U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Grantees

Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry - Office of Vocational Rehabilitation

  • Funding Amount: $9,990,688.97 (H421E230004)
  • Project Director: Mara Wolfe
  • RSA Project Officer: TBD

Abstract

The Pennsylvania Transition Partners: Pathways to Partnership Demonstration Model is an innovative three-component model of transition services that will be implemented with support and engagement across all partners to provide both intensive training and program development support. Pathways to Partnerships—Professional Development, Capacity Building and Training will provide all partners with shared trainings in Charting the LifeCourse from the PA Office of Developmental Program and the Transition Discoveries framework, an evidenced based transition planning program and will also train and provide employers with Inclusive Model Employer Credential. Pathways to Partnership—Transition Discoveries implements at “train the trainer” model at the IU and LEA level to support dissemination of Transition Discoveries to increase student outcomes through individualized transition planning. Pathways to Partnership—Work Based Learning Experience supports development and implementation of work-based learning programming at the LEA level. Formative and summative program evaluation informs project implementation, refinement, and upscaling within additional sites in Pennsylvania. Planned comparisons to prior outcomes within targeted regions for the intervention, as well as matched regions within the state, will provide for the evaluation of the project relative to control regions. Fidelity of implementation, project outcomes measures, and psychometrically valid measures will provide for a thorough evaluation of the impact of the project toward dissemination and replication to other agencies. Strategies and interventions, implementation considerations, evaluation metrics, and related information will form the basis of a toolkit to promote high fidelity of application of the Pathways to Partnership programs across the Commonwealth, sustainability of those efforts, and replication by other state vocational rehabilitation agencies.

Arkansas Department of Education

  • Funding Amount: $9,913,236 (H421E230005)
  • Project Director: Joshua Hart
  • RSA Project Officer: TBD

Abstract

The Seamless Transition in Arkansas (STAR) Rehabilitation is an innovative collaboration model aimed at providing supports in our state’s high-need regions (Arkansas Rehabilitation Services Regions 3, 8, and 9) in the Delta and Coastal Plains to:

  • Increase youth career and college preparation and experience opportunities through development of additional pre-employment transition service providers (pre-ETS) and enhanced engagement of state Centers for Independent Living (CILs);
  • Increase in knowledge and skills of youth, families, providers, and other community partners through we-based an in-person learning modules aligned with postschool outcomes predictors and scaling up efforts for community-level resource mapping; and
  • Establish and implement an innovative, integrated collaboration model through training of Transition Navigators and empowerment of Youth Leaders co-leading community-led Career Councils, and the use of ECHO Model technologies and supports to provide case-based, ongoing, interagency professional development to partners across the state.

The STAR project is developed in partnership with Arkansas Department of Education, Arkansas Rehabilitation Services, Arkansas Centers for Independent Living, and University of Arkansas with support from school districts including Magnolia, Lakeside, and Lake Hamilton as well as Workforce, Arkansas’ Center for Excellence in Development Disabilities, NTACT:C, and regional community colleges.

Louisiana Department of Education

  • Funding Amount: $10,000,000 (H421E230006)
  • Project Director: Lauren Miley
  • RSA Project Officer: TBD

Abstract

To bring cohesion to an often-fragmented system of personnel and services, the LDOE will partner with key LEAs, LRS and Louisiana based businesses to find the Louisiana Center for Effective Transitions (LCET). LCET will focus its work in key areas that provide intensive technical assistance to partner LEAs in the north central regions of the state and universal support to LEAs and businesses across the state through resource dissemination and training. It is through this intensive technical assistance and universal support, that LCET can leverage an innovative approach to transition services that harnesses existing and emerging economic opportunities that will benefit from a workforce that is inclusive of fully prepared individuals with disabilities.

