Career Preparation and Work-Based Learning Experiences
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:
- Career assessments to help identify students' school and post-school preferences and interests
- Structured exposure to post-secondary education and other life-long learning opportunities
- Exposure to career opportunities that ultimately lead to a living wage, including information about educational requirements, entry requirements, income and benefits potential, and asset accumulation, and
- Training designed to improve job-seeking skills and work-place basic skills (sometimes called soft skills).
In order to identify and attain career goals, youth need to be exposed to a range of experiences, including:
- Opportunities to engage in a range of work-based exploration activities such as site visits and job shadowing
- Multiple on-the-job training experiences, including community service (paid or unpaid) that is specifically linked to the content of a program of study and school credit
- Opportunities to learn and practice their work skills (“soft skills”), and
- Opportunities to learn first-hand about specific occupational skills related to a career pathway.
In addition, youth with disabilities need to:
- Understand the relationships between benefits planning and career choices
- Learn to communicate their disability-related work support and accommodation needs
- Learn to find, formally request and secure appropriate supports and reasonable accommodations in education, training and employment settings.
Math, Science, and Technology: Essential Skills for Career Success in the 21st Century
A brief providing basic information on math, science, and technology as a fundamental need in our day-to-day lives, and suggested academic coursework to better prepare young adults for the top growing careers.
Benefits Planning for Youth with Disabilities Quick Reference Guide
A guide to help those assisting youth with disabilities navigate the range of state and federal government programs and benefits for people with disabilities in the United States.
Youth Service Professionals' Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Professional Development Initiative
A document discussing the knowledge, skills, and abilities youth service practitioner need to serve all youth, including youth with disabilities, effectively.
The Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP)
An ODEP-sponsored summer internship program for college students with disabilities
A Web page gateway providing quick access to information about federal and state labor laws that apply to young workers.
Career Information for Kids
A Webpage on the Bureau of Labor Statistics' site to assist youth in career exploration.
National Center for Education Statistics: Students Classroom
A user friendly site, where youth can look up their individual school and find statistics about schools in their area.