Career preparation and work-based learning experiences are essential in order to form and develop aspirations and to make informed choices about careers. These experiences can be provided during the school day, or through after-school programs, and will require collaborations with other organizations. All youth need information on career options, including:

  • Understanding of the role that employment plays in economic self-sufficiency and the motivation to build skills, explore careers, and seek employment to live the life a youth desires
  • Self-exploration skills that enable youth to identify interests, skills, and values
  • Career exploration skills that enable youth to identify how various career options match their interests, skills, and work preferences
  • Ability to make informed choices about their long-term career interests and the corresponding secondary and postsecondary coursework and industry-recognized credentials necessary to pursue these interests
  • Career-specific work skills and knowledge as well as employability or "soft" skills such as communication, leadership, decision-making, and conflict management skills
  • Career planning and management skills, including academic planning, decision making related to postsecondary pathways, career readiness skills, job search skills, and financial literacy

Additional competencies that maximize success among youth with disabilities

  • Knowledge of what accommodations and supports, including assistive technology, one needs in the workplace and training settings and how to use them
  • Ability to self-advocate for accommodations and supports in the workplace and training settings