Young people with disabilities, like all youth, have dreams, interests and talents that can take them on a pathway to a successful and fulfilling adulthood. But the very low rates of employment for people with disabilities speaks to the many barriers they will face on that journey. With the right supports from family, schools, employers and others, they can not only avoid a life of poverty and dependence but can also achieve the satisfaction of feeling valued in their work while bringing value to their place of work.
In Boston, the community has come together to take the first step. Through the Workforce Development Task Force of the Boston Special Education Transition (B-SET) project (a project of MAC and 70 other organizations) developed an Action Plan to guide a strategic approach for change and a Resource Guide to help youth and families navigate the system of services. The Plan contains an executive summary, a goal area “dashboard” with the many action steps already underway or recommended, and a useful chart that shows the key pathways Boston youth take from school to employment.