Magnifying glass highlights one big word: JOBTheme: Employment

Welcome to the February 2016 edition of Buzz from the Hub, the newsletter of the Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR).

Career and college readiness are two priorities that Parent Centers currently address in their work with youth with disabilities, their families, and many professionals in the disability and education fields. This month, CPIR would like to focus on the career readiness priority—specifically, connecting you with resources to support youth with disabilities as they explore employment options.

All our best to you, as always,

The CPIR Team | Debra, Lisa, Indira, and Myriam


See other issues of the Buzz

Hot Off the Press from CPIR!

Quick-Find Index to CPIR Products and Resources.
Many of you have pointed out that there’s no quick and easy way on the Hub to find the products and resources that CPIR has produced. We heard you—-and so, with pleasure, here you go, a quick-find index. On the menu bar across the top of the site, it’s the 3rd tab, “CPIR Products.” Hope this helps!

Miss the webinar on the Every Student Succeeds Act?
No problem. We’ve archived the webinar on ESSA, for your leisurely listening and viewing.

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New Resources in the Hub on Employment

CPIR’s resource library is ever-growing, so it’s helpful to know what’s been recently added. Here are several you may find useful in the coming days and months.

Inclusive Internship Programs: A How-to Guide for Employers.
New in the Hub | Ensuring that internship programs are accessible for all youth, including youth with disabilities, is a major step towards building an inclusive workplace. Public and private employers of all sizes can reference this guide to learn about the benefits associated with facilitating inclusive internship programs as well as the components to consider when designing, implementing, and evaluating these programs.

Integrated Employment Toolkit.
New in the Hub | ODEP (the Office of Disability Employment Policy) has developed the Integrated Employment Toolkit to provide valuable information as individuals, community employment agencies, policymakers, and others pursue integrated employment as the desired employment goal for youth and adults with disabilities.

Partners in Employment.
New in the Hub | This 6-hour self-study course is designed to help people with developmental disabilities find meaningful jobs and plan a career. In this course, participants will create a resume or portfolio of their strengths, skills, and interests; learn how to network and identify potential employers; prepare for an interview; and understand the hiring process. The course is available in English, Spanish, and as an EZ Read version that uses visuals.

Understanding the New Vision for Career Development: The Role of Family.
This Info Brief from the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability introduces families, including families of youth with disabilities, to a new way of looking at career development for youth. The brief discusses the 3 phases of career development, highlights Individualized Learning Plans as a tool for facilitating the career development process, and offers strategies on how families can be involved.

Employment Connections.
This resource page is part of the larger Transition Suite, but it narrows the transition focus to employment issues and exploration. Updated in February 2016, the page is divided into: tips for getting started, understanding the network that’s out there to help, reasonable accommodations in the workplace, job coaches, and supported employment.

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Spotlight on…Employment Resources in Spanish

We know that Parent Centers are always searching for materials in other languages, especially Spanish. What’s out there on the topic of our Buzz this month?

Partners in Employment.
We just mentioned this resource in the Hub section above. It’s available in English, Spanish, and an EZ Read version.

Reasonable workplace accommodations under the ADA | Acomodaciones razonables bajo el ADA.
The go-to source for information in English and in Spanish on reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities is JAN, the Job Accommodation Network. Check out the long list of fact sheets and briefs in both languages!

Campaign for Disability Employment Outreach Toolkits.
Being equipped with the right resources is the first step in promoting inclusion and opportunities for people with disabilities in the workplace. The Campaign for Disability Employment provides toolkits with materials supporting the What Can YOU Do? message and the secondary themes built around the award-winning “I Can” PSA, the “Because” PSA ,and the new “Who I Am” PSA. The toolkits are available in English and in Spanish.

Skills to Pay the Bills: Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success.
Skills to Pay the Bills is a curriculum developed by ODEP focused on teaching “soft” or workforce readiness skills to youth, including youth with disabilities. Created for youth development professionals as an introduction to workplace interpersonal and professional skills, the curriculum is targeted for youth ages 14 to 21 in both in-school and out-of-school environments. It includes modular, hands-on, engaging activities that focus on 6 key skill areas: communication, enthusiasm and attitude, teamwork, networking, problem solving and critical thinking, and professionalism. Available in English and in Spanish.

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Resources You Can Share with Families

This section of the Buzz identifies useful resources you might share with families or mention in your own news bulletins.’s Guide to Employment.
A treasure trove of connections for families and youth with disabilities with job-readiness and employment exploration on their agendas.

Career exploration: Job shadowing.
Well-planned job shadowing experiences help teens learn about work environments and routines; job tasks and responsibilities; and skills needed for success in careers of interest This article from Life After IEPs gives tips and tools for planning effective job shadowing opportunities.

Where can I get information about job training programs?
Job training programs can help youth with disabilities learn different kinds of job skills. This resource page offers a quick list of places and agencies to turn to, to find job training programs in your area.

Job Application Process.
This online module from the HEATH Resource Center is meant for youth themselves, to help them learn about the job search, application, and interview processes, and to identify key resources and strategies for finding and securing employment.

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Resources Just for Parent Centers: Employment Data and More

Disability Employment Statistics.
Need data on the employment of people with disabilities? What about youth with disabilities in particular? ODEP is one great one-stop for the latest statistics on who’s employed and who’s not.

Designing a Career Pathways System: A Framework for State Education Agencies.
The endgame for K-12 stakeholders is no longer high school graduation; it’s preparing all students for successful careers. Career pathways support students in the transition from secondary education through the workforce, and it can be one part of a comprehensive system to support students’ college and career readiness and success. Designing a Career Pathways System: A Framework for State Education Agencies is a four-chapter module intended to help state education agency staff design, implement, and evaluate a career pathways system. (It can also help Parent Centers be part of state planning activities on the subject!) Each chapter includes a facilitator’s guide, slide presentation, and activity handouts.

Pathway to Employment for Youth with Disabilities.
Volunteerism can provide a great opportunity for youth with disabilities to gain important work-based skills and develop a network of contacts. This article from ODEP and the Corporation for National and Community Service discusses the importance of work-based and service-learning for all youth, including those with disabilities. The article also discusses income exclusions available to Social Security beneficiaries participating in service learning opportunities under AmeriCorps, in which participants receive a living stipend. It closes with a great list of resources!


Logo of the Center for Center for Parent Information and ResourcesThe CPIR hopes that you’ve found useful and relevant resources listed in this month’s Buzz from the Hub. Please feel free to write to the editor, Lisa Küpper, at to suggest the types of resources you’d like to see in the future. CPIR’s listening! Your input is extremely valuable to helping us to craft newsletters that support your work with families.

Our very best to you,

Debra, Indira, Lisa, and Myriam
The CPIR Team


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Publication of this eNewsletter is made possible through Cooperative Agreement H328R130014 between OSEP and the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN). The contents do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government or by the Center for Parent Information and Resources.