• Research Study One

    A Systematic Review of the Literature/ Case Study of Practices Related to Transition of Youth with Disabilities into the Workplace

    The goals of this study are to identify the barriers to and facilitators of outcomes for transition-age youth with disabilities, and identify existing practices, programs, or policies that are associated with employment outcomes.

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  • Research Study Two

    Effects of Knowledge Translation Methods on Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors Providing Pre-ETS to Youth with Significant Disabilities 14-16 years of age

    This study will be a pilot Intervention Development Randomized Control Trial to use knowledge translation (KT) methods to develop and deliver a toolkit to assist vocational rehabilitation counselors providing pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS) to students 14 to 16 years of age with significant disabilities.

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  • Research Study Three

    Effects of Paid Internships on Competitive Integrated Employment or Postsecondary Education Outcomes for At-Risk Youth with Disabilities Earning a Regular Diploma

    This study focuses on an internship program called Start on Success (SOS) that incorporates a Career and Technical Education (CTE) course followed by paid work experiences for high school at-risk youth with disabilities.

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  • Research Study Four

    Cognitive Support Technology for Postsecondary Students with Traumatic Brain Injuries: A Randomized Clinical Trial at the Intervention Efficacy Stage of Research

    This Randomized Control Trial initiative (Intervention Efficacy) is designed to improve the academic and employment outcomes of students with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in post-secondary education.

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  • Research Study Five

    Effects of Paid Work in High School on the Employment Outcomes of Youth with Severe Disabilities: A Randomized Control Trial (RCT) Intervention Development

    The goal of this study is to generate empirical support for the impact of early work experiences, practical guidance and resources for schools committed to connecting their students to community jobs, and richer insights into the pathways leading from school to the world of work.

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  • Research Study Six

    Effects of Trained Personnel Providing Employment Supports in Higher Education on the Employment Experiences of College Students with Intellectual and / or Developmental Disability (I/DD): A Quasi-Experimental Study

    This study examines the effects of an online course, coupled with technical assistance for trained personnel providing employment supports to students with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disability (I/DD) in higher education.

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Studies, Updates and Research Activities

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Articles, Briefs, Guides, and Fact Sheets

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Webcasts, Toolkit, and Face-to-Face Meetings

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Spotlight: Research Brief
Check out our resources on the Employment of Transition-Age Youth with Disabilities. Be sure to read the research brief on Stakeholder Perspectives on Paid Work Experiences of Youth with Disabilities.
Latest news
Young man working in hospital

18-year-old Project SEARCH graduate with autism joins staff at Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital

Richmond Times-Dispatch (By Madyson Fitzgerald) - In the main lab on the first floor of Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Centerin Chesterfield County, machines beeped and whirred with activity as hospital staff worked late Tuesday morning. It was a busy scene. One staffer was preparing specimens to be transferred to Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital in Henrico County. Wearing a blue medical gown and mask with hair pulled into a ponytail was Xander Ferguson, 18, who was putting the tracking information on the vials. In the lab, he can usually be found filing slides, making COVID-19 kits, and scanning lab specimens.


CIE: Outcomes for Individuals with I/DD

Customized Competitive integrated employment (CIE) has been established as the preferred goal for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) seeking employment. When compared to employment in segregated settings, CIE has shown more positive impacts on the lives of individuals. A recent study that examined the impact of competitive integrated employment on economic, psychological, and physical health outcomes for individuals with I/DD revealed some key findings.

Plain Language Summary

The impact of competitive integrated employment

Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE) has been well established in research and policy as the preferred outcome for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in the United States. However, without greater documentation and accurate assessment of the impact of CIE to improve the lives of individuals with IDD, we risk greatly undervaluing this key life experience. Subsequently, this miscalculates the public policy related to CIE by not more fully investigating in its promotion.

Start on success cover page

Journal Article

Start on success: A school and business collaboration model offering work-based learning for students with disabilities - Students connect what they learn in high school to the world of work. The opportunity to work provides high school students a valuable learning experience. They find a purpose for coming to school. For students with disabilities (SWD), a college and career readiness gap exists.