Helping Students with Cognitive Disabilities Find and Keep a Job (page 6)
This Technical Assistance Guide is written for those involved in helping students with cognitive disabilities or autism find and keep a job. This includes parents, family members, teachers, transition specialists, job development specialists, employers, and others. This guide talks about the processes involved in finding and keeping employment; it is not intended as a guide to the laws and policies associated with transition planning. The guide comes with an audiotape called A Student's Guide to Jobs. A booklet for students is available separately.
On the audiotape you will hear the stories of several young people with cognitive disabilities, with autism, or with multiple disabilities. You will also hear from their parents and their employers. They will talk about the challenges these young people are facing on the job and the successes they have had. NICHCY hopes that you'll find their stories interesting, enlightening, and useful as you become more involved in helping young adults with cognitive disabilities look for jobs and succeed in the world of work.
This Technical Assistance Guide will help you:
- learn more about employment for individuals with mental retardation, with autism, or with multiple disabilities;
- understand who may be involved in helping the young person find and keep a job and how they are involved;
- develop an awareness of the job accommodations helpful to people with cognitive disabilities with autism, or with multiple disabilities;
- learn how you can support the young person in his or her job search and retention; and
- find helpful resources at the national, state, and local levels
"I think parents need to be optimistic with regard to what their kids can contribute to the business environment. There is such a demand for good workers that you can take a child who has a disability, who is willing to work, and his willingness to work in the long run will outweigh the disability to the employer, when you find the right employer."
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
Having a job can be exciting, fun, hard work, scary, and full of new skills to learn and master. This is as true for young people with cognitive disabilities as it is for those with other disabilities or no disabilities at all. In the past, many people with disabilities didn't have jobs. This was especially true for people with cognitive disabilities and those with autism. Today, fortunately, the employment prospects for such individuals are changing (President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, 1997). Young people with these disabilities are learning important skills in school and on the job. These skills are proving useful to employers, and so are the other talents that people with disabilities bring to the workplace.
How do typical young people become employed? Most look in the help wanted ads or find out about job openings from friends or relatives. They may go to an interview, give their resume to the prospective employer, and, if all goes well and they have the skills necessary, they get the job.
Youth with disabilities sometimes follow this path, but more often they need help in finding a job. The amount of help they need will depend on a number of factors, including:
- the job market at the time;
- what type of job they're interested in,
- how much training the job requires,
- how much training they themselves have, and
- what type of disability they have.
For youth with cognitive limitations, special employment challenges exist, so they are likely to need extensive support in finding and keeping a job.
What kinds of jobs are out there for these young people? The section below takes a look at the types of employment opportunities available for young men and women with significant disabilities such as a cognitive disability or autism. These include: competitive employment, supported employment, and segregated employment.
Competitive employment means a full-time or part-time job with competitive wages and responsibilities. Typically, competitive employment means that no long-term support is provided to the employee to help him or her learn the job or continue to perform the job. This lack of ongoing or long-term support is one aspect that distinguishes competitive employment from both supported employment and segregated employment (described below).
All sorts of jobs are considered competitive employment -- waiting on tables, cutting grass, fixing cars, and being a teacher, secretary, factory worker, file clerk, or computer programmer. The amount of education or training a person needs will vary depending on the type of job.
In supported employment, individuals with significant disabilities typically work in competitive jobs alongside and with individuals who do not have disabilities. One of the characteristics of supported employment is that the person receives ongoing support services while on the job. This support is often provided by a job coach who helps the person learn to do the job and understand the rules, conventions, and expectations of the job site. The support continues to be provided as long as the person holds the job, although the amount of support may be reduced over time as the person becomes able to do the job more independently (Association for Persons in Supported Employment, 1996; President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, 1993).
Supported employment offers individuals with significant disabilities -- such as the young people featured on the audiotape that accompanies this guide -- the chance to earn wages in jobs where they work alongside their peers who do not have disabilities.
As the Association for Persons in Supported Employment (1996) observes, "Supported employment focuses on a person's abilities and provides the supports the individual needs to be successful on a long-term basis" (p. 1). To maximize the chances for success, it's important that the job and the work environment be a good match to the "known interests, skills, and support needs of the person with a disability" (PACER Center, 1998).
In segregated employment, individuals with disabilities work in a self-contained unit and are not integrated with workers without disabilities. This type of employment is generally supported by federal and/or state funds. The type of training that workers receive varies from program to program, as does the type of work they do. Some typical tasks include sewing, packaging, or collating.
In the past, segregated employment was thought to be the only option available for individuals with significant cognitive disabilities such as a cognitive disability or autism. Now it is clear that individuals with such disabilities can work in community settings when provided with adequate support. Nonetheless, segregated employment continues to be an option for many workers with cognitive disabilities.
"Imagine if you were sitting in a room, and you had just a couple of other people helping you think about what you were good at, and you say, the sky's the limit."
