Tuesday, May 24, 2016

15 Helpful LD Transition Resources: From High School to Successful Employment

Part 2 & the last article in this series

In our last article, the first in this series, we presented information and resources for challenged high school students preparing for the transition to college. From study skills and test-prep resources to helpful apps and other links for high school students with LD (learning disabilities), the article entitled 25 Helpful LD Transition Resources: From High School to College provided much in the way of assistance for many teens and others considering secondary transition to college life.

This week's article is intended to help students with LD for whom employment after high school, whether full-time, part-time or a volunteer position, is a more appropriate option. It is important to remember that for a variety of reasons, the college experience is certainly not for everyone. Consider a teen's strengths as well as the challenges she may have. Keep in mind that the potential for her successful job placement will rely upon both of these considerations.

When considering and then looking for employment with your child, you need to think about what kind of job in which your child would be successful as well as the level of support he/she will need to secure and maintain a job.

There are five basic levels of employment support for individuals with learning and/or developmental disabilities:

1. Competitive Employment: A full-time or part-time job paid at market wages with no long-term support. The employer hires the individual based on his/her skillset and the needs of the business.

2. Supported Employment: A job in which the employee receives ongoing support that is funded through state developmental disabilities or vocational rehabilitation agencies. This job can be in an individual or group setting, depending on the support level needed. This type of position also meets the employer’s business needs and can still include “job carving,” where a job is created to meet the unique skillset of the individual.

3. Self-Employment: A job someone does on his own that provides an income.

4. Production Employment: A job in which employees with disabilities work at a site with other employees with disabilities and do defined tasks like collating, assembling, or packaging. This job setting provides a high level of supervision and job training.

5. Volunteer Employment: A job that someone does without pay, usually to benefit the community. Volunteer jobs can lead to paid employment by providing work experience, or they can be an end to themselves, providing the volunteer with community and purpose.

To further aid you or your teen in researching resources for employment after high school, you might consider those in the following list:

LD Transition Resources: BEFORE Successful Job Placement

Disability and Employment Community of Practice
The Disability and Employment Community of Practice is an online learning destination for public workforce system staff and partners, job seekers, community-based organizations, grantees, and the business sector, who provide services and programs to people with disabilities and/or other challenges to employment.
Resource Library link: https://disability.workforcegps.org/resources

Transition: School to Work
This webpage from LDonline provides answers to some frequently asked questions about transitioning from high school to job placement for teens with LD.

Employment Services---from Easter Seals Midwest
Visit this site for information and resources related to teen transition services, career exploration and discovery, pre-vocational training, job-placement services and more in the State of Missouri.

Get Your Child Ready for Work---from LDA (Learning Disabilities of America)
You can help your child become a satisfied and valuable employee by teaching him to develop the values and skills of a good worker, avoid the common pitfalls of youth with learning disabilities, and learn job-related skills at home. To learn more, read this article.

This is the U.S. federal government website for information on disability programs and services nationwide. The site connects people with disabilities, their families and caregivers to helpful resources on topics such as how to apply for disability benefits, find a job, get health care or pay for accessible housing. You can also find organizations in your community to help you get the support you need.

Employment and Other Options---from AutismSpeaks
What will the day look like when high school ends? There are several different options for individuals with autism when it comes to what they will do when they leave the education system. Some individuals may want a structured vocational or day program, others may choose to focus on community experiences or some type of employment. These options may include sheltered employment, supported employment, or competitive employment. Other young adults with autism may want to attend college or another type of post-secondary education institution before they enter the world of employment. The downloadable PDF here will provide assistance and information needed.
Link to FREE 12-page PDF printable: https://www.autismspeaks.org/sites/default/files/documents/transition/employment.pdf

Five Misconceptions about Job Advancement---from LDA
The basics of job advancement are similar for all people, but people with learning disabilities must particularly ensure that they assess their strengths, develop credibility, and take advantage of available leadership opportunities. The five misconceptions about job advancement can impede the process of getting promotions and advancing in careers for many people with learning disabilities. Learn more about these misconceptions in order to be more successful in landing a good job.

LD Transition Resources: AFTER Successful Job Placement

On the Job---from LDA
You’ve met the requirements! Now you have a job. When that happens, the focus of your life will change. You are no longer faced with the problems of finding a job. Now you are faced with the questions 1) how can I advance in my chosen career and 2) how can I prevent or minimize problems in the workplace which might cost me the job I worked so hard to get? These are issues for every person in the workforce and every individual with disabilities, but they are particularly challenging for an individual with attention deficit disorder or a specific learning disability. This article will provide some assistance with these issues.

Job Coaching and Supported Employment---from The Viscardi Center
This website and its organization, a 501(c)(3)non-profit located in Albertson, NY, provide information about a lifespan of programs and services that educate, employ and empower children and adults with disabilities.

Self-Advocacy in the Workplace: Requesting Job Accommodations---from LDA
Self-advocacy is knowing what you want, what you do well, and what you have difficulty doing. It includes knowing your legal rights, your needs, and telling that information to the appropriate person. Effective self-advocacy empowers people and gives them access to reasonable accommodations and strategies. In this article, learn some helpful tips for becoming an effective self-advocate in the workplace.

Other Related Resources

Find a Service for Autism (and other LD)---from AutismSpeaks
Select your state and all the listings for autism services (or other LD challenges)in that state will appear. Once you click on a category, you will be asked to enter a zip code in the state you picked. After you enter your zip code and hit the enter key, a map of all the listings of that category in the state will appear. Search for transition services, job coaching and more.

The Journey to Life After High School---from AbilityPath.org
A Road Map for Parents of Children with Special Needs---A FREE printable PDF document (81 pages) with helpful information and resources for both college AND employment after high school for students with special needs.

Top 10 Skills Autistic Teens Need For Independent Living
As parents of children with autism and other special needs, we tend to be overwhelmed by all that we need to teach them. This article will help focus on the most important skills to address.

When College Isn’t in the Cards---from The New York Times
This is an excellent article that provides a helpful explanation of reasons why college may not be the best path for many high school students (typical or LD).

Inexpensive Low-tech & Digital Reading Tools to Help Persons with LD on the Job
Research-based and sensory-appealing tools for MORE focus and BETTER reading comprehension/retention. The physical and digital tools provided via this site are customizable and teacher-designed yet inexpensive.

Please READ our companion article to this post entitled 25 Helpful LD Transition Resources: From High School to College.

For information on customizable tools to improve focus and attention at work, school or at home, please visit:
www.FocusandRead.com Tools for struggling readers of all ages!
www.BrennanInnovators.com Info & support for struggling readers

Image courtesy of:
Brennan Innovators, LLC at www.focusandread.com

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