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1 Meg Grigal, Ph.D. Principal Investigator and Director-The Postsecondary Education Research Center (PERC) Project Co-PI, Center on Postsecondary Education for Students with ID TransCen, Inc. Improving Post-School Outcomes for Youth with Intellectual Disabilities A Focus on Employment Debra Hart M.Ed. Principal Investigator National Centers for Postsecondary Education for Students with Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Institute for Community Inclusion University of Massachusetts/ Boston

2 Students 2

3 What do these students have in common? Intellectual disabilities such as mental retardation or a developmental disability Life skills /transition program for 18-21 year old students Low expectations Outcomes—day habilitation program, sheltered workshop, or underemployment Interest in continuing to learn and in going to college 3

4 Definition of Intellectual Disability (HEOA 2008) (A) with mental retardation or cognitive impairment, characterized by significant limitations in— (i) intellectual and cognitive functioning; and (ii) adaptive behavior as expressed in conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills; and (B) who is currently, or was formerly, eligible for a free appropriate public education under IDEA 4

5 5 What is happening nationally?

6 The Importance of Employment For youth with disabilities, one of the most important research findings shows that work experience during high school helps them get jobs at higher wages after they graduate — NCWD/Youth, Hot topic: Work-Based Learning, 2003 Volume 2

7 The Importance of Employment Secondary school students with disabilities who worked for pay outside the home in the preceding year before exit and/or have participated in a work-study program at school, have an increased chance for employment in their post school years — Changes over time in the Early Postschool Outcomes of Youth with Disabilities: A Report of Findings from the National Longitudinal Transition Study (NLTS) and the NLTS2

8 Postsecondary Education & Employment 26% more likely to exit the VR program with employment earned a 73% higher weekly income Data Set: RSA 911 — Migliore, A. & Butterworth, J., Hart, D. 2009. Postsecondary Education and Employment Outcomes for Youth with Intellectual Disabilities. Fast Facts Series, No. 1. Boston, MA: Institute for Community Inclusion

9 What we know National Council on Disability (NCD) study No data that correlated VR services with employment outcomes for youth with disabilities Data confirmed increased success from participation in postsecondary education —The Rehabilitation Act: Outcomes for Transition Age Youth

10 How does college impact transition? Who gets to go to college? What is done to prepare students for college? What are the outcomes of college? Who can provide support for college?

11 The Postsecondary Education Research Center (PERC) Project The purpose of the PERC Project is to demonstrate and research exemplary practices supporting students with intellectual disabilities ages 18-21 in postsecondary settings 11

12 PERC Goals Conduct site improvement activities Support PERC site to provide statewide technical assistance Collect and synthesize data on the efficacy and outcomes of the model Disseminate findings nationally 12

13 Mixed or Hybrid Model Program Center and Coordinator –Concurrent/Dual Enrollment –Employment –Individualized instruction 13

14 PERC DATA Project 2005-2009 2 States 2 School Systems 4 Programs Sites 30 High Schools 39 students in 2008/2009

15 Preliminary Data MD PERC Site: Employment 90% in paid work (coffee barista, usher, office assistant, file clerk, performing arts center, utility worker, grocery store, retail, child care, hotels, federal government) –Work an average of 20.5 hours per week for average $7.80/hour

16 Preliminary Data CT PERC Site - Employment 60% in paid work ( clothing retail, restaurants, grocery stores, child care, production assistant). –Work an average of 15 hours per week for an average of $8.00/hour

17 College Career Connection 17

18 C 3 Findings Students with ID who had some type of postsecondary education were much more likely to: Obtain competitive employment Require fewer on the job supports Earn higher wages Have higher self-esteem Have expanded social networks

19 What can impact students employment outcomes? Person centered planning Clearly articulated measurable goals Highly skilled and trained staff in JOB DEVELOPMENT!!!

20 Obtaining paid employment for students with intellectual disabilities Requires skill, training, and experience in job development Connections in the community An understanding of employer’s needs An understanding of a student’s skills

21 Work-based Learning Only leads to employment if done with careful planning and monitoring Should be time limited-focus on specific skill development and/or career focus Work with student to determine goals, monitor progress, determine implications for next steps

22 Do you BELIEVE your students can work? Your program goals and staffing will have a greater impact on a student becoming employed than will a student’s skills

23 The Higher Education Opportunity Act Amendments 2008 Allows students with ID, attending postsecondary programs to be eligible for Pell Grants, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants and the Federal Work-Study Program. Authorizes the development of inclusive model comprehensive transition and post-secondary programs. Authorizes the establishment of a coordinating center for the new model programs. Establishes a national center to provide support services and best practices for colleges, students with disabilities, and their families.

24 Center on Postsecondary Education and Students with Intellectual Disabilities Funded through NIDRR 2008-2011 Institute for Community Inclusion, UMASS Boston TransCen, Inc.

25 Center on Postsecondary Education and Students with Intellectual Disabilities Conduct Secondary Analysis of NSLTS2, RSA 911, ACS Conduct national survey of PSE programs for students with ID Compile, create, & disseminate training and technical assistance materials

26 National Consortium to Enhance Postsecondary Education for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities

27 For more information On PERC: For more information on the Center or Consortium visit:

28 Websites

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