young man in hard hat and orange vest

Take every opportunity to learn by doing

By age 16, students who have goals of going to work should begin learning the responsibilities of different jobs, and considering how their strengths, interests and goals align with different career paths. Your student should be participating in volunteer, internship, and paid work opportunities in high school, and have access to the support they need to successfully meet the expectations of the job. For students with more complex support needs, we recommend using a person-centered planning process to explore their options and interests.

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Competitive employment

Competitive, integrated employment offers the same level of benefits, salary, support and opportunities to all employees with comparable experience, skills and education – whether or not they have disabilities.

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puzzle, piece, solve, game, challenge, toy, activity, solution

Customized employment

Customized employment provides more intensive support as a person seeks and secures employment, with services and support tailored to the individual’s needs.

career and life exploration

Once the learning starts, don’t stop!

“Don’t expect all your ducks to be in a row right away. It takes a village – and time!”

One family has learned how to be open to their daughter trying out new things after she completed high school. She’s continuing to learn through college experiences, while still making time to be with her friends and have fun as a young adult.

Kelsey, a young girl wearing a pink t-shirt and black apron, smiles at work at Chapters Coffee Carts. The company logo is in the upper right of the photo.

Employer spotlight

Chapters Coffee Carts: the power of inclusive employment

When the COVID pandemic put up obstacles for their daughter Kelsey’s transition to work, Michael and Carol Nigro created their own solution: Chapters Coffee Carts.

And now, this thriving nonprofit is giving Kelsey and other people with disabilities an opportunity to build critical skills and professional experience in the workforce.

Stay in the conversation about post-secondary transition.

Our experts are changing the way people think about preparing students with disabilities for their post-secondary journeys – in college, career and the community. Stay up to date about the latest insight, research and resources.