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Friday, December 4 • 10:20am - 11:10am
Expanding Transition to Integrated Employment: Case Study of What Works and Why FULL

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Limited Capacity seats available

This study utilizes case analysis of critical components associated with effective supports required for youth with significant disabilities transitioning to integrated employment. The study implemented a case study approach examining state and local policies and procedures, multiple local field site observations, and IEP analyses. The emergent case results illustrate and corroborate factors associated with research-based practices to ensure young adults with significant disabilities have high quality transition services and are prepared for integrated employment. Recommendations will emphasize state and local factors (i.e., policies, practices, professional development) necessary for systems change. Federal and state policies and examples will be reviewed. OBJECTIVESParticipants will: 1. Understand the research base associated with high quality transition programs promoting integrated and paid employment for youth with significant disabilities 2. Identify critical elements of inclusive work-based employment opportunities for students during transition 3. Understand how critical state policy stances can influence local delivery systems 4. Learn about evidence-based strategies and interventions influenced by practitioner-oriented approaches to successful employment 5. Clarify how to use existing resources and strategies to improve local transition systems to improve employment outcomes. IMPORTANCE: Youth with severe disabilities experience the poorest employment outcomes (Sanford et al., 2011). The prevalence of segregated employment programs combined with low expectations results in limited access to transition services to prepare for integrated employment. Understanding critical contextual factors influencing barriers and facilitators is needed to promote systemic change. TRANSLATING TOPIC INTO POSITIVE OUTCOMES: The importance of providing youth with severe disabilities with effective and evidence-based career development and work experiences prior to exiting stransition ervices is a well-established, widely held, and professionally accepted. There is proof of predictive relationships between the types of employment preparation and transition services students with disabilities receive while in school and their long-term employment outcomes. Students must be provided effective preparation to make informed, meaningful choices for competitive, integrated work. Indicators of quality employment preparation have been established by the field including: a. Comprehensive and Person-Centered Career and Transition Assessment Approaches Leading to Expectations for Paid Integrated Work b. Focused Stages of Career Development Operationalized (Career awareness, exploration, development) c. Student Participation in Supported and Customized Employment while in School d. Qualified and Trained School Personnel e. Interagency Collaboration Among Employment-Focused Agencies (Vocational Rehabilitation [?VR?], Developmental Disability Services [?DD?], Employment Providers) (staff and long-term support) (Guideposts to Success, 2nd Edition). Since the mid-1990s, research has supported systematic provisions of a comprehensive set of integrated work experiences including volunteer, unpaid, and paid internships (including summer employment) beginning no later than age 14 and continuing until permanent paid employment is obtained (Bates, Cuvo, Miner, & Korabek, 2001; Benz, Yovanoff & Doren, 1997; Bullis, Davis, Bull & Johnson, 1995; Mechling & Gast, 1997). In fact, Carter, Trainor, Swedeen, & Owens (2009) demonstrated the efficacy of combined school and community strategies involving education and VR personnel to increase summer employment during a summer paid work experience for students with severe intellectual disabilities. Researchers have long established the importance of paid internships in integrated settings and seamless transition models for students with intellectual disabilities by incorporating high levels of interagency collaboration (Certo & Luecking, 2008; Luecking & Fabian, 2000; Luecking, Cuozzo, Leedy, & Seleznow, 2008). Multi-dimensional models of effective programs to prepare youth for postschool employment have been established through research and development over the past few decades. However, we continue to witness statewide systems of transition services undermined by low expectations, segregated services, and extremely contradictory policy guidance. This case research provides an in-depth contextual analysis of a state whereby both pitfalls and exemplary policies and practices are exhibited. The rich description of state and local policies and practices related to how transition programs prepare youth for employment outcomes offers contextual perspectives applicable to all states and local programs. This study offers specific recommendations for improving policies and practices to ensure high expectations for integrated employment post-school.


Regina Kilne

Senior Counsel (Acting), United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section
avatar for Mary Morningstar

Mary Morningstar

Professor, Portland State University
Dr. Mary E. Morningstar is an associate professor in the Department of Special Education at Portland State University and Director of the Transition Coalition, which offers online, hybrid and in-person professional development and resources for secondary special educators and transition... Read More →

Friday December 4, 2015 10:20am - 11:10am PST
Portland 1401 SW Naito Parkway Portland, OR 97201

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