2018 TASH Conference has ended
Each year, the TASH Conference brings together a diverse community of stakeholders who gain information, learn about resources, and connect with others across the country to strengthen the disability field. This year’s conference theme, “Be Creative - Innovative Solutions for an Inclusive Life,” reminds us to think outside the box during times of uncertainty. Creativity, innovation, and determination can pave the way for meaningful and inclusive lives for people with disabilities.

Thursday, November 29 • 2:10pm - 3:00pm
A Research-to-Practice Collaboration to Improve Postsecondary Outcomes for Young People with Disabilities Seating Available

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Limited Capacity seats available

The transition from secondary school to adulthood is a step that every student must take, but can be more difficult and less successful for students with significant disabilities. Secondary educators and outside agency personnel are in a prime position to prepare students with disabilities to transition to college, employment, and community life well. Unfortunately, the Office for Disability Employment Policy (2018) reports that for youth 16 to 19 years old, the employment rate was 23.7% versus 33.1% for youth without disabilities. This discrepancy increases for youth ages 20 to 24 with 47.4% of youth with disabilities versus 71.2% of their same age peers without disabilities being employed. Compounding the employment gap is the question of whether youth are (1) happy with their employment outcomes and (2) are in a position related to the field of their career aspirations. The college, employment and community goals of youth with disabilities can be accomplished with the commitment of practitioners and professionals to: (a) utilize strategies and supports with the very best evidence of impact; (b) adopt policies, funding mechanisms, and practices in ways that expand inclusive college and career pathways for young people with disabilities (Carter et al., 2016; Hall Butterworth, Winsor, Gilmore, & Metzel, 2007); and (c) invest in strong preparation and professional development opportunities to ensure professionals have both the capacity and commitment to implement the effective practices and policies (Morningstar & Benitez, 2013). Through a systems change project aimed at improving outcomes for youth and young adults with disabilities in Tennessee (including those students with the most extensive support needs) - we have embarked on a compelling partnership between the state's Department of Education, the Department of Human Services, researchers at a local University, and representatives from more than 40 organizations. This initiative combines research, training, professional development (PD), and technical assistance (TA) for practitioners and professionals serving youth with disabilities in transition to adulthood. Further, are assisting educators and agency personnel in delivering Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) to youth with disabilities in accordance with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA, 2014). This presentation focuses on the development and initial implementation of research and professional development to ensure effective agency partnerships, well-trained personnel, and high-quality practices for transition service delivery. We will discuss multiple strategies used to triangulate data collection and next steps. We will share the unfolding of this process, lessons we are learning from the partnership, and information about how we are mixing research with cross-agency personnel preparation to develop a comprehensive and compelling approach to meeting the needs of youth with disabilities entering adulthood. As a part of the TransitionTennesse initiative, will present a comprehensive review of research, policy, and professional literature related to Pre-ETS, a statewide needs assessment of stakeholders, datasets of the educational system, and strategies for multi-agency collaboration. In addition, we will share with attendees our free, online professional development portal addressing training and resources related to best practices in transition.

avatar for Erik Carter

Erik Carter

Professor, Vanderbilt University
Erik Carter is Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Special Education at Vanderbilt University. His research and teaching focuses on evidence-based strategies for supporting inclusion, belonging, and valued roles in school, work, community, and congregational settings for children and... Read More →

Thursday November 29, 2018 2:10pm - 3:00pm
Sunstone - Third Floor 1401 SW Naito Parkway, Portland, OR 97201

Attendees (29)