Enhancing Employment Outcomes



guy-w-disability-at-work-Rnd4in[1] There are three key factors to consider to ensure that students with disabilities are achieving positive outcomes when they are out of high school for a year or more. They are:

  • Graduation
  • Continued Education
  • Employment

Vocational and employment programs have a long history in educational programming for youth with disabilities. However, sometimes these employment programs need to be refreshed and updated, new staff don’t have background in providing employment and career development services, or schools need to build a program from scratch and infuse it with other school-wide initiatives.

Teaching students employment skills and giving them career development and employment experiences while they are in school are critical to helping them be successful in life and have positive outcomes.

The purpose of this module is to provide you with general knowledge of career development and employment programs and practices, as well as a framework for providing career development instruction and experiences to your students.

You will be given information about several resources that you can use in your employment programs. Finally, for critical elements throughout the module, you will reflect upon your own practice in providing students opportunities and experiences in career development.


Learning Objectives

By the end of this online training, you will be able to:

Session 1:

  • Identify why it is important to provide career and vocational experiences to youth with disabilities during their secondary school years.
  • Compare career planning and development practices for youth with disabilities in 1980’s and in 2010’s.
  • Identify the four phases of career development and describe the primary focus of each.
  • Reflect upon the Timeline for Planning and identify strengths and needs of district practices for each phase: Career Awareness, Career Exploration, Career Preparation, Career Assimilation.

Session 2: Transition Planning and the IEP

  • Identify the 6 key components needed for effective school-sponsored vocational programs (Vocational Assessment, School-based Activities, Work-site Experiences, School-Business Partnerships, On-site Support and Training, and Postsecondary Education and Training).
  • Describe these 3 key components of effective school-sponsored vocational programs: Vocational Assessment, School-based Activities, and Work-site Experiences.
  • Explain four key elements of the NICHCY definition for career and vocational assessment.
  • Describe key characteristics of standardized and informal career assessments and identify an example of each type.
  • Identify what service-learning is and provide examples of service-learning opportunities which could be considered part of a school-based vocational program.
  • Describe school-based enterprises and what vocational experience students can gain from them.
  • Reflect upon own practices regarding Career Assessment, School-based Activities and Work-site Experiences and identify action steps to enhance practice.

Session 3: The Planning Process

  • Describe these 3 key components of effective school-sponsored vocational programs: School-Business Partnerships, On-site Support and Training, and Postsecondary Education and Training.
  • Identify why worksite experiences are important for students with disabilities and describe how different experiences offer varying levels of intensity.
  • Identify 6 factors which make a quality work experience for youth with disabilities.
  • Identify and describe the 5 critical steps in developing school-business partnerships.
  • Identify and describe the 7 key steps to job placement and training.
  • Identify which key factors for job placement and training would be used to address given examples of on-the-job scenarios.
  • Identify strategies to improve collaboration with post-secondary education and training