Special Education Life Skills (page 4)

By — Educational Resource Information Center (U.S. Department of Education)
Updated on Dec 8, 2010

Obtaining Specific Occupational Skills

  • Attend prevocational learning stations or centers. 
  • Take advantage of in-school work experiences. 
  • Take advantage of volunteer experiences. 
  • Serve in community rotations. 
  • Take advantage of work/study services. 
  • Take advantage of the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA). 
  • Attend vocational classrooms. 
  • Obtain special vocational education. 
  • Obtain on-the-job training. 

What can the Schools do?

Schools can require an entry and exit plan for every student with learning problems wherein the life skills listed here are completed prior to graduation. At present, too many educators continue to use the same old approaches with a nonfunctional curriculum. Educators must become advocates for each child with special needs and stress "hands-on" life skill mastery. 


Brolin, D. E. (1989). Life Centered Career Education: A Competency Based Approach (3rd ed.). Reston, VA: The Council for Exceptional Children. 

Edgar. G. (1988). Employment as an outcome for mildly handicapped students: Current status and future direction. FOCUS ON EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN, 21(1), 1-8 (EJ380199). 

Rusch, F., & Phelps, L. A. (1987). Secondary special education and transition from school to work: A national priority. EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN, 53, 487-92. 

Further Reading

Dever, R. B. (1989). A taxonomy of community living skills. EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN, 55, 395-404 (EJ387194). 

Edgar, G. (1990). Quality of life: Is it time to change our view of the world? BEYOND BEHAVIOR, 1(1), 9-13. 

Elder, J. (1986). Transitional services needed to help disabled enter work forces. EDUCATION OF THE HANDICAPPED, 12(19), 5. 

Heal, L., Copher, J., Stefano, L., & Rusch, F. (1989). A comparison of successful and unsuccessful placements of secondary students with mental handicaps into competitive employment. CAREER DEVELOPMENT FOR EXCEPTIONAL INDIVIDUALS, 12(2), 167-77. 

Wircenski, J. L. (1982). Employability Skills for the Special Needs Learner. Rockville, MD: Aspen. (ED223839).

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