School Professionals

Educators, school counselors, and paraprofessionals play a critical role in helping young people transition out of high school. If a job seeker is clear with their career goal, you can work with the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) team or create an IRT that will help provide support throughout the journey.

Getting Started

  1. For students who have an IEP, begin to support them in career exploration. Recommend they visit the Career Exploration page of our website to help guide them through this stage.
  2. Meet with students' parents, guardians or caregivers to develop a plan to work as a team to encourage career exploration and provide support.
  3. Provide students with individualized transition services, a process that helps facilitate students' pathway to postsecondary education, vocational education, and integrated employment.
  4. Help students connect with Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation, ACCES-VR, which helps job seekers with disabilities maintain employment and support independent living through training, education, rehabilitation, and career development.
  5. Share information about the benefits of working in competitive integrated employment
    . Arrange peer-to-peer mentoring, facilitate worksite visits, and opportunities for work-based learning experiences in integrated job settings.
  6. Expose students to job shadowing opportunities. Learn more in NYC Department of Education’s activity guide on job shadowing.
  7. Connect students to internship opportunities. Learn more in NYC Department of Education’s activity guide on internships.
  8. Connect the youth to benefits counseling to explain the impact of competitive work on an individual’s public benefits. For more information, visit this page on our website on Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Best Practices for School Professionals

Use People-First Language - Person first is a philosophy reflected through language and actions by putting the person first and the disability second. This helps focus on the individual rather than the disability. Another form of language is Identity-First Language, which is particularly important in the autism, blind, and deaf communities.

Promote Self Advocacy Skills - These essential life skills are necessary when youth transition from high school. Self-advocacy is when someone can understand their strengths and weaknesses, know what they need to succeed, and communicate that to other people. For more information, read this report from the National Center for Learning Disabilities.

Universal Design for Learning - A Teacher's Guide - UDL is the process of making physical and pedagogical materials accessible to all. To learn how to implement this in the classroom, see this Teacher's Guide from The Access Project at the Colorado State University has also created this UDL checklist and a more in-depth UDL Quick Tips chart.

Resources for School Professionals

​Posted below are links to different categories of resources.