TRANSITIONING FROM SCHOOL TO EMPLOYMENT: IMPLEMENTATION & BEST PRACTICES
One Student at a Time
Each student’s transition experience will be unique. There is not a checklist to follow. Work with your IEP team and ask what services you can access through DSPD and Vocational Rehabilitation (Voc Rehab). Explore your own interests and needs. You may not want or need to access every service, but you will want to know the options so if the opportunity is available, you can access them. Here are additional resources and examples to guide you.
A Toolkit for Coordinating Employment Services
Best Practices from the Institute for Disability Research, Policy, and Practice
Multiple Pathways to Getting a Job
There is not just one pathway to getting a job. Most people have to try several things before they find the right fit, and one key to finding that right fit is making sure you are on the right path for getting the skills you need. You may also have to move from path to path at times to fulfill your work goals and dreams. Once you have identified a job you would like to try, ask yourself if you have the right skills for it. Consider the following questions to help you identify what skills, training, or education are needed for the desired job(s) you are considering:
- Is there a class you can take at a local college, technical school, or online?
- Is there a person you can hire to teach you the skill?
- Is there someone who can give you on-the-job training?
- Is there another job you can do that will help you learn the skills you need?
Local Supported Employment Supports
- Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Student Transition Services: This agency has counselors assigned to every high school and charter school in the state, and they can help connect eligible students ages 14-24 to pre-employment services, self-advocacy groups, job opportunities, job coaches, and other supports you need to get started. Click here to find the student transition counselor assigned to your school.
- Division of Services for People with Disabilities Employment Preparation Services (EPR): The Division of Services for People with Disabilities (DSPD) and the Office of Quality and Design (OQD) have partnered to develop the Employment Preparation or EPR service code. This is a pre-vocational service that provides individualized learning and work experience that contributes to employability in Competitive Integrated Employment. Click here for more information on EPR supports.
Volunteer and Internship Opportunities
Before you find a paid job, it can be helpful to get experience by volunteering or finding a mentor who can give you an internship. This can give you a chance to work on soft skills, and find out more about the type of work you are most interested in doing long term.
If needed, you may qualify for a job coach.
- This is paid support that can help you learn the skills you need and provide assistance to help you be successful on the job.