Youth with disabilities face many challenges as they move from secondary education to community participation. Families play a vital role in supporting youth during this transition, often functioning as a youth’s first, most knowledgeable and most consistent “case managers,” who not only assist with service coordination and career exploration, but also provide transportation, housing, and other supports. The following information for family members assists in determining appropriate supports that families can provide.

Ayudando a los jóvenes a Desarrollar Habilidades Sociales para tener Éxito en el Trabajo: Consejos para los Padres y las Familias

Este breve informativo trata la importancia de las habilidades sociales y ofrece estrategias que los padres pueden usar para ayudar a sus hijos a desarrollar habilidades para el éxito en el trabajo.

Developing Financial Capability Among Youth: How Families Can Help

Developing financial capability is an important part of preparing youth for the transition to adulthood. Families are one of the most significant influences on young people’s financial knowledge and attitudes. This brief for families provides suggestions and resources on how to talk with youth about money and assist them to learn and practice financial management skills through their interactions at home. 

Families and College and Career Readiness: What Schools Can Do to Engage Families in the Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) Process

This Information Brief is designed to assist educators in working with parents and family members to facilitate students’ career development through the use of individualized college and career planning tools. This brief discusses families’ perceptions of whether and how they were engaged in schools’ implementation of Individualized Learning Plans and describes suggestions from families of youth with and without disabilities about actions schools can take to improve family engagement in the ILP process.

Graduation Requirements and Diploma Options for Students with Disabilities: What Families and Advocates Need to Know

This InfoBrief explores the importance of making informed decisions about diploma options, understanding the consequences of graduating with different types of diplomas as well as the need for youth, families, and Individual Education Program (IEP) teams to consider these issues early.

Graduation Requirements and Diploma Options: What Families Need to Know (Dec. 2010/Jan. 2011 article in National PTA Magazine)

This article published in the December 2010/January 2011 issue of Our Children, the National PTA Magazine, provides guidance for parents and families on helping students understand graduation requirements and diploma options. Families play a critical role in helping their children understand the options, define college and career goals, and choose a pathway to earning a diploma. For parents of students with disabilities, it is especially important to understand the differences between the standard diploma and any alternatives offered by the school.

Helping Youth Build Work Skills for Job Success: Tips for Parents and Families

This InfoBrief addresses the need for youth to acquire work skills and offers strategies parents and families can use to work with their youth to develop skills that lead to success on the job. This InfoBrief also includes information on how to incorporate work skill development into school documents, such as the Individualized Education Program and the Summary of Performance.

Helping Youth Develop Soft Skills for Job Success (Podcast)

This podcast series provides ideas for parents and families on activities they can do at home and include in their child's Individualized Education Program (IEP) to ensure he or she develops skills needed for job success by the time he or she completes high school.

Helping Youth Develop Soft Skills for Job Success: Tips for Parents and Families

This InfoBrief discusses the importance of soft skills and offers strategies parents and families can use to help their child develop skills for employment success.

Navigating Tunnels and Cliffs: Empowering Families and Caregivers to Assist Youth with Mental Health Needs in Preparing for Work

For many families and caregivers of youth with mental health needs, career preparation and exploration are not top priorities. This short cut provides families, caregivers, and youth with mental health needs the information needed to prepare for a career including promising practices from the field and an action plan for success.

Supporting Families of Students with Disabilities in Postsecondary Education

This brief highlights findings from a national online dialogue on the topic conducted in early 2015. It provides ideas for supporting families related to common need areas identified in that dialogue, and promotes the idea of family engagement as a sound strategy for student retention and academic achievement.

Tapping into the Power of Families: How Families of Youth with Disabilities Can Assist in Job Search and Retention

This InfoBrief explores the important role families and other caring adults play in the career planning, job search, and job retention of youth with disabilities.

The 411 on Disability Disclosure: A Workbook for Families, Educators, Youth Service Professionals, and Adult Allies Who Care About Youth with Disabilities

Adults in the lives of young people with both visible disabilities and those with disabilities that are not apparent to others can benefit from using this workbook. This workbook helps adults make informed decisions about teaching a young man or woman about his or her rights and responsibilities in disclosing his or her disability, a decision that will affect the young person’s educational, employment, and social life. This workbook will help adults learn how to support a young person with a disability as he or she takes steps in becoming more independent and self-sufficient. In fact, making the personal decision to disclose a disability can make the young person more confident in himself or herself and the choices he or she makes.

The Guideposts for Success: A Framework for Families Preparing Youth for Adulthood

This InfoBrief examines how the Guideposts for Success can be used as a framework from which families of youth with disabilities can consider the support needs of their youth during the transition planning process. It is based on information presented in the Family Guideposts, a National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) publication that looks at the original Guideposts from the perspective of families, highlighting proactive roles families can play in the five Guidepost areas and offering examples of how families can become informed, supportive, and engaged in their youth’s transition. This information will also be helpful to professionals seeking strategies to effectively partner with families, and to advocates looking to empower families in the transition process.

Understanding the New Vision for Career Development: The Role of Family

This Info Brief 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 be involved.

Understanding the Role of Individualized Learning Plans in Transition Planning for Youth with Disabilities

This InfoBrief explains how schools and families can supplement the required Individualized Education Program (IEP) by using an optional Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) as a tool to help youth successfully transition from high school to employment and postsecondary education.

Youth and Disability Disclosure: The Role of Families and Advocates

This InfoBrief highlights NCWD-Youth’s The 411 on Disability Disclosure, and explores the role families and advocates play in helping youth understand the importance of appropriate disability disclosure.

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