Learning for a Lifetime; Postsecondary Technical Training Options for Students with Disabilities
University of Oregon
Any number of individuals can be involved in helping the young person find and keep a job. But the most important person to be involved is the young person!
The young man or woman must be at the center of all employment considerations. He or she is the one who is going to be doing the job. Many people may give support, may supervise or provide training to the young person, and may invest their heart and soul in seeing that the young person succeeds, but the bottom line is that this is the young person's job.
Given that, it's important to consider what the person is interested in. What is he or she good at? What are his or her support needs? What type of a work environment does the person prefer? These questions need to be answered when others are involved in helping the youth find a job that's satisfying or, at the very least, is a learning experience upon which to build future opportunities. Roz Slovic, who is featured on the tape accompanying this guide, suggests a powerful process, Person-Centered Planning, for focusing upon the student's abilities, preferences, and goals. This Technical Assistance Guide also provides a list of selected transition planning resources that the transition team -- students, parents, transition specialists, teachers, and others -- can use to help identify the student's job interests and preferences (see "Resources" at the end of this publication).
In addition to the student, who is likely to be involved in the student's job search and eventual employment? Depending upon the age of the young person and whether he or she is still in school, some or all of the following individuals may be involved:
- the parents or guardians;
- a transition specialist at the school;
- a job development specialist or a vocational rehabilitation counselor;
- friends or people from the community who know the young person; and eventually
- the employer.
Parents (or guardians) have long been particularly effective participants in their sons and daughters' employment. As the Technical Assistance on Transition and the Rehabilitation Act (TATRA) Project, states: "Studies demonstrate that family members play crucial roles not only in career preparation, but in actual job search efforts. The kind of support families often provide are:
- ideas about the type of work an individual likes and is able to do,
- suggestions about where to look for a job, and
- assistance with transportation." (TATRA Project, 1996, p. 5)
Transition specialists may become involved through the public school system when the student reaches the age where transition planning begins. This specialist helps the student by way of a variety of activities, such as:
- working with the student to identify preferences and goals;
- setting up opportunities for the student (or a group of students) to learn about different careers through such activities as watching movies about careers, job shadowing, visiting different job environments, and hands-on activities that allow the student(s) to try out a job or aspects of a job;
- looking at what skills the student presently has and what skills he or she will need in the adult world;
- recommending coursework that the student should take throughout the remainder of high school to prepare for adult living (recreation, employment, postsecondary education, independent living);
- identifying what job supports the student needs;
- helping the student assemble a portfolio of job experiences, resumes, work recommendations, and the like; and
- making connections with the adult service system.
Rehabilitation counselors and job development specialists can be involved in a student's transition planning while the student is still in school. The rehabilitation counselor typically works for the state's vocational rehabilitation (VR) agency, helping people with disabilities prepare for and find employment. For students who are eligible for VR, a wide variety of services are available, including: evaluation of the person's interests, capabilities, and limitations; job training; transportation; aids and devices; job placement; and job follow-up.
A job development specialist usually works for a school system or an adult service provider agency such as the vocational rehabilitation agency. As the job title suggests, the chief activity of such a specialist is finding jobs for people with disabilities. Supported employment makes great use of job development specialists. The job development specialist will usually approach an employer to see what positions may be available that match the prospective employee's abilities and preferences. The job developer may offer the employer specific services, including:
- placing the person on the job;
- training the employee on job tasks and appropriate workplace behavior (this is usually done by a job coach, who works intensively with the individual);
- talking with supervisor(s) and coworkers about disability awareness;
- providing long-term support to the employee on the job; and
- helping to promote interaction between the employee and his or her co-workers (PACER Center, 1998).
The key participant in the employment quest of the person with a disability is, of course, the employer. In the past, many businesses and organizations have been reluctant to hire people with disabilities, but in today's marketplace, a great many employers are now discovering the benefits of doing so. Several employers speak revealingly on the audiotape as to the rewards of working with young people with disabilities, but none more plainly than Sandy Wilson, the manager at Blockbuster, who says, "Every time I come into work...when we have a lot of returns, I keep saying, please let Rob work, please let Rob work...." Rob's employment is an excellent example of the success that can occur when the demands of the job and the work environment are well matched to the student's strengths and skills.
"We have people go out and walk around in a four-square block area and write down everything people could possibly do...and we came up with these little city' things, painting the curbs, painting the fire hydrant...and then we went to public works and created a job that afternoon for a guy."
Director of Training
Suggestions for the Job Search
So how do young people with cognitive disabilities such as a cognitive disability or autism find a job that matches their interests and skills? This section looks briefly at strategies for the "job search," including ways that parents and others can support the youth in this very important step in the employment process.
Planning for Transition
When students leave high school, they move into the adult world. For students with disabilities, planning for this transition from school to adult life is a formal process, part of their Individualized Education Program (IEP). The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires it. (For more information on what the law requires, contact NICHCY and ask for Transition Services in the IEP. For more information on how to assemble a team that utilizes as many community resources as possible and that fosters collaboration among agencies, ask for Transition Planning: A Team Effort.)
