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The Boston Special Education Transition Project (B-SET)

The goal of the B-SET (Boston Special Education Transition) project is to increase inclusive employment and career opportunities for Boston youth with disabilities. There are over 4,300 Boston youth with disabilities age 14-22 attending public schools.  Based on current trends, about 60% of them will either drop out, fail to transition to adult services or will graduate but then become disconnected from post-secondary school or career pathways.

Our approach is to combine special education advocacy focused on helping individual students with a broad-based coalition to make systemic change, through these inter-related components:

  • Improving special education transition services to help ensure that students exit special education with the skills necessary for employment, higher education, and independent living; and
  • Increasing pathways to post-secondary education and employment opportunities through the B-SET for Career Network, a coalition of over 50 organizations from multiple sectors (education, disability, youth development and workforce development) working together to implement the action plan developed by the coalition in 2015.
  • That action plan. Inclusive Employment & Career for Boston Youth with Disabilities: Pathways to the Talent Pipeline (www.b-setforcareer.org ), presented findings about the major barriers and conditions for change to connecting youth with disabilities to education and career pathways and pipelines. It delineated six specific goal areas focused on the school district, family and community supports, post-secondary pathways, state agency coordination, opportunity youth, and employer engagement.

The Network’s membership includes Boston Public Schools, state and other city agencies; employers, unions and job developers; and youth service, disability and parent organizations — in a “collective impact” approach to solving complex social problems. The collaboration is driven by six operational groups (OGs) that correspond to the goal areas of the action plan. Each of these groups is led by a key stakeholder, such as BPS and Mass Rehabilitation Commission, responsible for implementing the action steps.  Learn more about Network activities here.