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Work Matters: Preparing Youth with Disabilities for Work Online Dialogue

As states strive to promote workforce inclusion, people with disabilities—including veterans with service connected disabilities—are a key part of the solution. Recognizing this, the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) launched the State Exchange on Employment & Disability (SEED) in July of 2015. SEED is a collaboration with leading state intermediary organizations dedicated to ensuring that state policymakers have the tools and resources needed to develop and implement state-level policy that advances employment outcomes for people with disabilities.

The goal of this online dialogue is to provide the disability and advocacy community the opportunity to assist in expanding on the state policy options in the Work Matters report. Specifically, participants are encouraged to share ideas for policies that can prepare their citizens with disabilities for work, including policies that can help facilitate skill development and job exploration opportunities—such as work-based learning—for youth and young adults, including those with disabilities. It is important that these policies align with education and career development planning and meet businesses' predicated workforce needs..

Please keep in mind that we are looking for responses that consider ways that a state can prepare a skilled workforce. This is not an opportunity to provide suggestions around improving existing and individual state agencies. We want participants to consider the policies, not programs that can enhance the employment of people with disabilities at the state level. There may be certain concepts participants view as essential to preparing the state's citizens for the workforce. We are seeking to better understand what those elements are, so that we can more effectively communicate with our partners and state policymakers.

As you submit your ideas on workforce preparedness or comment and vote on ideas submitted by others below, please keep the following guiding questions in mind:

  • What recommendations do you have for state policies that would ensure youth with disabilities are prepared to enter the workforce and included in programs such as apprenticeships?
  • Are there existing state policies that could be altered to guarantee that programs support all youth including those with disabilities?
  • Are there specific barriers for youth with disabilities that could be eliminated through state legislation?

To join the conversation about the Work Matters report, specifically policies that states can develop or implement to prepare their citizens with disabilities for work, please take a moment to Register or to Log In (if you have already registered), and share your ideas. You can also VOTE on any of the ideas, COMMENT, sharing your experience or asking questions about that idea, or ADD AN IDEA by clicking on the SUBMIT NEW IDEA button or clicking the Got It, Let's Get Started link at the bottom of the page.

We look forward to your contributions and thank you in advance for joining us in this important effort.

For further instructions on how to participate in this online dialogue, visit How to Get Started.

To learn more about the Work Matters online dialogue series, visit our Learn More page.