The requirements of IDEA mean that students, parents, and other involved individuals have the opportunity to plan ahead and prepare. Here are some activities that will help students get ready for the world of work that comes during and after high school. Please note that, while we focus here upon preparing for and pursuing employment, there are other, very important areas in transition planning upon which the student may need to focus as well, such as: determining residential options, identifying educational opportunities, and establishing connections within the community.
Early in high school or even in middle school. With the support and involvement of the student's family and transition team, each student should:
- learn more about the wide variety of careers that exist;
- meet with a school counselor to talk about interests and capabilities;
- take part in vocational assessment activities;
- identify training needs and options;
- pick a few careers of interest; and
- find out more about those careers.
While in high school. High school is an important time in terms of preparing the student for the future. With the support and involvement of the family and transition team, each student should:
- make sure that the IEP includes transition plans;
- identify and take high school classes, including vocational programs, that relate to the careers of interest;
- become involved in early work experiences and those emphasizing work-based learning, such as observing people working in a particular job (called job shadowing), volunteering, trying out a job for several hours or days, having an internship, and having a summer job;
- learn more about school-to-work programs in the community, which offer opportunities for training and employment through youth apprenticeships, cooperative education, tech-prep, mentorships, independent study, and internships;
- identify transportation options (i.e., how the young person will get to and from the job) and whether he or she will need travel training in order to use public transportation safely and independently;
- re-assess interests and capabilities, based on real-world experiences, and re-define goals as necessary;
- identify gaps in knowledge or skills that need to be addressed;
- learn the basics of the interview process and practice being interviewed;
- learn to speak about their disability and to describe accommodations that are necessary or helpful; and
- contact the vocational rehabilitation (VR) agency and/or the Social Security Administration at age 18 or in the last year of school to determine eligibility for services or benefits.
Casting the Job Net Wide
"Jobs, jobs, jobs." Where is the right one for the young person with a cognitive disability such as a cognitive disability or autism? Where is that elusive job matching his or her talents, skills, and interests?
This is a question that young people must answer for themselves. Each young person has to look, experiment, and have many job experiences. The parents, family, transition specialist, job specialist, and others provide support and encouragement, hard work and worry, and oftentimes the creative energy needed to connect the youth with the world of work. Sometimes the young person finds a job early on, through his or her early work experiences or personal network of friends and relatives. Other times the net has to be cast wide, or cast again and again, until the job, the employer, and the young person fit one another.
Here are some suggestions for casting the job net, in no particular order of priority. Many are drawn from the Job Accommodation Network's (n.d.) Employment Tips. Any one of these suggestions may work. All of them are worth trying. Families, transition specialists, and others involved in helping the student need to:
- Talk to everybody! Neighbors, relatives, co-workers, teachers, clergy, and local businesses all have information on jobs. When you go into a store, look around at what employees are doing there and think about how the young person might fit in or contribute.
- Look within the community. As Cary Griffin suggests on the audiotape, pull out your checkbook and look at the last 20 checks you wrote. That's where the market is.
- Work with the VR agency in your area to select an adult service provider who will help identify jobs and obtain training for the young person.
- Contact the employment commission within your state. This agency may go by various names, depending on where you live, including: Employment Security, Job Service, or Workforce Incentive. This number is usually found under the Government listings in the telephone directory.
- Look in the help wanted section of the newspaper. This may seem incredibly obvious, but you'd be surprised how often it's overlooked as a resource.
- Be direct and go from one employer to another. Fill out an application form and leave it with the employer.
- If the student is studying at a community college or vocational school, take advantage of the job placement office.
- Look in the public library or City Hall. Bulletin boards often list job openings.
- Call your local Independent Living Center (ILC), if you have one. They often have leads on jobs or job clubs for individuals with disabilities. (To find out if there is an ILC in your area, contact the Independent Living Research Utilization Project, listed under "Organizations" in this guide.)
- Get in touch with local advocacy, support, and disability groups. They may provide help or leads to jobs.
- Use the Internet to look for job listings.
- Remember that volunteering and internships can sometimes lead to paid employment. Certainly, the experience is good to list on a resume.
- Be creative and resourceful. It's possible to convince an employer to create a new job, as Cary Griffin on the tape did, or to modify an existing job so that the young person can do a piece of it.
These are just a few ideas for how to approach the challenge of the job search. Jobs are out there, but you've got to look!
"If there's a problem with job performance, we'll approach [our workers with disabilities] the way we would approach any other employee, except maybe we'll be a little more clear, a little more gentle explaining..."
