Transition

Transition from youth to adulthood is an awkward period in life; it presents challenges for almost every young person today. Youth with disabilities, indeed all vulnerable youth, may need extra supports throughout their transition period in order to make informed choices and become self-sufficient adults. This includes planning for postsecondary education and their careers. The following information is designed to assist you in understanding the various systems youth are involved in during the transition process and research-based programs and policies that have been found to be highly effective in assisting youth with disabilities through the process.

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.

Career Exploration in Action: An Innovative Strategies Practice Brief

This Innovative Strategies Practice Brief provides practical examples and resources used by promising and exemplary youth programs to engage youth in career exploration. The youth programs and school systems featured in this brief have been recognized by NCWD/Youth as Innovative Strategies.

Engaging Youth in Work Experiences: An Innovative Strategies Practice Brief

This Innovative Strategies Practice Brief provides practical examples and resources used by promising and exemplary youth programs to engage youth in work experiences. Work experiences are both paid and unpaid opportunities to work and practice career readiness skills. The work experiences described in this brief include internships, summer jobs, youth-run businesses/entrepreneurship, service projects and volunteer work, and part-time jobs. The youth programs featured in this brief have been recognized by NCWD/Youth as Innovative Strategies.

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.

Helping Youth with Learning Disabilities Chart the Course: A Guide for Youth Service Professionals

This InfoBrief describes challenges faced by youth and young adults with learning disabilities as they reach adulthood, while highlighting strategies youth service professionals can implement to help youth to transition successfully into the workplace.

Helping Youth with Mental Health Needs Avoid Transition Cliffs: Lessons from Pioneering Transition Programs

This InfoBrief discusses challenges faced by youth and young adults with mental health needs during their transition to adulthood and describes strategies used by youth service professionals to avoid age-related transition cliffs and prevent service interruptions during this critical stage of development. This InfoBrief is based on a rich body of research about transition-age youth with mental health needs published in four separate reports in the last two years, including two produced by the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth.

How Young People Can Benefit from One-Stop Centers

This InfoBrief provides information about One-Stop Centers and how the services at One-Stop Centers can help youth enter the workforce.

Improving High School Outcomes for All Youth: Recommendations for Policy & Practice

This brief was informed by over a decade of work by the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) including the white paper, "Preparing All Youth for Academic and Career Readiness: Implications for High School Policy and Practice." This brief calls attention to the need to implement policies and practices that will improve high school and post-school outcomes for all students, including those with diverse learning and support needs. Recommendations for federal, state, and local policy makers are outlined.

Improving Transition Outcomes for Youth Involved in the Juvenile Justice System: Practical Considerations

This InfoBrief describes the characteristics of and issues faced by youth involved with the juvenile justice system, including those with disabilities. It provides a framework for youth service professionals to help these youth avoid or transition out of the juvenile justice system, promotes cross-systems collaboration, and highlights promising practices currently being implemented around the country. This InfoBrief is based on Making the Right Turn: A Guide about Improving Transition Outcomes for Youth Involved in the Juvenile Corrections System, available at: http://www.ncwd-youth.info/juvenile-justice-guide.

Individualized Learning Plans How-to Guide

This guide is designed for schools, educators, and other professionals who assist youth with college and career readiness and transition planning. This guide was developed in response to feedback from schools indicating a need for curriculum and implementation guidelines to support whole-school buy-in for implementing individualized learning plans (ILPs). A key goal of the guide is to help schools develop a bridge between college and career readiness efforts through the use of ILPs and help youth achieve prosperous and productive lives. The career development activities and resources in this guide are also useful for youth service professionals in the workforce development system.

Learning How to Learn: Successful Transition Models for Educators Working with Youth with Learning Disabilities

This InfoBrief identifies and explains selected classroom-based strategies that incorporate strategic learning. General and special educators can implement the following strategies to engage students with disabilities (particularly those with learning disabilities) in order to prepare students to transition from secondary to postsecondary and workplace settings. The aim of this brief is to provide teachers with background knowledge and skills so that they can integrate evidence-based practices into the classroom to aid student learning.

Making the Move to Managing Your Own Personal Assistance Services (PAS): A Toolkit for Youth with Disabilities Transitioning to Adulthood

This new guide assists youth in strengthening some of the most fundamental skills essential for successfully managing their own Personal Assistance Services (PAS): effective communication, time-management, working with others, and establishing professional relationships.  Such skills are key to not only enhancing independence, but also thriving in the workplace and growing professionally. Whether moving from school or a home setting to work, college, or living on their own, transition-age youth and their families or friends would benefit from the information and guidance offered by the toolkit.  Sample worksheets, questions, and charts provide readers clear, helpful examples of things to consider along the path to greater independence.  And stories from real youth and their families give practical insight and guidance for youth with disabilities who want to manage their own PAS. 

Personalized Learning: Policy Insights from Four States

This Policy Brief describes findings from a case study of four states using individualized learning plans as a strategic education policy to personalize student’s educational experience in an effort to raise their academic achievement and better prepare them for post-secondary education and employment.

School-based Preparatory Experiences Jump Start

School-based preparatory experiences are those core activities that help youth become prepared for a successful future in careers or postsecondary education institutions. They include the core activities of career assessments (formal and informal), introduces the concept of opportunity awareness (guest speakers, informational interviews, research-based activities, community mapping, exposures to post secondary education) and work-readiness skills (soft-skills development, computer competency and job search skills).

State Perspectives on Using the Guideposts for Success - Maryland

The Maryland Department of Education’s Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) has used the Guideposts for Success (the Guideposts) to develop and pilot a seamless transition services model called the Maryland Seamless Transition Collaborative (MSTC). The Guideposts, which were initially adopted by DORS in the context of implementing a High School/High Tech Grant awarded by the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, have provided the agency and its partners with a research-based framework for aligning and coordinating services across various agencies and service providers to increase youth outcomes across the state. 

