Research suggests that these students have no more trouble than other students finding work after leaving school, but that they often lack the “soft skills”required to stick with employment for the long term.
We believe work experiences should start when the students are in school, and may continue even after the youths have graduated.
David W. Test, a professor of special education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the co-director of the National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center said, “Community-based instruction programs are particularly important for student with disabilities, who often struggle with transferring training from one situation to another.”
Small, “mom-and-pop” businesses tend to work well for students with disabilities because the business owners can pay more attention to each of them, said Deanne K. Unruh, a senior research associate at the University of Oregon in Eugene, whose research specialty is at-risk youth involved in the juvenile justice system. She is also the project director of the National Post-School Outcomes Center, another federally funded organization that helps states collect data on what happens to students with disabilities once they leave school.
Involving special needs student in voluntary job training not only provides training but builds self-esteem.
A report from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 - tracked students with disabilities eight years after high school found that about 50 percent of young adults with behavioral disturbances were employed, compared with 67 percent of youths with learning disabilities, 64 percent of students with speech and language impairments, and 64 percent of students with “other health impairments.”