For transition-age youth and young adults with disabilities, success often depends on having the right services in place to support employment, education, and inclusion in the community. Fortunately, there are laws that help.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Rehabilitation Act, the Workforce Investment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guarantee people with disabilities a free and appropriate education, ensure civil rights, and protect young adults from employment discrimination based on their disabilities.
Funded by the Rehabilitation Act, Project Launch works in partnership with parent centers in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio to help youth, adults, families, professionals, and employers understand how these laws can help individuals with disabilities create a positive future.
How Project Launch Helps
Through individual assistance, workshops, resources, and more, Project Launch helps youth and young adults with disabilities pursue meaningful careers, live as independently as possible, and enjoy inclusion at work and in the community.
Project Launch provides a practical website and an array of helpful publications, webinars, parent tip sheets, and videos on disability-related topics.
Guidance and information is also offered on transition, employment, and the role of vocational rehabilitation counselors and rehabilitation services.
Project Launch provides transition-age youth and their families:
Project Launch offers many employment resources:
Parent Center Partners
Project Launch works in partnership with parent centers in Indiana (IN*Source), Kentucky (KY-SPIN), and Ohio (OCECD).
Videos: How Parents Can Help Their Youth Find Employment Success
This video series provides parents with five practical strategies for helping their youth be successful when first looking for employment.
Parents can play an important role in providing postsecondary options and career guidance to youth with disabilities. Some of the ways in which parents help include serving as positive adult role models, assisting with creating clear expectations, and providing exposure to careers and occupations. In addition, parents and other family members provide contacts and networks for their daughters and sons to the community, and express positive values and attitudes toward higher learning and work. Discipline, concentration, and the willingness to take on new challenges can be shared and discussed as it relates to postsecondary and work environments. (Preparing for Employment, National Parent Center on Transition and Employment, 2016)
The following resources have been developed by staff from Project Launch along with staff from PACER Center’s transition team. These materials have been used during workshops and trainings as well as distributed individually to students, parents, and professionals accessing PACER websites. (PACER.org; PACER.org/project-launch; PACER.org/transition/resource-library)
College or Training Programs: How To Decide Tips for Youth
A guide to help with analyzing the different paths, steps and programs to find the perfect fit after graduating from high school.
Talk to Your Child About Postsecondary Education or Training: A Checklist for Parents
Questions to guide the conversation with your child and school to follow toward their desired path into employment or schooling.
The Transition to Employment: What Parents Can Do Now
A four step process to explore employment options and start learning skills in high school to reach an employment goal.
Visiting College and University Campuses
Important activities to consider when visiting campuses to learn more about your desired major, student life and disability services. Includes questions for staff at disability resource centers.
The benefits of volunteering for future job opportunities and a stepping stone for those with disabilities to learn workplace accommodations that work best for them.
Skills for Independent Living: Parents Help Build Social Skills
Seven activities to help build valuable social skills with examples and an action plan to reach individualized goals.
Help Your Young Adult Learn About Accessing Accommodations after High School
Learning the benefits of accommodations under the ADA and when it is appropriate to disclose disability in college or the workplace.
Start Now to Chart Your Youth’s Career Path After Graduation
Tips in guiding your youth before graduation to explore ideas and expand on interests to initiate a path to a career goal.
Set a Postsecondary Education or Training Destination and Map a Course to Get There
Demonstrating the different routes youth can take to reach their goals by using a map to route their employment destination from high school interests to a working employee.
Frequently Asked Questions About Career Exploration for Youth with Disabilities
The benefits of career exploration and different activities to encourage your youth to find their desired career.
Talk to Your Child About Employment: A Checklist for Parents
A beginning guideline to prompt discussion about employment with questions and a checklist for workplace skills that need to be improved.
The Supplemental Security Income Application Process
Breaking down the benefits, frequently asked questions and the process of obtaining Supplemental Security Income.
The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Appeals Process
Steps in overcoming the denial of SSI toward an individual with a disability.
What if My Child is Not Capable of Representing Him or Herself? Guardianship May be Needed
Obtaining guardianship when a student is not capable of managing their educational rights and understanding your own states’ laws in the process.
Transition Planning Tips for Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Youth with Disabilities
Eliminating cultural and linguistic barriers during the transition process with opportunities for additional guidance.
Communicating with Your Student’s College under Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
A parent’s guide to understanding what information can be shared with them as their child transitions into college or university.
Three Steps to a Career Pathway
Tips and strategies supporting a young adult's progress from education to work.
Project Launch is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS) as per agreement, #H23F140021.