ODEP - Office of Disability Employment Policy
Disability Employment Policy Resources by Topic
Youth in Transition
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.
Related resources include:
- Math, Science, and Technology: Essential Skills for Career Success in the 21st Century Basic information on math, science and technology as fundamental in our daily lives and suggested academic coursework to better prepare young adults for the top growing careers.
- Benefits Planning for Youth with Disabilities Quick Reference Guide Guide to help those assisting youth with disabilities navigate state and federal government programs and benefits for people with disabilities.
- Professional Development: Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities (KSA) Information and resources discussing the knowledge, skills and abilities youth service practitioners need to serve all youth, including youth with disabilities, effectively.
- Innovative Strategies Database of promising programs and practices in the workforce development system that effectively addresses the needs of youth with disabilities
- Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) ODEP-sponsored summer internship and work experience program for college students with disabilities
- Public Service Scholarship Program for Students with Disabilities Program for college students with disabilities interested in working for the federal government in Washington D.C.
- CareerOneStop Information about high-growth, high-demand occupations along with the skills and education need to attain those jobs.
- Youth Rules Gateway providing quick access to information about federal and state laws that affect the employment of young workers.
- Career Information for Kids Career exploration assistance and resources for children.
- National Service Learning Clearinghouse Clearinghouse for timely information and relevant resources to support service-learning programs.
- AccessCAREERS Information, resources and best practices focusing on increasing access to careers for individuals with disabilities.