Did you know? Last year, 31% of people with disabilities were employed part-time, compared to 17% of people with no disabilities.

(Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Employment opportunities for people with disabilities have improved over the years, but research still shows that youth with disabilities are less likely than youth without disabilities to graduate from high school, attend college, and be employed (U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy, 2013). Too often, individuals with disabilities leave high school unprepared.  Community members have low expectations of them and their ability to work.  Additionally, adult services are confusing to navigate for the individual and their family.

At Easterseals Colorado, we believe all people should be 100 percent included and 100 percent empowered in the workforce. We offer Pre-Employment Transition Services for students with disabilities who are transitioning out of high school and into community employment, post-secondary education, adulthood and independence. Our services are aimed at promoting and exploring competitive, integrated employment options for these youth in transition. Our goal is to help change the statistics around employment for people with disabilities and highlight the importance of job training for youth with disabilities so they have the skills they need to transition to adulthood.

“Students who participated in school-based programs that included a career major, cooperative education, school-sponsored enterprise, and technical preparation were 1.2 times more likely to be engaged in post-school employment (i.e., employment defined as (a) stability with benefits, insurance, paid sick days and (b) full-time employment)”

(NSTTAC, 2013)

Many of our pre-employment transition programs are partnerships between Easterseals Colorado, schools, and employers – like Project SEARCH, STEP-UP, Habitat for Humanity ReStore and Transfort Snack Shack. Students gain the job skills and social skills needed to secure future employment and increase their future independence. The employers also benefit from students through their hard work and create a more dynamic and inclusive workforce.

“Students employed at the time of high school exit were 5.1 times more likely to be engaged in post-school employment”

(NSTTAC, 2011)

Pre-employment transition programs for students with disabilities are critical. Research continues to suggest that job training, coaching and experience for youth with disabilities is pertinent to their future success and independence. As the Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) states, these programs “further develop an awareness of career and education opportunities, the general skills needed for employment success in any field, and the skills needed to appropriately advocate for themselves as they prepare to exit secondary education and enter the workforce or other post-school activities.”

“Students with prior work experience were significantly more likely to get a job than those that did not. In fact, those with paid vocational experience were 35% more likely to secure jobs”

(Fabian, 2007)

Easterseals Colorado Pre-Employment Transition Services seek to close the gap between school and work for youth with disabilities. Education is key. If you have a disability or have a loved one with a disability that is transitioning from high school to adulthood, we have employment services across the state of Colorado so please reach out for more information:

Denver Metro Area
Carla Lopez
dintake@eastersealscolorado.org
303.233.1666 x 230

Northern Colorado Area
Luke Bainer
lbainer@eastersealscolorado.org
720.989.7540

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