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Pre-employment Transition Services

What’s New?

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) amends the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and now requires vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies to set aside at least 15% of their federal funds to provide "pre-employment transition services" to "Students with Disabilities who are eligible or potentially eligible for VR services ."

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What is a Student with a Disability?

A Student with a disability is an individual with a disability in a secondary, postsecondary, or other recognized education program who -

  • is not younger than the earliest age for the provision of transition services under section 614(d)(1)(A)(i)(VIII) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1414(d)(1)(A)(i)(VIII) unless the state elects a lower minimum age for receipt of pre-employment services and is not younger than that minimum age; and
  • is not older than 21; unless the individual state law provides for a higher maximum age for receipt of services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.); and is not older than that maximum age; and
  • is eligible for, and receiving, special education or related services under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1411 et seq.); or
  • is an individual with a disability, for purposes of section 504.

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What are the required Pre-Employment Transition Services?

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What are additional authorized Pre Employment Transition Services?

If funds remain, VR agencies may provide the following to improve the transition of students with disabilities from school to postsecondary education or an employment outcome:

  • implement effective strategies that increase  independent living and inclusion in their communities and competitive integrated workplaces;
  • develop and improve strategies for individuals with intellectual and significant disabilities to live independently, participate in postsecondary education experiences, and obtain and retain competitive integrated employment;
  • provide training to vocational rehabilitation counselors, school transition staff, and others supporting students with disabilities;
  • disseminate information on innovative, effective, and efficient approaches to implement pre-employment transition services;
  • coordinate activities with transition services provided by local educational agencies under IDEA;
  • apply evidence-based findings to improve policy, procedure, practice, and the preparation of personnel;
  • develop model transition demonstration projects;
  • establish or support multistate or regional partnerships that involve States, local educational agencies, designated State units, developmental disability agencies, private businesses, or others; and
  • disseminate information and strategies to improve the transition to postsecondary activities of those who are traditionally unserved.

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What is Pre-Employment Transition Coordination?

Funds reserved for pre-employment transition services may be used for the required, authorized, and pre-employment transition coordination activities.

Pre-employment transition coordination consists of:

  • Attending individualized education program meetings for students with disabilities, when invited;
  • Working with the local workforce development boards, one-stop centers, and employers to develop work opportunities for students with disabilities, including internships, summer employment and other employment opportunities available throughout the school year, and apprenticeships;
  • Working with schools, including those carrying out activities under section 614(d) of the IDEA, to coordinate and ensure the provision of pre-employment transition services;
  • When invited, attending person-centered planning meetings for individuals receiving services under title XIX of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396 et seq.);

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