Illinois Department of Human Services

  • Funding Amount: $10,000,000 (H421E230010)
  • Project Director: David Kuriniec
  • RSA Project Officer: TBD

Abstract

The Illinois Pathways to Partnerships Project (IPPP) aims to improve transition outcomes, competitive integrated employment (CIE), and independent living outcomes for students with disabilities ages 10- 24 across the State. To that end, this project will develop a replicable and scalable innovative service delivery model that builds a seamless, cohesive, and effective partnership among SRVA, SEA, LEA and CILs. This project will deliver an innovative Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) model that includes services and supports for families as well as students. It will begin transition support as early as age 10 and follow students through school, providing them an age-appropriate curriculum implemented by CILs. The model will improve postsecondary outcomes for students with disabilities, particularly those students of color. The proposed innovative pre-ETS model program will employ a comprehensive system of integrated resources, trainings, technical assistance, and supports utilizing coordinated expertise from all four partners that will focus on the following three major domain areas: 1) Pre-ETS to CIE, (2) independent living, and (3) professional development (Walters & Plottner, 2023). The proposed project will also work with high demand employers and other community and state agencies to maximize the implementation of the statewide model and build statewide capacity and partnerships to support CIE and independent living for Illinois students with disabilities.

Connecticut Department of Aging and Disability Services

  • Funding Amount: $10,000,000 (H421E230011)
  • Project Director: George Michna
  • RSA Project Officer: TBD

Abstract

STEP CT will help children (ages 10-13) and youth (ages 14-24) with disabilities through innovative activities aimed at achieving independent living, self-advocacy, and competitive integrated employment in growing CT career pathways. The STEP CT’s systemic approach to transition services, with key partners such as Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), Centers for Independent Living (CILs) and Local Education Agencies (LEAs), will build on existing infrastructure and incorporate career exploration, planning, preparation, training, and experiential opportunities aligned with CT’s labor needs. The project will focus on earlier engagement of services to increase the efficacy of service interventions that will increase successful employment outcomes for CT’s children and youth with disabilities with emphasis on our underserved populations.

The Connecticut ADS model demonstration project design will:

  • Strengthen system capacity with ADS, CILs, CSDE, LEAs, and the Workforce Boards to develop seamless transition services that will focus on earlier identification and engagement of children and youth with disabilities and increase successful education and employment outcomes, with emphasis on underserved populations.
  • Support the development and refinement of Independent Living Services among children and youth using a multimodal approach aimed at self-determination/advocacy skill building, college and career readiness, peer mentoring, state and federal benefit navigation, financial literacy, transportation, assistive technology, and pre-occupational skill building.
  • Develop a State-level Interagency Advisory Workgroup and Regional Interagency Teams comprised of key stakeholders to design, implement, and refine STEP CT to promote the informed choice around transition services leading to competitive integrated employment.
  • Develop statewide crosswalks and career pathways to CIE through Post-Secondary Education and vocational training programs, form collaborative agreements with local agencies to support outreach, recruitment, training, and business partnership efforts.
  • Establish a transition website dedicated to State transition services that will include age-appropriate materials for youth participants, resources for youth service professionals, STEP CT details and results, and other material that will raise awareness among interested public entities and the business community.
  • Assess individuals’ career interests and skills to customize a person-centered plan for transition to post-secondary opportunities that lead to employment and self-sufficiency.
  • Design and conduct a rigorous formative and summative evaluation of STEP CT to identify innovative partnership and service practices that offer promising evidence of improving transition outcomes for children and youth, and assess project impacts at the systems, services and individual level for sustainability and dissemination.

