Having the opportunity to get and keep a job is an important part of life for us all. Youth and young adults with disabilities may benefit from services and supports to overcome barriers. This section of our website provides resources including agency information, services, and supports to facilitate youth employment.
Click on the agencies’ names listed below to learn about their services, supports or resources that facilitate youth employment.
Connecting with the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (See Also: )
Obtaining and Maintaining Successful Employment: A Young Adult Perspective (Webinar) (See Also: )
From IEP to IPE: Crossing the Bridge
Skills and Strategies
- Complete chores at home
- Explore and discuss what you want to do in the future (dreams)
- Demonstrate the ability to make choices/ develop decision making strategies
- Follow directions/finish what you start
Skills and Strategies
- Describe employability skills
- Explore Career and Technical Education Program options
- Begin developing career portfolio – including copies of required identification
- Engage in community service/volunteering
Skills and Strategies
- Continue career exploration – participate in job shadowing
- Continue development of career portfolio- include copies of assessment, work samples, etc.
- Begin to set post high school goals
- Evaluate future financial needs and how these relate to career choices
- Begin linking information to your Summary of Performance
Skills and Strategies
- Continue career exploration – situational assessments
- Continue development of career portfolio- include resume development,
- Identify and explore all sources of potential employment
- Understand/state what it is that you can “bring” to an employer
- Understand private/government resources for employment
Skills and Strategies
- Continue development of career portfolio- include updates to all documents
- Begin narrowing job selection from just “a job to make money” vs. “a job that interests you”
- State and know how to acquire the accommodations and supports needed for employment
- Discuss what additional training/ skills are needed to continue or enhance employment
- Engage in competitive employment
Skills and Strategies
- Develop skills for employment/ volunteer position sustainability
- Master employability skills
- Acquire the accommodations and supports needed for employment
- Make use of private/government resources for employment
- Exploring Careers: Information for Parents of Students With Disabilities
- This document provides information regarding career awareness, exploration, and development.
- PYLN Secondary Transition Toolkit 2012
- The Pennsylvania Youth Leadership Network (PYLN) has created secondary transition toolkit to assist youth in their transition into the adult world. The best thing about the toolkit is that it was written and designed by youth with disabilities who are members of the Pennsylvania Youth Leadership Network (PYLN) for youth. It can also be used with families and professionals as a youth-friendly Toolkit for transition.
- Autism Transition Handbook 1-Pager
- The flyer explains that the goal of the Autism Transition Handbook is to establish a community of practice that supports individuals with autism spectrum disorders and their families with access to the most current and comprehensive information on transition services in Pennsylvania. (Also see Autism Transition Handbook Website)
- Office of Vocational Rehabilitation
- The Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, or OVR, provides vocational rehabilitation services to help persons with disabilities prepare for, obtain, or maintain employment. This document provides guidance on how to begin establishing a relationship with OVR.
- CareerOneStop Videos
- Videos showing the types of work people do in nearly 550 careers, including videos for the 16 career clusters recognized by the Department of Education. These videos are captioned.
- Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry:Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR)
- The mission of OVR is to assist Pennsylvanians with disabilities to obtain and keep a job. OVR is an eligibility-based program. Services are provided by vocational rehabilitation counselors in 21 local district offices across the state.
- Employment Kit for Individuals with Autism
- This kit provides tools and tips while looking for a job. As an adult on the autism spectrum, you have strengths and abilities that employers are just beginning to understand. Therefore, this toolkit is a guide to help you research, find and keep employment in the current, competitive labor market.
- Transition Skills Guidelines for Youth and Young Adults who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
- This resources from Gallaudet University's Laurent Clerc Center National Deaf Education Center provides K-12 Guidelines regarding transition related skills for youth and young adults who are deaf/hard of hearing.
- Obtaining and Maintaining Successful Employment: A Young Adult Perspective
- This PowerPoint was presented at the 2013 PA Community of Practice On Transition. Session 404 on Thursday, July 25, 2013. It outlines suggestions for successful employment from a young adult perspective.
- From IEP to IPE: Crossing the Bridge
- This panel presentation including a young adult, will help young adults with disabilities and their families understand the differences between the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) that is used in school and the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) that young adults with a disability develops with the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) as they transition from high school to employment. Learn the INs and OUTs of working with OVR, including the supports provided by the Client Assistance Program (CAP) on how to self advocate in IPE development and throughout the OVR process. As part of the presentation, the presenters will follow a young girl named "Penny" as she transitions from high school graduation to adult life.
- Obtaining and Maintaining Successful Employment: A Young Adult Perspective (Webinar)
- In this webinar session, young adults with varying disabilities will discuss how they have obtained and maintained employment. This presentation will provide strategies and resources that youth, families, and professionals can utilize to actively engage in the transition process from school to real work for real pay.
