HDI has recently launched a new website and learning modules for teachers, people with disabilities, employers, families, and employment professionals at kentuckyworks.org. The purpose of this website is to help navigate the transition process and find the most valuable transition resources in Kentucky and nationwide to make sure youth with disabilities can get jobs and higher education after they finish school. Continue reading
by Chithra Adams, Harold Kleinert, Kathy Sheppard-Jones, Amanda Corbin & Malachy Bishop
Young adults with disabilities face multiple challenges in obtaining successful post-school employment outcomes. This situation has remained relatively unchanged despite nearly 25 years of federal attention to the issue, including mandated transition services and a series of additional significant legislative responses. Recent research by Carter, Austin, and Trainor (2012) highlighted the severity of the situation, showing that “just 26% of recent graduates with severe disabilities were working for pay in their community up to 2 years after leaving high school” and 43% of those who were employed “held jobs in which most other workers had disabilities” (Carter et al., 2016, p. 398).
KentuckyWorks is a five-year systems change grant project designed to directly impact post-school outcomes for youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Kentucky. KentuckyWorks is a collaborative, multi-partner project that aims to impact youth outcomes within each of the state’s 174 school districts, and the target population is defined as all KY transition-age students with the most significant disabilities. The goal is to increase positive post-school outcomes (integrated employment, participation in post-secondary education, or both) for students with the most significant disabilities in the state by 20 percentage points over the five years of this grant.
Read the Research Brief.
“The author Zig Ziglar was often quoted as saying, ‘the first step in solving a problem is to recognize that it exists.’ At the Kentucky Transition Summit we were joined by nearly one hundred-fifty concerned students, advocates, educators, administrators, and family members who took the first step by recognizing that we simply do not do enough to help our students with the most significant disabilities take their role in the workplace or in continuing education. They then took the next step by helping us identify four to five hundred ideas that could move us toward solving the problem.” Jeff White, KentuckyWorks Project Director
The Inaugural KentuckyWorks Transition Summit and Community Conversation took place on February 28 in Frankfort. Representatives from across the state packed into the large conference room at the Administrative Office of the Courts Building to begin a dialogue as to how to improve job outcomes for students with disabilities transitioning from school to the workforce. More than 150 participants, made up of educators, service providers, agency liaisons, parents and students, attended. Continue reading
KentuckyWorks will be hosting two Kentucky events for family members, youth, professionals, and employers to discuss strategies for successfully transitioning students from high school to employment. A community conversation will be held at the Morehead Conference Center in Morehead from 5:30-7:30pm on February 27. A statewide transition summit, featuring national transition expert Dr. Erik Carter of Vanderbilt, will be held at the Administrative Office of the Courts in Frankfort from 9am to 4pm on February 28. All who are interested in participating are welcome to attend. Continue reading