Work-based Learning for Students with Disabilities
Preparing all students, including students with disabilities, for life after high school is a critical responsibility for California’s education system. Engaging students and their families in discussions regarding careers, employment, and the pre-requisites for postsecondary education, training, and employment must start early and continue throughout their educational experiences. While there are programs in California that benefit students as they explore career opportunities, students with disabilities are seldom included in these programs. Three essential actions drive the development and implementation of a K–14 work-based learning model for youth with disabilities (and, we believe, for all youth): strengthen expectations, leverage opportunities, and integrate supports. We encourage the implementation of these actions early in the student’s education. Specific policy recommendations for California are provided based on these actions.