Don Beyer Volvo
Suggestions for Employers
The scope of this guide does not allow us to go deeply into many issues that an employer needs to consider when hiring a person with a disability, but there are many resources written exclusively for employers and supervisors. We've listed a few in the resource section of this guide (see "Employer Materials" at the end of this publication). Briefly, though, here are some basic suggestions employers, particularly direct supervisors, may find helpful when they work with young people with a cognitive disability, autism, or multiple disabilities. These are drawn from the National Transition Alliance's Employer Toolkit (Thuli & Hong, 1998):
- Get to know the young person. Ask about career goals, preferences, and skills.
- Learn more about the person's abilities. Knowing what the person can do well can lead to all kinds of benefits to the company and to the person.
- Learn more about the disability. For example, the person may have a cognitive disability. Find out more about how a cognitive disability affects learning and remembering. Information may come from a number of sources, including the school, the job coach or transition specialist, the young person's parents, the young person, or some of the national information sources we've listed in the resource section of this guide. Knowing more about the specific disability will help you be more comfortable with the individual and will increase your knowledge of supports available to you and your new employee. (Be aware that, if you are interviewing the young person as a candidate for a job, the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits asking if he or she has a disability. After a job offer has been made, employers may discuss with the individual what accommodations would be helpful on the job.)
- Help the "rookie" understand the workplace culture. Each workplace has its own set of rules, conventions, and expectations that are not obvious, particularly to a person with a cognitive disability or autism. He or she will need the employer's guidance in understanding rules and policies.
- Introduce the young person to co-workers and support co-workers with information and training about disability awareness. When new co-workers enter the workplace, they will need this support as well. (The same is true if the young person's supervisor changes. The new supervisor will need information about the young person, his or her abilities and disabilities, and any special arrangements or procedures that have been set up to support the youth in the job.)
- Be clear with directions and instructions. Be concrete. Be patient. If the young adult is having trouble understanding or remembering what he or she is supposed to do, talk with the job coach (or transition specialist or parents) about providing needed support or additional training.
- Provide written information about the job (e.g., specific duties, supervisor, schedule) and on any schedule changes, vacation dates, and information on company benefits and policies. This will give the young person something to refer to if he or she cannot remember what was shared verbally and will allow others (such as the family or the job coach) to provide assistance as needed.
- If questions or concerns arise, discuss them with the employee directly, if appropriate, with the agency that connected this individual with you, or with the family. Everyone wants this job to be successful. They may have insights, suggestions, or contacts that can be of assistance.
- Make reasonable accommodations, as appropriate to the young person's needs. These are discussed more fully below, because for many individuals with cognitive disabilities, accommodations can be a key to success on the job.
"The chefs themselves would take special time to demonstrate rather than have [Christian] read certain assignments, and then he'd have examinations where they'd read the questions to him verbally. And he did very well. He passed like any other student and got his two-year certificate in food prep, and started his job search."
As any parent of a child with mental retardation or with autism knows, providing the right support to the individual is very important in helping the person learn and achieve. People with these disabilities typically:
- learn more slowly than others,
- need things to be very concrete and hands-on,
- often have trouble with social skills,
- like a routine and may have trouble adjusting if the routine is changed,
- often don't see the consequences of actions they might take, and
- may have trouble solving problems that arise.
These aspects of a cognitive disability and autism can, and do, cause problems in the workplace. Because these young adults are entering a new world, and because they come to that new world with special needs, it is very helpful when employers understand the nature of their disability, as well as what types of accommodations can be made. Typical accommodations include:
- modifying the work schedule -- for example, allowing the worker to work fewer hours or take extra breaks, or giving him or her the same shift each day so that he or she can access public transportation;
- altering how or when a job function is performed;
- making the workplace accessible -- for example, putting in ramps or lowering desks for individuals who use wheelchairs;
- acquiring or modifying equipment or devices -- for example, a telecommunications device for the deaf or a low-vision reader for someone with a visual impairment; and
- adjusting or modifying pre-employment test formats, training materials, or policies.
Not all of these accommodations will be appropriate to every worker with mental retardation or with autism. It's important to decide which accommodations a person really needs. Employers can receive expert help in identifying and making accommodations from the President's Committee's Job Accommodation Network (JAN). JAN is listed in the resource section of this guide under "Organizations" (see below). According to the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, the number one request for reasonable accommodations by persons with disabilities is to have their employer and co-workers educated about their disability (Thuli & Hong, 1998).
Many employers are worried that making accommodations will be costly. The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) reports that the majority (51%) of job accommodations cost between $1 and $500, with the average cost being $200. Furthermore, "for every dollar an employer spends on a disability-related job accommodation, the company saves $34 (e.g., workers compensation and other insurance savings, training of new employees, increased productivity)" (President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, 1997, p. 3).
Providing Natural Support
Just because individuals with disabilities are at work doesn't mean they are actually included in the culture there (Hagner, 1992). When support services are provided by an agency or individual external to the work site, other workers may get the impression that the employee with the disability is not really part of their workforce and needs some sort of professional assistance to function in their environment. When support can be provided naturally by internal supervisors or co-workers, then the worker with the disability is seen as a co-worker who simply needs some level of assistance.
