Competitive, integrated employment of individuals with significant disabilities is the focus of the Rehabilitation Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act. Community inclusion—where people with disabilities can live and work as independently as possible—is the preferred choice over segregated employment. Emphasis is placed on prevocational services for youth as a pathway to employment. Funding, policies, and service delivery systems must work together to ensure full community inclusion for people with disabilities.
Disability is a normal part of life and should not prevent an individual from full participation in their communities. Vocational rehabilitation professionals play an important role in advocating for youth with disabilities, especially as they transition to adulthood.
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More About the Research
Disability research continues to show evidence that community integration benefits both individuals with disabilities and society as a whole. Helping people with disabilities pursue meaningful employment improves inclusion, which increases overall well-being. In addition, 151 nations ratified the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which advocates full inclusion of individuals with disabilities as productive members of their communities.
Novak J. (2015). Raising expectations for U.S. youth with disabilities: Federal disability policy advances integrated employment. Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal, 5(1), 91-110.
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Have you tried any of these practices? Have you had success working with these populations in your area?