Many students with disabilities continue to struggle to successfully make the transition from school to employment. Despite advances in employment rates for students with disabilities who have exited school, their employment rates still lag significantly behind their nondisabled peers (Blackorby & Wagner, 1996). For decades, research has shown the strong relationship between work experience during secondary school and postschool employment for youth with disabilities (Benz, Yovanoff, & Doren, 1997; Colley & Jamison, 1998; Hasazi, Gordan, & Roe, 1985). However, as the continuing disappointing postschool employment rates for youth with disabilities suggest, there remains a critical need to expand work-based learning opportunities for these youth and to integrate these experiences into secondary education. This brief highlights the benefits of work-based learning, what constitutes quality work-based learning, and selected evidence-based models of work-based learning.
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