- Labor Laws (Effective Practices)
- Community-based vocational training and work experiences provide youth and young adults with a solid foundation for lifelong employment success. In order to implement and maintain employment-based programs it is important for educators, agency staff, and service providers to have an understanding of the relevant state and federal labor laws related to employment. This session will present information regarding the current labor laws and will provide resources to assist in developing and maintaining a work based learning program.
- Autism Transition Handbook Website
- The goal of the Autism Transition Handbook Website (wiki) is to assist individuals with autism spectrum disorders and their families by providing access to the most current and comprehensive information on the transition to adulthood.
- Choosing a Job - A First Step to Success
- Choosing a job is one of the most difficult things you will do in your lifetime. This booklet developed by the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) will help you decide on the right job for you.
- Pennsylvania Work Incentives Planning Assistance
- Most people don’t know that when a person qualifies for disability related benefits from the Social Security Administration (Social Security) such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), it does not mean they cannot work. For transition aged youth, Social Security offers specific work incentives that might help them while in high school or college. This document provides information regarding work incentive counseling that is available in Pennsylvania for transition age youth.
- Helen Keller National Center
- The Helen Keller National Center provides information for youth and young adults who are deaf-blind. Information about training for employment and independent living is available, along with general information about deaf-blindness.
- Hiram G. Andrews Center: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services
- The Hiram G. Andrews Center provides a comprehensive program of services featuring the integration of education on campus at the Commonwealth Technical Institute, counseling, evaluation and physical restoration in a barrier-free environment. The Deaf/Hard of Hearing Services unit, under the direction of a vocational rehabilitation manager, includes a Rehabilitation Counselor for the Deaf and certified interpreters.
- Map It! What Comes Next (for students who are deaf or hard of hearing)
- This is a free, online, interactive training designed for transition-aged students who are deaf or hard of hearing. The training utilizes three questions: 1. Who Am I?, 2. What Do I Want?, 3. How Do I Get There? Video vignettes signed in ASL with spoken English and written transcription, self assessments, and a series of interactive questions guide students as they identify their goals and develop strategies to achieve them.
- Getting Hired
- This is a site for job seekers and employers with career tools including career assessment, job recommendations and interview training with captioned videos.
- Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, PA Department of Labor and Industry (website)
- Office for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing
- The Office for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing (ODHH) is an office within the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry that serves all 67 counties. ODHH is your first stop on the path to learn about anything and everything related to hearing loss, such as services, technology, sign language interpreters, or laws that require equal access for people who are deaf, deaf-blind or hard of hearing.
- Overview of Labor Laws and Employment Related Issues PowerPoint
- This PowerPoint accompanied the March 9, 2016 webinar regarding an Overview of Labor Laws in Pennsylvania
- Child Labor Law Abstract
- This document is an abstract of the child labor act hours provisions in Pennsylvania
- April 27, 2016 COP Transition Webinar Assistive Technology for Youth with Complex Needs
- This PowerPoint accompanied the April 27, 2016 Transition COP webinar regarding Assistive Technology for Youth with Complex Needs. Assistive Technology (AT) is an essential component of success for transition-age students with complex needs. Students who have the opportunity to experience and use a variety of tools in school for such tasks as communication, organization, navigation, and recall are more likely to transition successfully to adult life. This session will provide participants with a fresh perspective on the role of AT in transition as well as provide guiding questions and suggestions for addressing AT during multiple points throughout IEP development.
- Supports and Resources Provided Through the Center for Workforce Information & Analysis
- Recorded at the 2016 PA Community on Transition Conference, this session addresses resources and supports provided by the PA Center for Workforce Information and Analysis including: Occupational Data Sets, High Priority Occupations, PA Career Guides and Pennsylvania’s Job Gateway system. Included in this interactive session is a description and demonstration on the basics of Job Gateway including: how to set up a profile in Job Gateway, how to create or upload a resume, how to search for and apply for jobs, and how to use the system to locate employers, or suitable internship or apprenticeship opportunities.
- Customized Employment: Family 1-Pager Guide
- Customized employment is a flexible process designed to personalize the employment relationship between a job candidate and an employer in a way that meets the needs of both. This family friendly 1-pager guide describes customized employment.
- Job Skills: Family 1-Pager Guide
- Learning and practicing job skills while youth are still in schools helps youth with disabilities to be more successful at finding and maintaining employment. This family friendly 1-page guide describes skills for youth that lead to success in the workplace.
- Preparing for Employment: Family 1-Pager Guide
- When family members have high academic and employment expectations for their children with disabilities, the youth experience greater success in those critical areas. This family friendly 1-page guide addresses considerations for youth employability and the importance of work for youth with disabilities.
- The Importance of Employment_Family 1-Pager Guide
- This family friendly 1-page guide provides family members with discussion topics to review with their youth specific to the importance of employment.