The natural supports that exist in the workplace (and in schools and in the community) can be powerful tools for training and including people with disabilities on the job. Natural supports are the very tools for learning and socializing available to most people when they enter a new job -- instruction by a supervisor or mentor, guidance from a co-worker, friendly exchanges in the lunchroom, feedback from a colleague on job performance. On the tape, Jim Schoeller, Christian's father, described how such natural support -- the assistance provided by the chefs -- helped his son learn the basics of food preparation. Yet such support is often not provided to people with cognitive disabilities when they enter a job. Rather, a job coach may be their source of learning.
Using natural supports is becoming an important approach in successful employment for people with significant disabilities. (Several books and articles on natural supports are listed in the resources section of this guide.) Building upon what exists naturally in the workplace holds promise for long-term job retention. Among other things, those supports are within the workplace and therefore are readily and consistently available to the worker.
"One of the things that so important to emphasize is providing opportunities for people to dream, kids and families, and to build on their dreams. What is it that you want? What is it that you want for your son or daughter? Let's think about some of the ways we can help you to get there. Let's talk about what you're good at, let's talk about the kinds of things that work for you. Let's develop some action plans, some strategies to build on your dreams. [But] let's start off with saying, What's your dream?"
Learning for a Lifetime; Postsecondary Technical Training Options for Students with Disabilities
University of Oregon
Having a significant cognitive disability such as a cognitive disability or autism presents special challenges to the young person looking for employment. These are challenges that can be addressed. With job supports provided traditionally by a job coach and with natural supports provided by co-workers and supervisors, young people with these disabilities all across the United States are using their skills and talents in the workplace. You have heard from just a few of them on the Student's Guide to Jobs tape and have seen how others have contributed to their success.
NICHCY hopes that this guide, and its accompanying tape, will help you assist your special young person in walking into this new and exciting chapter of life. Good luck!
Association for Persons in Supported Employment. (1996). What is supported employment? Richmond, VA: Author.
Hagner, D.C (1992). The social interactions and job supports of supported employees. In J. Nisbet (Ed.), Natural supports in school, at work, and in the community for people with severe disabilities (pp. 217-239). Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.
Job Accommodation Network. (n.d.). Employment tips [On-line]. Available: www.jan.wvu.edu/media/index.htm
PACER Center. (1998, February 5). Supported employment: An introduction. Minneapolis, MN: Author.
President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities. (1993). Supported employment. Washington, DC: Author.
President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities. (1997, July). Basic facts. Washington, DC: Author.
TATRA Project. (1996, Fall). Family network is important in job success of people with disabilities. Point of Departure, 2(2), 5.
Thuli, K.J., & Hong, E. (1998). Employer toolkit. Washington, DC: National Transition Alliance for Youth with Disabilities, Academy for Educational Development. (Available on-line at: http://ici.umn.edu/ncset/publications/nta/default.html)
Obtaining the Resources that Interest YouTo help you obtain the resources that interest you, we've listed the addresses and telephone numbers of publishers at the end of this guide. The publisher's name generally appears in the final position in the citation. To illustrate, the publisher's name appears in bold in the example below.
Callahan, M.J., & Garner, J.B. (1997). Keys to the workplace: Skills and supports for people with disabilities. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.
If you see the word "Author" in that final position instead of a publisher's name, the publishers and the author are one and the same. Look at the author's name (it will be the very first thing listed in the citation), find this name in the listing of publishers at the end of this guide, and use the contact information provided.
Self-determination and Self-advocacy
Abery, B., Eggebeen, A., Rudrud, L., Arndt, K., Tetu, L., Barosko, J., Hinga, A., McBride, M., Greger, P., & Peterson, K. (1994). Self-determination for youth with disabilities: A family education curriculum. Minneapolis, MN: Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota.
Advocating Change Together, Inc. (1998). Tools for change [a series of modules, plus a videotape, for developing self-advocacy skills]. St. Paul, MN: Author.
Field, S., & Hoffman, A. (1996). Steps to self-determination: A curriculum to help adolescents learn to achieve their goals. Reston, VA: Council for Exceptional Children.
Field, S., Hoffman, A., & Spezia, S. (1998). Self-determination strategies for adolescents in transition (Pro-Ed Series on Transition). Austin, TX: Pro-Ed.
Field, S., Martin, J., Miller, B., Ward, M., & Wehmeyer, M. (1997). A practical guide for teaching self-determination. Reston, VA: Council for Exceptional Children.
Marshall, L.H., Martin, J.E., Maxson, L., Hughes, W., Miller, T., McGill, T., & Jerman, P. (1996). Take Action kit: Making goals happen. Longmont, CO: Sopris West. (Kit includes teacher manual, blackline masters, 25 assessments, and a videotape.)
Powers, L., Ellison, R., Matuszewski, J., Wilson, R., & Turner, A. (1998). Take charge kit. Available online at: http://cdrc.ohsu.edu/selfdetermination/products2.html. (Includes student guide, student workbook, parent manual, class guide, and video.)
