As the year-long commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act draws to a close, three Workforce System Strategies resources provide insights into proven service delivery and policy strategies that illuminate evidence-based approaches to help young adults with disabilities achieve educational and workplace success. Read on for inspiration about well-designed programs that may positively affect career trajectories for youth in transition.

 

Final Report on the Youth Transition Demonstration Evaluation
The Youth Transition Demonstration (YTD) evaluation initiated by the Social Security Administration (SSA) identified service strategies, waivers, and work incentives to support youth receiving (or at risk of receiving) SSA disability benefits to reduce benefits dependency. Youth in five states who enrolled in the evaluation were randomly assigned to a treatment group that participated in YTD projects or a control group. Treatment group members received interventions to improve employment and earnings outcomes and reduce justice system involvement. Post-evaluation surveys indicate interventions that provided ample, well-designed services, including employment services, to youth with disabilities can improve key transition outcomes in the short- to medium-term.


Improving College and Career Readiness for Students with Disabilities
The authors of this policy brief discuss critical issues, weave in relevant research findings, and propose actions that educators, schools, and states can take to improve postsecondary education and work outcomes for students with disabilities. Issues that hamper students’ progress ranged from a lack of a standard definition of “college and career readiness” to educators’ limited capacity for using rigorous research-based practices. Recommended actions to address the issues include providing multiple, transparent pathways to college and careers and fostering interagency collaboration to support students’ transitions. The brief concludes with policy and program examples from four states that showed improvements in outcomes for students with disabilities.

 

Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (PROMISE) Project 
This resource summarizes the intermediate findings from a randomized control study of over 13,000 youth receiving Supplemental Security Income engaged in the PROMISE Project. The project addressed many of the barriers to economic independence the youth and their families faced. The evaluators found that practices such as paid employment, work experiences, parental expectations and involvement, inclusion in general education, student self-determination, and incorporation of social skills were positive predictors of successful employment, educational, and financial outcomes. For more details about how early introduction of employment-focused services and supports positively affect the career trajectories and economic futures of youth with disabilities, select the link on the related content section.