Oklahoma State Department of Education

  • Funding Amount: $9,992,898 (H421E230012)
  • Project Director: Lori Chesnut
  • RSA Project Officer: TBD

Abstract

The Oklahoma Pathways to Partnerships (OP2P) has an overarching goal to support quality transition programming through a formally documented and collaboratively supported Oklahoma Transition Framework. Two broad initiatives will support the achievement of this goal: 1) expand capacity of statewide interagency partnerships to serve students with disabilities and 2) expansion of access to effective transition programming, work based learning, and competitive integrated employment for students with significant disabilities and those in rural, high-need settings. Primary activities include the membership expansion of the state-level Oklahoma Transition Council (OTC) to form support for local regional transition teams through a shared Oklahoma Pathways to Partnership (OP2P) Transition Framework, development of state sponsored Oklahoma Transition Teaming Guide (OTTG), intensive collaborative coaching on implementation of the OTTG for selected high-need regions, development of a “one-stop” transition website hub, and selection and funding to support at least two new opportunities each in the areas of career exploration programming and work-based learning.

Wyoming Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

  • Amount of Funding: $10,000,000.29 (H421E230013)
  • Project Director: Brian Hickman
  • RSA Project Officer: TBD

Abstract

The WY Pathways to Partnership project (WY P2P) will improve systems, services, and outcomes for children and youth with disabilities living in Wyoming. This project will use competitive integrated employment to improve mental health and economic outcomes for this underserved population. Expected outcomes include transition navigators, additional mental health counselors, expanded access to technology, peer support and expanded access to work experiences. The project will expand access to mental health services for individuals with disabilities, increase knowledge of the link between mental health and employment, better equip individuals to care for their mental health, fill resource gaps, and provide important career and life skills. This project will be a model for expanding rural mental health treatment access, creating rural collaborative systems to serve individuals, and improving economic outcomes for rural youth with disabilities and Wyoming generally.

New Mexico Public Education Department

  • Funding Amount: $9,943,500 (H421E230016)
  • Project Director: Breezy Gutierrez
  • RSA Project Officer: TBD

Abstract

Career Connected Learning in New Mexico (CCLinNM) will support an innovative model of career-connected learning (CCL) adapted to accommodate students with disabilities. The project will demonstrate the efficacy of a statewide multi-sector partnership network made effective through a unified vision that drives coordinated support services and service delivery models to transition these students to postsecondary programs and CIE. Target population: The project will serve more than 27,000 students with disabilities in all districts across the state of New Mexico. The districts represent rural populations, and the majority of students are Hispanic. Project objectives/outcomes for students with disabilities include:

  1. providing relevance CCL;
  2. increasing access to career exploration;
  3. building motivation to learn and proficiency in foundation math to prepare for jobs;
  4. increasing self-awareness and self-advocacy skills;
  5. increasing training opportunities for teachers and partners with a CCL focus from cradle to careers;
  6. apply a shared vision to build a partnership that coordinates resources and service delivery models to ease transitions after high school; and
  7. increasing clarity of measures of CCL in special education.

Colorado Labor and Employment - Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

  • Funding Amount: $14,116,234.89 (H421E230017)
  • Project Director: Serina Gilbert
  • RSA Project Officer: TBD

Abstract

Partnerships for Progress in Colorado will expand access to transition services and enhancing partnerships through turnover-resistant partnering practices (goal). The project will achieve several major outcomes over the next 5 years aimed to provide children and youth with disabilities and their support systems, as well as service providers (populations served) with innovative new approaches for shared planning, coordination, and collaboration in transition services and for improving the evaluation and impact of transition services across the state. Primary activities include a dual focus on establishing (a) an innovative online platform aimed at driving increased engagement in transition services, knowledge translation of best practices, and facilitation of sustainable and turnover-resistant partnerships across the entire state of Colorado (Subrecipients: Northern Colorado University, Utah State University, Penn State University), and (b) capacity building in targeted communities to enhance availability and quality of transition services to children and youth with disabilities and their support systems (Colorado DVR- Recipient, and Subrecipients: Centers for Independent Living, Colorado Family Coalition, Breaking Expectations, Apprenticeship Colorado, National Institute of Disability). This parallel approach will prioritize the most marginalized children and youth in the state through targeted interventions while also offering a statewide service to increase collaboration and partnerships for all children and youth with disabilities across the state.

