ODEP - Office of Disability Employment Policy
Disability Employment Policy Resources by Topic
From School to Adulthood and the World of Work
ODEP works to influence national policy and promote effective workplace practices to ensure that today's and tomorrow's workforce is inclusive of all people, including people with disabilities. As a result, one important policy focus area is youth transitioning from school to adulthood and the world of work.
The Guideposts for Success What All Youth Need to Successfully Transition into Adulthood
ODEP's work in the youth arena is based on the Guideposts for Success. The Guideposts represent what research and practice has identified as key educational and career development interventions that make a positive difference in the lives of all youth, including youth with disabilities. They were developed by ODEP in collaboration with one of its research and technical assistance centers, the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth), following an extensive review of research and best practices in education and workforce development.
The five Guideposts are as follows:
- School-Based Preparatory Experiences
- Career Preparation and Work-Based Learning Experiences
- Youth Development and Leadership
- Connecting Activities
- Family Involvement and Supports
"Skills to Pay the Bills: Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success," is a curriculum developed by ODEP focused on teaching "soft" or workforce readiness skills to youth, including youth with disabilities. Created for youth development professionals as an introduction to workplace interpersonal and professional skills, the curriculum is targeted for youth ages 14 to 21 in both in-school and out-of-school environments. The basic structure of the program is comprised of modular, hands-on, engaging activities that focus on six key skill areas: communication, enthusiasm and attitude, teamwork, networking, problem solving and critical thinking, and professionalism.
- Soft Skills to Pay the Bills Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success
- Habilidades sociales para salir adelante Dominar habilidades sociales para tener éxito en el trabajo y un futuro seguro
- Soft Skills to Pay the Bills Video Series
- Soft Skills to Pay the Bills Video Series and Discussion Guide on DVD
- Soft Skills to Pay the Bills Video Discussion Guide (PDF)
- View Secretary Solis' video on the Soft Skills curriculum
- Read the Training and Employment Notice (TEN) on the Soft Skills curriculum
- Listen to Assistant Secretary Martinez's interview on the Bloomberg EDU Podcast
Individualized Learning Plans
- "Shelly Saves the Future: A Story of Career Development" Informational Comic ODEP and its research partners have found that Individualized Learning Plans (ILPs) positively impact all youth’s self-determination, leadership abilities, and awareness of career opportunities. In this info-comic, high school senior Shelly learns how to take charge of her future by using an ILP.
- "Kickstart Your ILP" Toolkit
- Individualized Learning Plans Information and Resources
- Using Individualized Learning Plans to Produce College and Career Ready High School Graduates
- Individualized Learning Plans How-to Guide
- Individualized Learning Plans Fact Sheet
Volunteerism and work-based learning (both paid and voluntary) can provide critical preparation for all youth as they transition from school into the world of work. ODEP and the Corporation for National and Community Service have collaborated to create policy guidance and highlight resources to promote national service as an option for all youth, including youth with disabilities.
- Policy Guidance Letter [ PDF | HTML ]
- Resource Section of the Letter
- Use of Social Security Work Incentives to Promote Work-Based Learning in Youth Employment and Training Programs White Paper
- Volunteering as a Pathway to Employment Report
- Pathway to Employment for Youth with Disabilities (including the AmeriCorps Income Exclusion Chart)
Federal Partners in Transition
The Federal Partners in Transition National Online Dialogue was held on May 13 to May 27, 2013. Hosted by the U.S. Departments of Labor, Education, Health and Human Services and the Social Security Administration, the National Online Dialogue invited people to share their ideas and comments about federal legislative and regulatory barriers and other opportunities to improve transition outcomes for youth with disabilities. Based on this input, a report entitled Federal Partners in Transition National Online Dialogue: Participation Metrics was developed to summarize the dialogue’s results. These responses will help to frame the efforts of the dialogue hosts to work together strategically to develop a plan to improve transition results for youth with disabilities by 2020.
- Federal Partners in Transition National Online Dialogue
- Federal Partners in Transition National Online Dialogue Participation Metrics Final Report
Additional ODEP youth in transition resources and initiatives include:
- Healthy Transitions: A Pathway to Employment for Youth with Chronic Health Conditions and Other Disabilities Policy Brief (PDF)
- 'Your Job Search' Video Series
- DOL Blog International Year of Youth
- Youth Employment Data
- Schedule A Hiring Fact Sheet for Youth (PDF)