This two-hour course is designed to enhance professionals’ (teachers, VR counselors, employment specialists) skills in building partnerships with families around a vision of competitive, integrated employment for their student. The course describes a model for creating that partnership; addresses key concerns and frustrations that families may experience around employment for their student, including the potential impact of working upon SSI benefits; describes strategies for families to help their student build employment skills; and enables professionals to apply family engagement strategies to their own work. State and national resources are also shared in this course.
This free online course shows the parents of children with significant disabilities how to start preparing for meaningful employment throughout the school years. We outline what competitive employment means, how to create a vision statement for the future, how to explore and develop works skills and talents, how to address concerns, and what resources you can use to help your child achieve his or her dreams.
In addition, if you are an advocacy group leader, educator, or employment professional who wants to put together a youth employment panel to share real stories of employment for youth with disabilities in Kentucky. Depending on the audience, youth panels can include students and job seekers in varied stages of the process of securing customized, integrated employment. For those who are interested in hosting a youth panel of students/young adults with disabilities to share their employment stories, the following organizations can help connect you with youth who are currently working and who are interested in sharing their stories:
Build Inclusion: Contact Annette Jett at email@example.com
Down Syndrome Association of Central Kentucky WeWork program: Contact Traci Brewer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 859-806-8196
If you are getting ready for a school meeting or a meeting with your transition coordinator, you can use a paper like this to share your ideas about the future. You can talk about your goals and dreams, your strengths, your challenges, what works for you, and what doesn’t work for you. Thanks to Tiffany Stafford for sharing this idea with us for younger students! She gives instructions on how to make your own vision statement here.
KentuckyWorks Brighter Futures Vision Statement Tutorial Video
Educators and parents can also watch a video about how to prepare a vision statement with a student below:
The Perez Family discusses the powerful impact self-employment has had on their daughter Zofia.
The Kentucky Employment files are developed and produced through a partnership with the Council on Developmental Disabilities and the Human Development Institute, University of Kentucky.
In the Meet Brandon Ziemke video, a college student, employee and young man with an intellectual disability. Brandon talks about overcoming obstacles, the impact of caring adults in his life, and his hopes and dreams for the future.
Youth with disabilities discuss how the decisions to disclose their disabilities have affected them at school, at work, and in social situations. Produced by TennesseeWorks.
Highlights the importance of parents having high expectations for their youth and offers strategies for advocating for those expectations.
Parent advocates for students with disabilities across the nation were asked for their ideas. The following provides a “to-do” list of 7 strategies and 13 activities special education professionals can use in partnership with families to promote high expectations for post-school success for young adults with disabilities.
Stories about the jobs of people with disabilities from the Waisman Center.