Project activities are designed to provide a turnover resistant partnering experience with the following expected outcomes and contributions: (a) empowering children, youth, and support systems with highly accessible information that is critical to accessing and collaboratively shaping transition services and their outcomes, (b) empowering service providers with highly accessible information that is critical to forming and maintaining collaborative partnerships, (c) creating interdisciplinary teams in which effective partnering is embedded in the structure of service provision and providing other strategic interventions to target the needs of marginalized youth experiencing disparities in services or outcomes, and (d) incorporating the use of pre-post change measurement across service systems to accurately assess and improve the effectiveness of transition services.

Alaska Department of Education and Early Development

  • Funding Amount: $10,000,000 (H421E230020)
  • Project Director: Deborah Riddle
  • RSA Project Officer: TBD

Abstract

Alaska’s Collaborative System of Employment Services for Children and Youth with Disabilities is a multi-agency cooperative effort aimed at improving outcomes for the target population. The overarching project goal is: Increase the number of Alaska youth and other individuals with disabilities who are competitively employed through innovative and collaborative programs involving key agencies and organizations. The key activities to be performed during this project, by both the sponsor agency and the subrecipient organizations, involve leadership training, peer support, mentorship, apprenticeship opportunities, financial literacy classes, and a centralized website tying all of the services and opportunities together. The grant subrecipients will carry out the majority of the training and outreach activities while the sponsor organization will handle administration funding, reporting and coordination of the overall project.

South Carolina Department of Education

  • Funding Award: $9,992,013(H421E230021)
  • Project Director: Chris Napier
  • RSA Project Officer: TBD

Abstract

The South Carolina Pathways Project (SCPP): A Disability-led Collaborative Model for Student Success will address the need for enhanced collaborative transition service delivery to support the positive postschool outcomes for young adults with disabilities in South Carolina. For the SCPP, the SCDE is partnering with Able South Carolina, the state’s largest Center for Independent Living (CIL), South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department, and five LEAs, four that are geographic (Bamberg County School District, Rock Hill School District Three (York 3), Sumter School District, and Williamsburg County School District) and the SC Public Charter School District (SCPCSD) that has 38 schools (geographic and virtual) across the state. The SCPP has four goals to create a partnership that streamlines collaborative transition services:

  1. Foundation and Structure: develop a collaborative model for the delivery of seamless transition services for high school students with disabilities (SWD) in SC.
  2. Implementation: use the SCPP model for coordinating seamless transition service delivery with local education agency (LEA) pilot sites to provide diploma pathways support, access to apprenticeships and Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE) opportunities, CIL provided Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS), and resource mapping.
  3. Evaluation: evaluate the quality of project activities and the impact of both student and professional participation in pilot sites implementations of the SCPP model.
  4. Public Information: implement a public information campaign for transition-age youth with disabilities, their families, public and private employers and professionals serving transition-age youth with disabilities.

A key feature of the SCPP is a disability-led approach in a collaborative partnership to address and meet the absolute priority for this competition. The SCPP will pilot, implement, and refine a model for seamless transition service delivery that can be replicated statewide and nationally. Outcomes will include increased opportunities for SWD to graduate with high school diplomas and increased access to apprenticeships and high-quality Pre-ETS among SWD.

New Jersey State Department of Education

  • Funding Amount: $8,667,855 (H421E230022)
  • Project Director: Damian Petino
  • RSA Project Officer: TBD

Abstract

The Collaborations in Transition NJ (CITNJ) will increase achievement in competitive integrated employment by improving interagency collaboration of transition services and creating a state-wide transition website that incorporates user-friendly resources on transition services for children and youth with disabilities. The CITNJ Project will initially focus on three distinct LEAs located in different regions of the state. Newark is an urban city located in the northeast section of the state, Edison is a suburban township located in the central region, and Pinelands Regional School District consist of small towns located in a rural section of the southern region of the state. Through the creation of an all-inclusive transition website, the project will serve children and youth with disabilities statewide as well.

Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living

  • Amount of Funding: $10,000,000 (H421E230023)
  • Project Director: Fred Jones
  • RSA Project Officer: TBD

Abstract

Vermont Pathways to Partnerships (VT-P2P) will engage a wide array of community partners in transition systems change including leaders from the independent living community, community nonprofits, state agencies, local education agencies, and higher education to promote high expectations and improve postsecondary outcomes for children and youth with disabilities.

VT-P2P partners have committed to a common vision that Vermont will build a culture of high expectations for youth with disabilities who are transitioning from high school to adult life. This partnership will change context of transition by bringing statewide and local leaders together to lead high expectations and streamline effort to improve outcomes for youth. VT-P2P partners will improve the outcomes of indicators 13, 14 and the summary of performance for all students with disabilities. VT-P2P will place youth with disabilities at the center, position project staff as facilitators and establish schools and community non-profits as hubs of transition service innovation.

The VT-P2P will pioneer a communication system that includes resource mapping in 12 regions of the state and the development of a web portal with information, multi-media on best practices in transition and supporting young adults with disabilities; further, youth, families, school teams, service providers, and community partners will access technical assistance. A powerful innovation of VT-P2P is the shared community organization and involvement of leaders within the disability rights and independent living movement as partners with state entities and community non-profits, including organizations funded by the Administration for Community Living. This is novel for Vermont, a state divided geographically by mountain terrains and inconsistent access to technology. With a mission to ensure access, equity, and opportunity regardless of zip code, VT-P2P will increase workforce development, self-advocacy skills and peer learning opportunities through youth-centered activities geared toward postsecondary success.

Kentucky Department of Education

  • Funding Amount: $9,942,934 (H421E230024)
  • Project Director: Margretta Hylton
  • RSA Project Officer: TBD

Abstract

The Kentucky Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Early Learning (OSEEL) will develop partnerships centering family mentors and innovative services to support the transition to competitive integrated employment for children with disabilities. Kentucky Transition360 (KY Transition360)is a comprehensive project, focusing on all aspects of postsecondary transition for students and their families across Kentucky. The name encompasses the goal of supporting students with disabilities to transition into adulthood through mentorship and increasing community awareness, while also emphasizing the use of immersive virtual reality experiences to provide well-rounded and inclusive transition opportunities. The "360" signifies a holistic approach that encompasses all angles of the transition process, ensuring students have access to robust experiences in underserved areas and populations.

All of Kentucky’s Centers of Independent Living (CILs) will partner with the KDE to provide training for KY Transition360 mentors as well as assist in developing resources and curriculum for transition activities. The Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and Kentucky’s parent training and information center, the Kentucky Special Parent Involvement Network (KY-SPIN), will also work with KY Transition360 mentors and project leadership to provide transition support and services to Kentucky students with disabilities and their families.

Maryland State Department of Education

  • Funding Amount: $9,989,423 (H421E230025)
  • Project Director: Sylvia Lawson
  • RSA Project Officer: TBD

Abstract

The Maryland Pathways to Partnership Initiative (MPPI)will enhance transition services for children and youth with disabilities, with a focus on career development and competitive integrated employment. Leveraging existing interagency infrastructure, including the State Agency Transition Collaborative, MPPI aims to improve service coordination, resource sharing, and data exchange while establishing new local interagency agreements. MPPI will provide information on pre-employment transition services and vocational rehabilitation services offered by MSDE’s Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS). The initiative will utilize the interagency infrastructure to strengthen service coordination and resource sharing. To enhance capacity, MPPI is committed to empowering key stakeholders, including DORS, MSDE’s Division of Early Intervention and Special Education Services (DEI/SES), four local education agencies, The Parents' Place of Maryland, and Centers for Independent Living to receive training and resources to deliver enhanced career counseling, identify career pathways, and facilitate work-based learning experiences. Support will be provided by the Center for Transition and Career Innovation (CTCI) at the University of Maryland, with evaluation conducted by Abt Associates. The initiative emphasizes inclusivity and will provide diversity, equity, and inclusion training to ensure culturally responsive services for diverse populations.

