“What do all youth need to make a successful transition to adulthood?” This is the central question that the Guideposts for Success is designed to answer. Two characteristics set the Guideposts for Success apart from other frameworks and resources pertaining to youth transition. First, it recognizes that youth in the transition-to-adulthood age group (defined as ages 12 to 25) benefit from many of the same opportunities, services, and supports, regardless of their disability status and other individual differences. Second, it explicitly identifies additional opportunities, services, and supports that may be required or beneficial for youth who have disabilities. In this way, the Guideposts for Success serves as a guiding resource for ensuring that all youth, including those with disabilities, have full access to high quality services in integrated settings to gain education, employment, and independent living.
It has been over a decade since the Guideposts for Success was first introduced as a national youth transition framework by the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth), housed at the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL), with support from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). Published in 2005, the original Guideposts for Success framework was developed in concert with the National Alliance for Secondary Education and Transition (NASET), then funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), and based upon a common literature review conducted by NASET and NCWD/Youth. Since it was created, the Guideposts for Success has become nationally recognized as a valuable research-based framework to inform policies and practices designed to prepare and support youth in transition to adulthood.