Join the Conversation for Change: Help shape federal agency strategies for helping youth and young adults with disabilities successfully transition from school to work


To examine the impact of existing federal regulations and legislation on the successful transition from school to work of youth with disabilities, a free, public online dialogue will be held May 13-27, 2013. The US Departments of Labor, Education, Health and Human Services and the Social Security Administration will host the event and invite policymakers, service providers, advocates, youth with disabilities and others to join this online dialogue to improve transition outcomes for youth with disabilities.

Why is this happening?

The four host agencies want to ensure that all youth benefit from collective federal resources to achieve economic empowerment and maximize independence. Your input in this conversation is extremely important because studies and reports have shown that, compared to their peers without disabilities, students with disabilities are less likely to receive a regular high school diploma; twice as likely to drop out of school; and half as likely to enroll in and complete postsecondary education programs. Up to two years after leaving high school, about 4 in 10 youth with disabilities are employed, compared to 6 in 10 same-age, out-of-school youth in the general population (National Center for Education Statistics, 2000; National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 [NLTS-2], 2005).

Why participate?

Your input can help these agencies identify federal legislative and regulatory barriers and opportunities to improve transition outcomes for youth with disabilities. It will also facilitate their working together strategically on an interagency basis to foster the alignment of policies, programs and practices that support the successful transition from school to work of youth with disabilities. Once the dialogue has closed, a summary report will be made public.

Who Should Participate?

Anyone with a personal or professional stake in supporting the aspirations of youth and young adults with disabilities to live, work and thrive in their communities is invited to register and participate.

How to Participate

Online registration will begin May 7, 2013. You will be able to provide input from May 13 until May 27, 2013. (Instructions for registering are available at Once registered, participants may submit ideas, submit comments about ideas, and rate those ideas they think are the most important. The dialogue will be facilitated to ensure participants experience a robust and productive exchange.