Nevada Department of Education

  • Funding Amount: $9,964,894.81 (H421E230026)
  • Project Director: Julie Bowers
  • RSA Project Officer: TBD

Abstract

The Nevada State Department of Education (NDE) Office of Inclusive Education will support the development of a seamless system of transition services for our children and youth with disabilities. NDE will collaborate with nine partners for this important work: State of Nevada Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation, Northern Nevada Center for Independent Living, Southern Nevada Center for Independent Living, Carson City School District, Humboldt County School District, White Pine County School District, Nevada Statewide Independent Living Council, University of Nevada, Reno, and the Nevada Parent Training and Information Center. NDE) will work closely with our partner organizations and project team to accomplish the project’s goals and activities.

Goal 1: Provide high-quality information systems for outreach and marketing related to transition services and disseminating information via web-based and in-person channels.

  • Develop an interactive website and mobile application.
  • Create a roadmap tool to provide guidance for the transition process.
  • Expand cross-agency partnerships for planning, coordinating funding use, and accomplishing project work.

Goal 2: Provide high-quality professional development to service professionals to support creation of resources and knowledge around transition planning.

  • Develop and deliver cross-agency training to build capacity.
  • Create tools and resources to support systems and youth service professionals.
  • Establish an advisory group to provide input on the project.

Goal 3: Increase availability and use of student resources to support transitions and preparation for competitive integrated employment.

  • Develop age-appropriate career exposure, career exploration, and work-based learning experiences.
  • Create accessible student resources related to postsecondary education and employment opportunities.

Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency

  • Funding Amount: $10,588,912 (H421E230027)
  • Project Director: Katherine Brown
  • RSA Project Officer: TBD

Abstract

The Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (GVRA) will develop and evaluate a model for increasing competitive integrated employment for youth through increased collaboration and early intervention with children and youth with disabilities in select pilot, implementation, and replication sites in Georgia. Increased outreach in collaboration with required partners will occur to children and youth with disabilities in collaboration with local education agencies (LEAs) and the state education agencies (SEAs), Centers for Independent Living (CILs), and GVRA. Eligible youth participants will be eligible to participate in a unique 10-week program with the first 9 weeks including training and education with collaboration between the CILs and GVRA, with an independent living retreat occurring the last week at GVRA’s Roosevelt Warm Springs Facility. The success of the project relies on the close collaboration between GVRA, CIL’s, LEA’s, SEA’s and effective engagement with stakeholder groups and individuals to achieve project goals.

Maine Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

  • Funding Amount: $7,632,256 (H421E230028)
  • Project Director: Libby Stone-Sterling
  • RSA Project Officer: TBD

Abstract

Maine’s Pathways to Partnerships Project proposes a new model that leverages the expertise and fiscal and staffing resources of the Maine Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Maine Department of Education (MDOE) and Alpha One – Maine’s Center for Independent Living (CIL) and partners with three Local Educational Agencies as pilot sites with the goal of development of a collaborative innovative systemic model to effectively improve transition services across agencies to increase CIE for children and youth with disabilities in Maine.

In 2016, Maine DVR was awarded a Disability Innovation Fund grant by RSA to implement and evaluate the Transition Work Based Learning Model Demonstration (TWBL). Under P2P, Maine DVR will use that learning in partnership with MDOE, CIL, Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Career and Technical Education, Maine Parent Federation, Maine Department of Health and Human Services’ Offices of Child and Family Services and Aging and Disability Services, Benefits Counseling Services, State Workforce Board, Center for Workforce Research & Information, Maine’s Children’s Cabinet, youth with disabilities, and more to achieve five primary objectives: (1) Launch of a web-based sustainable site to serve as a primary hub for cross-agency transition information, training, and learning opportunities across the state, (2) Development of accessible on-demand curricula on transition topics (including benefits counseling, financial literacy, Pre-Employment Transition Services, etc.) for a wide range of stakeholders including children, parents, educators, and service providers, (3) Enrollment of participants in virtual services including career exploration, peer mentoring, independent living skill building and Pre-Employment Transition Services, (4) Increased stakeholder knowledge of work incentives and benefits counseling for individuals who receive Social Security benefits, (5) Increased awareness and use of work-based learning, internships, pre-apprenticeship, and Registered Apprenticeship – for children ages 10-13 and youth ages 14-24 as well as educators, families, service providers and other stakeholders.