State Perspectives on Using the Guideposts for Success - South Carolina

The South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department (SCVRD) uses the Guideposts for Success (the Guideposts) as a framework for defining, developing, and tracking its youth transition services and programs throughout the state. SCVRD has chosen to use the Guideposts because it identifies proven strategies for meeting the holistic needs of youth transitioning from high school to employment, postsecondary education, and independent living. The Guideposts framework is comprised of five areas: school-based preparatory experiences, career preparation and work-based learning experiences, youth development and leadership, connecting activities, and family involvement and supports.

Supporting Transition to Adulthood Among Youth with Mental Health Needs: Action Steps for Policymakers

This Policy Brief calls attention to the challenges faced by youth and young adults with mental health needs during their transition to adulthood and provides information to help policymakers at the state and local level develop and improve service delivery systems for this population.

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 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.

Transitioning Youth with Mental Health Needs to Meaningful Employment and Independent Living

This study focuses on the role of skills development, work, and career exploration. It presents the findings from case studies of five promising program sites and identifies program design features and system-level policies that appear to help youth and young adults with mental health needs better transition into adulthood and life-long success.

Transition’s Missing Link: Health Care Transition

NCWD/Youth’s Guideposts for Success provide a framework for what all youth, including youth with chronic conditions and disabilities, need to make a successful transition to further education, careers and adulthood. One of the key elements of the Guideposts under Connecting Activities is health care. Drawing on a number of recent health care-related reports, this Policy Brief identifies strategies for improving health care transition for youth with chronic conditions and disabilities.

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.

Use of Social Security Work Incentives to Promote Work-Based Learning in Youth Employment and Training Programs

This report examines AmeriCorps as a model that includes an income exemption that allows youth with disabilities who are Social Security beneficiaries to participate in work-based learning experiences and receive a living allowance or stipend without it impacting their benefits.  An overview is initially provided about the importance of work-based learning experiences, including service learning, particularly for youth with disabilities and the current state of policy and practice regarding the use of the AmeriCorps income exclusion.  Recommendations are then provided for increasing the scope and utilization of the existing AmeriCorps exemption and for the expansion of similar incentives to other youth employment and training programs serving transition-age youth with disabilities such as those funded under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA).

Using Career Interest Inventories to Inform Career Planning

This Innovative Strategies Practice Brief provides practical examples and resources used by promising and exemplary youth programs to conduct career interest inventories with youth. The youth programs featured in this brief have been recognized by NCWD/Youth as Innovative Strategies. NCWD/Youth's Innovative Strategies features workforce development programs and practices that serve youth with disabilities, either as a target population or as part of other youth populations.

Using Individualized Learning Plans to Produce College and Career Ready High School Graduates

Individualized learning plans (ILPs) are becoming an important tool used by states to support youth in becoming college ready and career ready. This policy brief highlights key findings and policy recommendations generated as a result of ILP research studies by NCWD/Youth and its partners. The brief includes separate but complementary recommendations for state officials, district/school officials, educators, organizations interested in supporting family engagement in schools, special education administrators and support organizations, national organizations, disability organizations, and Federal officials.

Using Universal Design for Learning: Successful Transition Models for Educators Working with Youth with Learning Disabilities

This InfoBrief identifies and explains selected classroom-based strategies within the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) model. General and special educators can implement the following strategies to engage students with disabilities (particularly those with learning disabilities) in order to prepare students to transition from secondary to postsecondary and workplace settings. The aim of this brief is to provide teachers with background knowledge and skills so that they can integrate evidence-based practices into the classroom to aid student learning.

Youth Development and Leadership Opportunities to Develop Thriving Competencies

This Innovative Strategies Practice Brief provides practical examples from promising and exemplary youth programs for implementing youth development and leadership opportunities that help youth develop Thriving competencies. Thriving is the youth development competency area that involves developing attitudes, skills, and behaviors that youth need to maintain their optimal physical and emotional well-being.

Youth in Action! - Getting Involved in Volunteering

Getting involved in the community through volunteering is a great way for youth to develop valuable experience and skills for employment and college while helping others in their community. This tip sheet for youth provides action steps for getting involved in their community.

Youth in Action! - Leading Your Transition Planning

Between the ages of 14 and 24, youth are going through a transition, or period of change, from adolescence to adulthood. Transition planning can help youth take charge of their own future. This tip sheet for youth provides action steps for leading their own transition planning.

Youth in Action! - Participating in Internships and Work-Based Experiences

Work-based experiences, including internships, are paid or unpaid opportunities for youth to explore career options, practice skills, and prepare for success in a future career. This tip sheet for youth provides action steps for participating in internships and other work-based experiences.

Youth in Action! - Serving on Decision-Making Boards

Becoming involved in a decision-making board is one way youth can take on leadership roles in their community and get involved in decision-making processes that impact their lives. This tip sheet for youth provides action steps for serving on decision-making boards.

Youth in Action! Becoming a Stronger Self-Advocate

Becoming a self-advocate means learning how to speak up for yourself, asking for what you need and want, and having as much of a say as possible in making your own life decisions. This tip sheet for youth provides action steps for becoming a self-advocate.

Youth in Action! Learning Disability History

Disability history is the study of the history, culture, contributions, social and civil movements/activism, and film and media representations of people with disabilities as well as disability-related policies, laws and practices. Learning about disability history can empower you to take action in your own life, to influence the lives of others, and more. This tip sheet for youth provides action steps for learning about disability history.

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