InRoads to Employment: Program Guidebooks
Disability:IN North Carolina developed the following innovative program models under a grant from the NC Council on Developmental Disabilities (NCCDD) which was funded from March 1, 2018 to February 28, 2021.
InRoads to Employment was designed to showcase innovative strategies for expanding employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities in North Carolina, with a special emphasis on youth with developmental disabilities. InRoads to Employment focused on three major deliverables including:
- developing two paid apprenticeships,
- aiding two school systems to develop Pre-Employment Transition Services. and
- creating a postsecondary mentoring program.
Disability:IN North Carolina offers consulting and technical support to other organizations who are interested in replicating any of these programs.
The need for effective strategies to connect students with disabilities to businesses who can hire them cannot be overstated. In North Carolina there are:
756,600 people with disabilities (age 16-64) and only 32.8% are employed
The National Center for Education Statistics reports that about
12% of all individuals who graduate with a baccalaureate have a disability (Education, 2018)
CommunAbility Mentoring Guidebook
The goal of CommunAbility Mentoring is to match the students with business mentors to support their transition to careers in similar industries to their mentors.
Research indicates that mentoring is especially effective in helping youth with disabilities transition into the workplace and adulthood. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy(ODEP) has funded pilot projects to expand the capacity of community and faith-based organizations to promote mentoring programs for youth with disabilities through intermediary organizations.” (Labor, 2020)
DI-NC is currently providing CommunAbility services for college students with disabilities in partnership with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Disability:IN North Carolina is also adapting the program to serve high school students with disabilities as they transition from school to work.
Pre-Employment Transition Services Guidebook
DI-NC is in a unique position as a thought-leader in disability employment and inclusion due to our network of member employers and our business connections in the disability inclusion space.
This guidebook illuminates the following implementation insights on Pre-ETS services. The guidebook provides:
- a brief overview of Pre-ETS services and discuss the technical support provided by DI-NC to write the proposal with Cleveland County Schools (CCS),
- a case study on the development of READY, the Cleveland County School system’s (CCS) Pre-ETS program with the program outcomes from the first two years of the program, and
- a list of the emerging best practices in the delivery of Pre-ETS services.
“When students with disabilities access collaborative services during high school, they are more likely to experience positive post-school outcomes” (Noonan, 2013) (Test,2009).
Guidebook on Expanding Apprenticeships for People with Disabilities
Business leaders report that current education and training systems are simply not generating enough skilled workers to meet the demand for the available jobs in the future.
Registered apprenticeships are gaining ground as a cost effective and efficient way to train low-income adults and out of school youth to enter well paid jobs of the future. Expanding the participation of people with disabilities in registered apprenticeships is needed to increase the talent pipeline for businesses across the nation.
The guidebook on Apprenticeship includes:
- a brief overview of how the apprenticeship process works in North Carolina,
- information on how to address barriers to enhance the participation of individuals with disabilities in apprenticeship programs and encourage businesses to embrace disability inclusive strategies, and
- information on two case histories of apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs for individuals with disabilities.
Partnering with agencies and organizations that serve individuals with disabilities can provide more specific, targeted accommodation strategies for the host business to potential apprentices with disabilities (U. S. Department of Labor, 2020).”