Research Study 1

Research Study #1: A Systematic Review of the Literature/Case Study of Practices Related to Transition of Youth with Disabilities into the Workplace

Research by University of Wisconsin


The purpose of this Exploration and Discovery study is twofold: 1) conduct a stakeholder-centered, best-evidence review and synthesis of the literature in the U.S. and internationally on best practices for supporting the transition-age youth with disabilities in the workplace, and 2) conduct a qualitative case study as a complementary analysis to study 24 youth with disabilities and 8 employers of those youth, to identify and compare their experience with transition services provided by vocational rehabilitation with the empirically-supported practices identified in our systematic review.


The lack of evidence-based practices, coupled with the poor outcomes of transition-age youth with disabilities in obtaining employment, suggest that exploration of the underlying mechanisms, barriers, and opportunities effect transition outcomes is necessary to address the gaps in existing practices. Each phase of this study is intended to generate new information and theories through new and refined analyses of existing research or through observational findings obtained through new data collection. The primary goals of this study are to identify or describe the barriers to and facilitators of improved outcomes for transition-age youth with disabilities, as well as identifying existing practices, programs, or policies that are associated with improved outcomes.