STATE PROFILES *
Building Inclusive School-to-Work
The National Transition Alliance for Youth with Disabilities (NTA) has been working with states to increase the participation of youth with disabilities in School-to-Work efforts. All of the states receiving federal funds have worked hard to involve ALL students in their School-to-Work programs, and every state has an informative story to tell that describes their process.
NTA has selected eight states to describe their efforts for including youth with disabilities in School-to-Work. We believe this information will be useful for other states that are still engaged in the School-to-Work process, and are looking for strategies that will help to sustain their work. We selected these states because of their years of experience implementing School-to-Work practices, their close relationship with their State Transition System Change Initiative, and their willingness to share information with others. Like all states, each has experienced successes and challenges while implementing School-to-Work.
Information was gathered on each of the eight states in the following manner. Written documentation (e.g., state resources, grants) and web site information were read and summarized. An NTA technical assistance provider who had worked with the states shared information about state activities. Notes from an NTA workshop that featured STW presentations from seven of these eight states were analyzed. Finally, telephone interviews were conducted with at least two state-level personnel and at least one local provider.
Once the information was collected, it was categorized according to: (a) legislation, policy, regulation; (b) leadership and partnerships; (c) resources and programs; (d) activities from local partnerships; (e) successes and challenges; and (f) sustainability issues. A profile was developed for each state, and sent to each of the individuals interviewed for their feedback.
The enclosed profiles represent our initial dissemination efforts to describe each states effort for including youth with disabilities in School-to-Work efforts. In our future work, we plan to: (a) write an in-depth narratives of each state, and (b) conduct a cross-case analysis of the in-depth narratives in order to provide direction for including students with disabilities in future reform efforts that might lead to effective post-school outcomes. This information will be disseminated via the NTA and Transition Research Institute at Illinois (TRI) web sites.
Detailed information about the NTA is available on our web site: www.dssc.org/nta. For more information, contact the NTA at the Transition Research Institute, 217-333-2325, www.ed.uiuc/sped/tri/institute.html.
Janis Chadsey, Ph.D., Lynda Leach, M.S., and Debra Shelden, M.S., CRC, Transition Research Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
State Profiles *
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