Wehmeyer, M.L., Agran, M., & Hughes, C. (1998). Teaching self-determination to students with disabilities: Basic skills for successful transition. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.
Wehmeyer, M.L., & West, M. (1995, October). Self-determination [Special issue]. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 5(4).
Wood, W.M., Test, D.W., Browder, D., Algozzine, R.F., & Karvonen, M. (1999). Self- determination curriculum materials. Charlotte, NC: Self-Determination Synthesis Project. (Available online at: www.uncc.edu/sdsp/home.asp)
Transition Planning and Employment
Fabian, E.S., Luecking, R.G., & Tilson, G.P. (1994). A working relationship: The job development specialist's guide to successful partnerships with business. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.
Halpern, A.S., Herr, C.M., Doren, B., & Wolf, N.K.. (2000). Next S.T.E.P.: Student transition and educational planning. Austin, TX: Pro-Ed.
Harrington, T.F. (1997). Handbook of career planning for students with special needs. Austin, TX: Pro-Ed.
Katsiyannia, A., deFur, S., & Conderman, G. (1998, Spring). Transition services -- Systems change for youth with disabilities? A review of state practices. Journal of Special Education, 32(1), 55-61.
Martin, J.E., Mithaug, D.E., Oliphint, J.H., Husch, J.V., Frazier, E.S. (in press). Self-directed employment: A handbook for transition teachers and employment specialists. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.
McDonnell, J., Mathot-Buckner, C., & Ferguson, B. (1996). Transition programs for students with moderate/severe disabilities. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.
PACER Center. (1996). Begin the between: Planning for the transition from high school to adult life for youth with developmental disabilities. Minneapolis, MN: Author.
PACER Center. (2000). The road to work: An introduction to vocational rehabilitation (2nd ed.). Minneapolis, MN: Author.
PACER Center. (2001). Transition and beyond...now what? Minneapolis, MN: Author.
PACER Center. (1997). Transition trek [a board game for youth to help them plan for transition]. Minneapolis, MN: Author.
Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Workplace Supports, Virginia Commonwealth University. (2000). Whose life is it anyway? A look at person-centered planning and transition. Richmond, VA: Author. (A self-paced instructional program on CD.)
Roessler, R.T., & Brolin, D.E. (1998). Life centered career education: Occupational guidance and preparation. Reston, VA: Council for Exceptional Children.
Smith, M.D., Belcher, R.G., & Juhrs, P.D. (1995). A guide to successful employment for individuals with autism. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.
Wehman, P. (2001). Life beyond the classroom: Transition strategies for young people with disabilities (3rd ed.). Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.
Wehman, P. (Ed.). (in press). Individual transition plans: The teacher's curriculum guide for helping youth with special needs (2nd ed.). Austin, TX: Pro-Ed.
Wehman, P., & Kregel, J. (Eds.). (1998). More than a job: Securing satisfying careers for people with disabilities. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.
Wehman, P., & Targett, P.S. (1999). Vocational curriculum for individuals with special needs: Transition from school to adulthood. Austin, TX: Pro-Ed.
Wolffe, K.E. (1997). Career counseling for people with disabilities: A practical guide to finding employment. Austin, TX: Pro-Ed.
Employer Materials (ADA, Supervising Employees with Disabilities, Tax Incentives)
ADA and disability law (one-minute learning series). Menlo Park, CA: Crisp Learning.
The Arc. (1994). The Americans with Disabilities Act at work (Rev. ed.). Arlington, TX: Author.
Blanck, P.D., & Braddock, D.L. (1998). The Americans with Disabilities Act and the emerging work force: Employment of people with mental retardation. Washington, DC: American Association on Mental Retardation.
DiLeo, D. (n.d.). The employer's pocket guide to supporting workers with disabilities. Saint Augustine, FL: Training Resource Network, Inc.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division. (1996, August). The Americans with Disabilities Act: Questions and answers. Washington, DC: Authors. [Available online at: www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/qandaeng.htm]
Job developer's guide to the Americans with Disabilities Act. Saint Augustine, FL: Training Resource Network, Inc.
Office of Disability Employment Policy Programs, U.S Department of Labor. (2001, July). Employing people with disabilities Q&A. Washington, DC: Author. (Available online at: www.dol.gov/dol/odep/public/media/reports/main.htm)
Office of Disability Employment Policy Programs, U.S Department of Labor. (2001, July). Supported employment for people with the most significant disabilities. Washington, DC: Author. (Available online at: www.dol.gov/dol/odep/public/media/reports/main.htm)
Office of Disability Employment Policy Programs, U.S Department of Labor. (1999). Tax incentives for business. Washington, DC: Author. (Available online at: www.dol.gov/dol/odep/public/media/reports/main.htm)
Thuli, K.J., & Hong, E. (1998). Employer toolkit. Washington, DC: National Transition Alliance for Youth with Disabilities. (Available online at: ici.umn.edu/ncset/publications/nta/default.html)
U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division. (n.d.). Tax incentives packet on the Americans with Disabilities Act. Washington, DC: Author. [Available online at: www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/taxpack.htm]
Providing Supports and Accommodations in the Workplace/Supported Employment
Callahan, M.J., & Garner, J.B. (1997). Keys to the workplace: Skills and supports for people with disabilities. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.
