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One-Stop Systems and Transition from School to Adult Life

In the disability world, the term "transition", refers to the activities and processes that occur to prepare a young person with a disability to move from school to adult life. Employment is a major emphasis during transition and there are a variety of ways that One-Stop systems can participate.

Why One-Stop Systems Should Be Involved in Transition Services

  • WIA Clearly Calls for It - The Workforce Investment Act regulations clearly state that One-Stop systems are to play a significant role in the delivery of services to youth, including youth with disabilities. Each states workforce plan must specifically address how the state will address the needs of youth with disabilities in its workforce investment system.
  • Transition and One-Stops - A Perfect Match - A major emphasis during transition is identification of resources in the community, and collaboration among various organizations such as funders of adult services, service providers, families and the school, to help the student develop and pursue his or her goals. A major role of One-Stop systems is being a mechanism for access to information and resources for individuals employment and training needs. Given these complimentary objectives, the One-Stop system can be of great assistance in assisting students to achieve their vocational goals.
  • An Investment in the Future - By assisting in the proper preparation of youth with disabilities for adulthood, One-Stop systems can play a role in assisting young people with disabilities to begin their adult lives with the training and work experience needed for long-term career success.

How One-Stops Can Help Any Young Person

  • Be a Resource on WIA Youth Services - The relationship between One-Stop systems and WIA youth services (overseen by the Local Workforce Board and Youth Council) varies by local area. However, youth programs are a One-Stop partner, and One-Stop systems and Centers at a minimum can serve as information and referral mechanisms for those services. Young people can visit One-Stop Centers to gather information on WIA youth services (services for individuals ages 14-21) offered in the local workforce investment area. Find out if they may be eligible, and how to access these programs. Youth services under WIA include programs such as formula-funded Youth Activities, Youth Opportunity Grants, and the Youth Opportunity Movement. It may also be helpful for One-Stop Centers to have available information on other community-sponsored youth programs.
  • Provide Access to One-Stop Services - Services offered by the One-Stop system can benefit not only adults seeking employment and career advancement, but also youth just entering the job market, and even those young people who are not currently looking for a job but need to learn the basics of a successful job search.
  • Unlike WIA youth services, which are largely restricted to certain populations (including some youth with disabilities), any individual age 18 or older can access adult core services, and also be considered for intensive and training services.
  • WIA regulations state that individuals age 18 to 21 who are receiving youth services may also simultaneously access adult services.
  • There is also no prohibition against any youth under 18 using One-Stop services as long as the funding for such services is not restricted to adults.

WIA encourages youth to be introduced to One-Stop services early in their career development, and stresses the use of the One-Stop system as an entry point for obtaining education, training, and job search services.

Quality Services for All Students = Quality Services for Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities are no different from other youth: they need help deciding what career areas to explore, accessing further education and training, and gaining work experience. Youth with disabilities are best served, by offering quality services to meet the needs of all young people. Individuals with disabilities can then be assisted and supported as needed to fully benefit from these services. Here are some fairly simple ways that One-Stop systems can help all young people.

  • Be welcoming: When students come into the One-Stop Center, make them feel welcome!
  • Help with job-seeking skills development: One-Stop Centers can help students develop the job search skills that theyll needed throughout their careers, including resume development, contacting potential employers, development of interview skills, etc.
  • Assist with job searches: Like any other customer, One-Stop Centers can assist young people with finding employment, through job listings, employer contacts and other One-Stop services.
  • Provide information on training and education options: One-Stop Centers can assist young people in identifying appropriate training and education opportunities that are available for entering and advancing in careers.
  • Provide information on youth and general services: Put together a clear, simple listing of the types of services available for students from the One-Stop Center and the local workforce investment system. This information should include available WIA youth services and how to access them. Be sure to also include adult services for individuals 18 and over. Distribute these to students and educators.
  • Provide access to experiential education: Many students, with and without disabilities, gain early work experiences through internships, apprenticeships, mentor programs, cooperative education programs, summer work programs, etc. Help students and schools connect with local businesses for career days, internships, and jobs.
  • Provide workshops targeted to youth: One-Stop staff are experts on how to find a job. Staff can share this expertise by conducting classes specifically for young people, in school settings and/or at the One-Stop Center. These could possibly be done in collaboration with school staff.
  • Outreach: Invite students and educators to tour the One-Stop Center. Through outreach to schools and young people, One-Stop systems can teach students about the resources available via the One-Stop system, how to access those services, and how to make best use of them throughout their professional lives.
  • Staff knowledge about youth services: Make sure One-Stop staff understand what WIA youth services are, and how to assist an individual in accessing youth services.

Transition from School to Adult Life Resources

National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities
P.O. Box 1492
Washington, DC 20013
Voice/TTY: (800) 695-0285; (202) 884-8200
Fax: (202) 884-8441

Provides information & referral regarding children and youth with disabilities (birth to age 22) for families, educators, and other professionals; also has extensive information pertaining to adults with disabilities. Has an extensive number of free publications on transition and other topics. Maintains listings of disability-related organizations, parent groups, and professional associations at the state and local level.

National School-To-Work Learning & Information Center
400 Virginia Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20024
Voice: (800) 251-7236
Fax: (202) 488-7395

This is the national resource center for School-to-Work programs. Extensive information is available on School-to-Work programs, including some information specific to students with disabilities.

National Transition Alliance for Youth with Disabilities
Transition Research Institute
University of Illinois
117 Childrens Research Center
51 Gerty Drive
Champaign, IL 61820
Voice: (217) 333-2325

NTA has a variety of information and resources, including information on model transition services and connections between transition and School-to-Work

National Transition Network
430 Wulling Hall
86 Pleasant Street SW
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Voice: (612) 626-8200

NTN provides consultation and advice on transition, publishes a variety of resources, and maintains a list of state contacts.

PACER Center
8161 Normandale Boulevard
Bloomington, MN 55437-1044
Voice: (800) 537-2237 or (952) 838-9000
Fax: (952) 838-0199
TTY: (952) 838-0190

PACER has a variety of activities focused on improving quality of life for children and young adults with all disabilities. PACER has a wide array of information and publications available on transition.

Written by:

David Hoff