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Creative Options for Using Virtual Training to Spur Career Development

By Laura Owens, Ph.D., CESP The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to change the ways we support students with disabilities in exploring careers and building skills. Students have been forced to navigate learning virtually, educators have been asked to learn new technology quickly, and employment service providers must provide services without the benefit of onsite…

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Inclusive Employer and Employee Panel

The unemployment rate for individuals with disabilities continues to remain around 80%. As many organizations, advocates and employment specialists work to change this percentage, another big advocate needed to change this statistic are businesses. There are many employers that have hired individuals with disabilities and we need their support in making sure ALL businesses hire…

Things to Consider When Developing Equitable Employment Programs
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Things to Consider When Developing Equitable Employment Programs

Below are three questions I ask myself when developing or working on any employment program for youth with disabilities:  Who are we missing at the table? Am I developing this program through a lens of privilege? Would I advise a family member or friend to participate in this program? Opportunity is something that is often…

A Way to Get There: Addressing Transportation in Rural Areas
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A Way to Get There: Addressing Transportation in Rural Areas

Transportation touches on every aspect of our lives – from attending school, career training, attending community activities and religious services, shopping and banking, obtaining medical care, and engaging in employment. Transportation is essential across the lifespan yet is a service that many people with disabilities are unable to access, particularly in rural areas. As transportation…

Utah School to Work Project: Working with Youth            with Significant Disabilities
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Utah School to Work Project: Working with Youth with Significant Disabilities

Utah School to Work Project has developed eight (8) project demonstration sites, where multi-agency partners work together as a team to coordinate employment services for transition age youth with significant disabilities, who will benefit from a customized approach to employment in pursuing competitive, community integrated employment. These transition teams are made up of multiple community…

Want to Engage Families Better? Just Listen.
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Want to Engage Families Better? Just Listen.

“I know I should be thinking about the future, but frankly the prospect of her being employed scares me. She’s very vulnerable. You’ll have to be patient with me and give me information I can understand so I can become comfortable with the idea.” – Jane*, a mother during a parent interview The effective engagement…

Devon’s Story of Employment – “I love my job!”
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Devon’s Story of Employment – “I love my job!”

I love my job.  I started working at Universal Cells (UCells), an Astellas Pharma company located in Seattle, Washington, in February 2018 as an Office Lab Assistant.  There have been lots of ups and downs with growing pains as the company has expanded. The changes with the COVID restrictions have been challenging. UCells is a…

People with disabilities want Careers… just like everyone else!
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People with disabilities want Careers… just like everyone else!

Tia with Dee Muller Katovitch, one of her professors at Syracuse University. Career development is very important to me because I believe that people with disabilities should have the same opportunities as everyone else. If given a chance, people with disabilities can have careers. Right now, there are people with disabilities working in careers. They…

Kentucky Pilots Focus On Employment for Students with Significant Disabilities
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Kentucky Pilots Focus On Employment for Students with Significant Disabilities

On March 27, 2020, Kentucky’s Partnerships in Employment (PIE) project KentuckyWorks conducted an online seminar titled Supporting Students with Significant Disabilities in Finding Competitive Employment. The seminar highlighted the local level impact of a pilot initiative supported by the YES! Center.  It has been well documented that competitive employment outcomes for students and adults with significant disabilities (defined by…

KentuckyWorks Seamless Transition Pilots
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KentuckyWorks Seamless Transition Pilots

Employment outcomes for students with disabilities lag behind their non-disabled peers. For students with significant disabilities, employment opportunities and outcomes are even worse. Two University of Kentucky led projects at the Human Development Institute (HDI) – KentuckyWorks and the Community Work Transition Program (CWTP) – with technical assistance support from the YES! Center, are partnering to pilot an approach in two Kentucky…