Family pocket guide to supported employment. (1997). Saint Augustine, FL: Training Resource Network, Inc.
Langton, D., & Dileo, D. (Eds.). (1996). Facing the future: Best practices in supported employment. Saint Augustine, FL: Training Resource Network, Inc.
Luecking, R., Hathaway, S., & Dileo, D. (1995). Natural supports in action: Strategies to facilitate employer supports of workers with disabilities. Saint Augustine, FL: Training Resource Network, Inc.
Murphy, S., & Rogan, P. (1994). Developing natural supports in the workplace: A manual for practitioners. Saint Augustine, FL: Training Resource Network, Inc.
Office of Disability Employment Policy Programs, U.S Department of Labor. (1994). Accommodations get the job done. Washington, DC: Author. (Available online at: www.dol.gov/dol/odep/public/media/reports/main.htm)
Office of Disability Employment Policy Programs, U.S Department of Labor. (1997). Personal assistance services in the workplace. Washington, DC: Author. (Available online at: www.dol.gov/dol/odep/public/media/reports/main.htm)
Office of Disability Employment Policy Programs, U.S Department of Labor. (1997). Workplace accommodation process. Washington, DC: Author. (Available online at: www.dol.gov/dol/odep/public/media/reports/main.htm)
PACER Center. (1992). Supported employment: A step-by-step guide. Minneapolis, MN: Author.
PACER Center. (1997). Supported employment using a natural supports approach: A handbook for parents. Minneapolis, MN: Author.
PACER Center. (2001). What is a WorkForce center? Minneapolis, MN: Author.
Trach, J., & Shelden, D. (1999). Natural supports: A foundation for employment. Washington, DC: The Arc.
Wehman, P. (n.d.). Supported employment in business: Expanding the capacity of workers with disabilities. Saint Augustine, FL: Training Resource Network, Inc.
Wehman, P., Sale, P., & Parent, W.S. (1995). Supported employment: Strategies for integration of workers with disabilities. Austin, TX: Pro-Ed.
Videos for Employers and Students
Appearances count: Grooming and hygiene video [19 minute video]. Available from Program Development Associates.
Everybody's working [22 minute video]. Available from the Arc.
Facilitating workplace supports: Natural supports for employees with disabilities [14 minute video]. Available from Training Resource Network, Inc.
It's working: Learn why supported employment works [11 minute video]. Available from the Arc.
Job-Smart series. [Three videos that teach students the bottom-line behaviors and basics of getting a job, getting along with co-workers and satisfying the boss.] Available from James Stanfield.
More like a dance: Whole life planning for people with disabilities.Available from Training Resource Network, Inc.
Supervising an employee with a disability: A natural support for employers [23 minutes]. Available from Program Development Associates.
Training for job success: An employer's guide to training new employees with developmentaldisabilities [30 minute video]. Available from Training Resource Network, Inc.
Working I: Attitudes and habits [6 motivational videos]. Available from James Stanfield.
Working II: Interacting with co-workers/boss [5 videos teaching interpersonal skills]. Available from James Stanfield.
Working with pride: A video about the Rehabilitation Act [17 minutes]. Available from PACER Center. Organizations Providing Information on Transition and/or Employment
Association for Persons in Supported Employment
1627 Monument Avenue
Richmond, VA 23220
Telephone: (804) 278-9187
Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers (DBTACs)
Telephone: 1-800-949-4232 (V/TTY)
Employer Assistance Referral Network (EARN)
Telephone: (866) 327-6669
Goodwill Industries International
9200 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20814
Telephone: (240) 333-5200
Independent Living Research Utilization Project
Institute for Rehabilitation and Research
2323 South Sheppard
Houston, TX 77019
Telephone: (713) 520-0232; (713) 520-5136 (TTY)
Job Accommodation Network
P.O. Box 6080
Morgantown, WV 26506-6080
Telephone: 1-800-526-7234 (V/TTY)
Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities
One Marriott Drive
Washington, DC 20058
Telephone: (301) 380-7771
National Alliance of Business
1201 New York Avenue N.W.
Washington, DC 20005-3917
Telephone: (202) 289-2888
National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET)