Idaho State Department of Education

  • Funding Amount: $ 9,798,372.94 (H421E230029) 
  • Project Director: Randi Cole
  • RSA Project Officer: TBD

Abstract

Building local collaborative interagency teams will ensure that students with disabilities and their families have increased access to education, vocational rehabilitation, and community resources through improved coordinated delivery of services that will, in turn, increase opportunities for those students to be engaged in their community and obtain competitive integrated employment. To address this, the Idaho Pathways to Partnerships Innovative Model Demonstration Project has been developed and organized to meet the following outcomes:

  • Interagency partnerships are in place statewide that support youth with disabilities achieve outcomes of community engagement and competitive integrated employment ;
  • Delivery of effective transition planning and services delivery are provided utilizing a coordinated interagency model student access to career exploration, work readiness, competitive integrated employment experiences and independent living skills has increased; and
  • A comprehensive statewide system of support ensures that agencies, families, students, and communities have access to the knowledge and skills necessary to coordinate and deliver effective transition planning and services.

To develop regional and local-level collaborative interagency teams, a team of Regional Transition Coordinators (RTC) professionals will work with and provide professional development to educators, employers, vocational rehabilitation counselors, families, and other support personnel. Professional development will be created and delivered in partnership with the University of Idaho’s Center on Disability and Human Development (CDHD) focusing on increasing knowledge in effective transition planning, competitive integrated employment, independent living skills, student self-advocacy, collaboration, and building local interagency teams. Along with working to increase interagency collaboration at the local and regional level, RTC professionals will work with these collaborative teams to increase deliver of coordinated transition services to children (ages 10-13) and youth (ages 14-24) with disabilities that will build their skills and provide opportunities to increase postsecondary outcomes in competitive integrated employment. Skill development for children and youth will include self-advocacy, independent living, and employment provided by local partnerships including LEAs, Centers for Independent Living (CILS) staff, Vocational Rehabilitation staff, and employers.

Kansas State Department of Education

  • Funding Amount: $8,442,101 (H421E230030)
  • Project Director: Harold Zajic
  • RSA Project Officer: TBD

Abstract

The Kansas Youth Transition Network (KYTN) will establish innovative and sustainable local networks, called KYTN Councils, of youth with disabilities, family members, youth service organizations including schools and community organizations, and employers to facilitate systems change focused on expanding and enhancing the transition service system in Kansas. KYTN is a partnership between the Kansas Department of Education, Kansas Rehabilitation Services, Centers for Independent Living across the state of Kansas, local education providers, the Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities, Families Together, and other partners. The KYTN will support local Councils to advance the provision of seamless transition services focused on career exploration and competitive, integrated employment for children and youth with disabilities. The key objectives of this project will include: (1) Expand and sustain the statewide KYTN; (2) Develop a process for establishing KYTN Councils in local communities; (3) Pilot the KYTN Council process in 1 to 2 underserved community; (4) Refine and Implement the KYTN Councils in 4 to 5 additional underserved communities; and (5) Evaluate the KYTN Councils throughout the project. The process will involve conducting local area resource mapping to ensure that KYTN Councils address the unique needs identified by youth with disabilities and their families across the project communities. The KYTN will embrace a participatory, multidimensional approach to engage and increase the capacity of Kansas’ most underserved communities and improve outcomes for youth with disabilities and families.