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It Pays to Work! Translating Research into Practice to Build Model Employment Transition Sites Kelli Crane TransCen, Inc.

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Presentation on theme: "It Pays to Work! Translating Research into Practice to Build Model Employment Transition Sites Kelli Crane TransCen, Inc."— Presentation transcript:

1 It Pays to Work! Translating Research into Practice to Build Model Employment Transition Sites Kelli Crane TransCen, Inc.

2 activity

3 Presumed Employability  IDEIA  WIA (Rehabilitation Act Amendments)  Ticket to Work

4 What We Know  Paid work experiences while in secondary education is the most compelling predicator of post-school success (Luecking & Fabian, 2001; Test et al., 2009; Carter et al., 2010; Sima, et al. in press)  This finding applies across disabilities, geography, and economic conditions (Gold, Fabian & Luecking, 2013)

5 How do we know this?  Research from the Center on Transition to Employment for Youth with Disabilities and other recent research (Sima, et al., in press; Wehman, et al., in press; Gold, et al., 2013)  National Youth Transition Demonstration project (Fraker, et al., in press)  State System Change Projects

6 Important Implications  Work is both a critical intervention AND expected outcome  A well defined and delivered intervention leads to outcomes

7 Other Important Factors  Youth empowerment  Family support and expectations  Collaboration and service linkages  Address issues of poverty

8 METS provides important guidance on structuring an intervention that leads to employment

9 Model Employment Transition Site (METS)  Project Intent: – Improve systems so that youth with developmental and intellectual disabilities transition from secondary education to fully integrated, competitive work regardless of where they live in the state  5 LEAs are designing and implementing interventions  Project Implementation – Training and TA to select sites to define model and build system to support the intervention – Develop a curriculum and/core competency on work preparation to be implemented in secondary schools

10 Model Training & TA to Implementation Evaluation

11 Four Essential Elements

12 Early Planning and Experiences to Focus Student Career Preferences  A system of intentional activities that: – Assess and build career interests into career preferences beginning no later than age 14. – Activities at each grade level align with previous years’ activities, and – Promote a natural progression to the student being employed after high school.

13 Early and Ongoing Collaboration  Formalized relationships and processes to: – Maximize use of the expertise and perspectives of students, parents, educators, IVRS counselors and others – Plan for and provide individualize services, supports and activities – Lead to a natural progression to the student being employed after high school.

14 Paid Work Experience  Explicit expectations that a student will have a paid work experience while in high school whether through the school or other means.  Systematic way of identifying if students have experienced paid work and ensuring that they do.  If paid work is not available, the student has a work experience in student’s preferred career area.

15 Support and Follow-up Needed to Stabilize Employment  The system has established processes to provide supports needed for student to have stable employment.  Including connections to provide needed support to obtain and maintain employment after high school.

16 Project Outcomes  Increased integrated employment for transition-age youth!  Developed and implemented a summer work experience program  Expanded employer networks  Developed a work experience curricula  Established and/or strengthened collaboration among various partners

17 It Starts with You! We need to reframe how we perceive our students.


19 Phase of Job Development ExplorationPreparationEmployment Awareness of the World Awareness of Self

20 Interest Exposure ACTION Motivation

21 Set the tone for what is possible

22 Help Wanted Company looking for individual with developmental disabilities, autism and history of aggressive behaviors. Extensive history of hospitalization preferred. Drug problems, poor social skills and delusional behaviors OK. Supportive co-workers and movie day on Fridays. Call for an application.

23 A Skills NOT Deficits Approach  Reframe our perceptions of students with disabilities  Focus on preferences and what a person can do, not what they can’t  Shifts emphasis to adding value, not what needs to be fixed  Able to target employment settings where job seeker’s unique characteristics and skills will be assets- where they will fit in and make friends

24 activity Deficits to Strengths

25 Stacy’s File  Lazy  Non-verbal  No work experiences  Irresponsible  Can’t read  Bad attitude

26 What We Said…  Organized  Creative with a good sense of fashion  Great with kids  Responsible (runs a household!)  Likes to improve her surroundings  Likes clean, organized environments  Values doing the right thing  Good multi-tasker

27 activity Features to Benefits

28 28 Successful Employment  A two way street  Mutually beneficial relationship  It is about adding value, NOT charity!

29 They Are Who They Are  Reframe perceptions of students  Start working with what they have to offer and their interests  Focus on the skills not deficits  Expose students to a wide variety of employment settings  Prepare them with work

30 So What…  “Work” as an intervention not just an outcome – Create opportunity for successful work experiences—early & often  Establish an expectation for work for all youth – Influence youth and families expectations for themselves  Deliver a well-defined intervention/Define the flow of services for youth – Important factors: Youth empowerment, family engagement, system linkages

31 So What…  Systematize commitment to employment through collaboration among schools, VR and CPRs (and families) – Share good information – Develop a portfolio on skills and experiences to share with service provider/potential employers  Use/prioritize funding to train staff – Ensure knowledge of marketing/employer outreach, job development, and placement – Provide job development staff with training, and the time and flexibility to commit to job development activities

32 Bottom Line  REAL EMPLOYMENT as a consistent option on the table when planning

33 Top 10 Tips as you plan for the natural progression to integrated, competitive employment

34 #10… Don’t get lost in the confusion over competing priorities.

35 #9… Remember to keep your head on straight.

36 #8…Recognize when you need to make a change.

37 #7... Make your needs known.

38 #6…Don’t let your egos get in the way of the task at hand.

39 #5…Try out a new perspective.

40 #4…Be prepared for known and unknown hazards.

41 #3... Don’t be afraid of the challenges that lie ahead.

42 #2... Don’t let any constraints deter you.

43 #1…Keep Your Eyes on the Prize!

44 It Pays to Work!

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