research, perform advocacy, provide technical assistance, or hold convenings.

Youth Transitions Collaborative and U.S. DOE to Host Postsecondary Education Webinar

On December 2, 2014 at 2:00pm EST, the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services in partnership with the Youth Transitions Collaborative will host a webinar entitled Determined to Succeed: Preparing for Postsecondary Education and Employment. During the webinar, OSERS-funded Technical Assistance Centers and Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers will share guidance, tools, and resources on the importance of self-advocacy and transition planning.

November is National Homeless Youth Awareness Month

National Homeless Youth Awareness Month is an opportunity to understand the challenges that youth experiencing homelessness face, including danger, risk of substance use, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and vulnerability to being trafficked. In support of National Homeless Youth Awareness Month, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network is providing resources to help communities, families, educators, mental health and child welfare professionals, policy makers, and advocates better understand and work with homeless youth.

November is National Career Development Month

Every November, career development professionals are encouraged to celebrate National Career Development Month with career related activities. The National Career Development Association sponsors an annual poetry and poster contest around the event. Individuals can also review some of NCWD/Youth's related resources including two of the latest briefs Understanding the New Vision for Career Development: The Role of Family and Families and College and Career Readiness: What Schools Can Do to Engage Families in the Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) Process. Additionally, individuals can read the latest blog from the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy entitled Laying the Path for Career Success.

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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