The Guideposts for Success
What all youth need to successfully transition into adulthood
Based on an extensive literature review of research, demonstration projects and effective practices covering a wide range of programs and services, including youth development, quality education, and workforce development programs the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), in collaboration with the National Collaborative on Workforce Disability for Youth, has identified Guideposts for Success. The Guideposts reflect what research has identified as key educational and career development interventions that can make a positive difference in the lives of all youth, including youth with disabilities.
The five Guideposts are the following:
- School-based Preparatory Experiences
- Career Preparation and Work-Based Learning Experiences
- Youth Development and Leadership
- Connecting Activities
- Family Involvement and Supports
These Guideposts are built on the following underlying assumptions:
- Highest expectations for all youth, including youth with disabilities
- Equality of opportunity for everyone, including nondiscrimination, individualization, and inclusion and integration
- Full participation through self-determination, informed choice, and participation in decision making
- Independent living, including skill development and long term supports and services
- Competitive employment and economic self-sufficiency, even if with supports, as everyone's life goal.
- Transition planning that is individualized, person-driven and culturally and linguistically appropriate.
The Guideposts framework is organized in the following manner. After providing a detailed list within each Guidepost of what all youth need, the framework then describes additional specific needs pertaining to youth with disabilities.
The Guideposts can be used by state policy makers in developing a more coordinated transition system focusing on successful outcomes for all youth. They can also help administrators and policy makers at the local level in making decisions regarding funding, in setting and establishing local priorities, and in evaluating local efforts.
- Encouraging Future Innovation: Youth Entrepreneurship Education
An ODEP fact sheet for youth service providers about the benefits of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial education and making entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial education programs inclusive of youth with disabilities.
- Entering the World of Work: What Youth with Mental Health Needs Should Know about Accommodations
An ODEP fact sheet for youth with mental health needs entering the workforce which addresses important concerns they may have regarding disclosure and accommodations.
- National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability/Youth
An ODEP-funded technical assistance center with information about youth and employment and the complete Guideposts for Success document, as well as many other resources and publications.
- High School/ High Tech
A transition program for high school students, who explore careers in science and technology.