University of Minnesota
6 Pattee Hall
150 Pillsbury Drive S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Telephone: (612) 624-2097
National Employer Leadership Council
1201 New York Avenue N.W.
Washington, DC 20005
Telephone: (800) 360-6352
National Transition Alliance for Youth with Disabilities
see National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET)
National Transition Network
University of Minnesota
150 Pillsbury Drive S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Telephone: (612) 624-2079
2235 Cedar Lane
Vienna, VA 22182
Telephone: (703) 560-6800
Office of Disability Employment Policy
(formerly the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities)
1331 F Street, N.W.
Washington D.C. 20004
Telephone: (202) 376-6200; (202) 376-6205 (TTY)
8161 Normandale Blvd.
Minneapolis, MN 55437-1044
Telephone: (952) 838-9000; (952) 838-0190 (TTY)
Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Workplace Supports
Virginia Commonwealth University
P.O. Box 842011
Richmond, VA 23284-2011
Telephone: (804) 828-1851
TATRA (Technical Assistance on Transition and the Rehabilitation Act) Project
c/o PACER Center
8161 Normandale Blvd.
Minneapolis, MN 55437-1044
Telephone: (612) 827-2966 (V/TTY)
Disability-specific Information Providers
American Association on Mental Retardation
444 N. Capitol Street N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
Telephone: 1-800-424-3688 (outside DC); (202) 387-1968
Autism Society of America
7910 Woodmont Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20814-3015
The Arc (formerly the Association for Retarded Citizens of the U.S.)
1010 Wayne Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Telephone: (301) 565-3842
For publications: www.TheArcPub.com
National Down Syndrome Congress
1370 Center Drive
Atlanta, GA 30338
Telephone: (800) 232-6372; (770) 604-9500
Web address: www.ndsccenter.org
National Down Syndrome Society
New York, NY 10012-2317
Telephone: 1-800-221-4602; (212) 460-9330
TASH (formerly the Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps)
29 W. Susquehanna Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21204
Telephone: (410) 828-8274; (410) 828-1306 (TTY)
Advocating Change Together, Inc., 1821 University Avenue, Suite 306-S, St. Paul, MN 55104. Telephone: (800) 641-0059; (651) 641-0297. E-mail: email@example.com. Web: www.selfadvocacy.com
American Association on Mental Retardation, Publications Order Center, P.O. Box 25, Annapolis Junction, MD 20701. Telephone: (301) 604-1340. Web: www.aamr.org
The Arc (formerly the Association for Retarded Citizens of the U.S.), 1010 Wayne Avenue, Suite 650, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Telephone: (301) 565-3842. E-mail: Info@thearc.org. Web: www.thearc.org. For publications: www.TheArcPub.com
Brooks/Cole, ITP Distribution Center, P.O. Box 6904, Florence, KY 41022. Telephone: 1-800-842-3636. Web: www.brookscole.com/default.html
Council for Exceptional Children, 1110 N. Glebe Road, Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22201-5704. Telephone: (800) 328-0272 (Voice/TTY). E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Web: www.cec.sped.org/
Crisp Learning, 1200 Hamilton Court, Menlo Park, CA 94025. Telephone: 1-800-442-7477. E-mail: CustomerService@crisplearning.com. Web: www.crisplearning.com
Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota, 102 Pattee Hall, 150 Pillsbury Drive SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455. Telephone: (612) 624-6300. Web: www.ici.umn.edu/default.html
James Stanfield Publishing, P.O. Box 41058, Santa Barbara, CA 93140. Telephone: 1-800-421-6534. Web: www.stanfield.com/stanfield.html
PACER Center, 8161 Normandale Blvd., Minneapolis, MN 55437-1044. Telephone: (952) 838-9000; (952) 838-0190 (TTY). Web: www.pacer.org
Paul H. Brookes, P.O. Box 10624, Baltimore, MD 21285-0624. Telephone: 1-800-638-3775. Web: www.brookespublishing.com
Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor, 1331 F Street, N.W., Suite. 300, Washington D.C. 20004. Telephone: (202) 376-6200; (202) 376-6205. (TTY). E-mail: email@example.com. Web: www.dol.gov/dol/odep/
Pro-Ed, 8700 Shoal Creek Boulevard, Austin, TX 78757. Telephone: 1-800-897-3202; (512) 451-3246. Web: www.proedinc.com
Program Development Associates, P.O. Box 2038, Syracuse, NY 13220-2038. Telephone: 1-800-543-2119. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Web: www.pdassoc.com/
Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Workplace Supports, Virginia Commonwealth University, P.O. Box 842011, Richmond, VA 23284-2011. Telephone: (804) 828-1851. Web: www.worksupport.com
Self-Determination Synthesis Project, Department CSPC, College of Education, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 9201 University City Blvd., Charlotte NC 28223-0001. Telephone: (704) 687-3736. Web: www.uncc.edu/sdsp/
Sopris West, 4093 Specialty Place, Longmont, CO 80504. Telephone: (800) 547-6747; (303) 651-2829. Web: www.sopriswest.com/
Training Resource Network, P.O. Box 439, St. Augustine, FL 32085-0439. Telephone: (866) 823-9800. Email: email@example.com. Web: www.trninc.com/
Reprinted with the permission of the National Dissemination Center.
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