Pursuing Paid Employment for Youth with Severe Disabilities

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The road to employment begins in high school. However, few youth with severe disa- bilities currently participate in paid employment before graduation. The purpose of this study was to map the breadth of barriers that can hinder youth from accessing this influential transition experience.

The research team held individual and focus group interviews with 74 transition stakeholders, including parents, educators, adult agency staff, school district leaders, and local employers. Collectively, they identified 47 barriers falling within eight broad categories of challenges: school, student, family, workplace, service system, partnership, transportation, and community.

Article Citation: Awsumb, J. M., Schutz, M. A., Carter, E. W., Schwartzman, B., Burgess, L., & Taylor, J. L. (2022). Pursuing paid employment for youth with severe disabilities: Multiple perspectives on pressing challenges. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 0 1-18. Advanced online publication. https://doi. org/10.1177/15407969221075629.

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VCU-RRTC on Employment of Transition-Age Youth with Disabilities is funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant #90RTEM0002).NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this website do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.. If special accommodations are needed, please contact Liz Getzel at