Vermont Transition Services for Youth With Disabilities
(excerpt from Mathematica) Per a new report by Mathematica, youth with disabilities face many challenges as they transition from high school to adulthood. Compared with their nondisabled peers, a greater share of youth with disabilities experience higher rates of poverty, health issues, service needs, dependence on benefits, and poorer academic performance, and they face lower expectations for their education and employment achievements. More inclusive attitudes and policies, such as those promoted in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, recognize the value of continued education and work experience for youth with disabilities, and evidence has shown that they can succeed in the workforce with proper supports. As a result, federal and state agencies have bolstered their efforts to better serve youth with disabilities during this critical transition.
One of these initiatives is the Vermont Linking Learning to Careers project, which was made possible by a Disability Innovation Fund grant from the Rehabilitation Services Administration at the U.S. Department of Education. A newly released impact evaluation of Linking Learning to Careers conducted by Mathematica showed the project had significant improvements on services, education, and, for some students, employment.
Also, check out a video podcast about how Vermont went beyond work-based learning experiences in its transition services for youth with disabilities and a blog that offers a road map to other state vocational rehabilitation agencies looking to improve their youth programs.