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j. 1. E. Who are youth with disabilities and students with disabilities, including, as appropriate, their need for pre-employment transition services or other transition services.

Current Narrative:

According to the 2020 CSNA, the most common themes that emerged in this area are:

  • Collaboration with Local Education Agencies (LEA) / school districts needs to increase.
  • Transition-age youth need more engagement in the workforce.
  • Increase collaboration with WIOA partners to develop internships and other work based learning activities.
  • There is lack of information regarding ICBVI services and opportunities.

The COVID-19 pandemic presented significant challenges in the delivery of pre-employment transitions services, specifically in the provision of work based learning experiences. The vast majority of Pre-ETS over the past two years have been provided via video conferencing technologies. To help address this, rehabilitation technology, including internet service, were substantial services in the individualized plan for employment for participants (especially those in rural communities) who required these supports.

Strategies to increase opportunities for work based learning experiences for the duration of this plan include:

  • Increase engagement activities with employers. To accomplish this, the Commission's Business Engagement Coordinator will be spending more time with the counselors in all regions to develop work based learning opportunities.
  • Increased engagement with regional LEA's and SPED directors. The Commission's Transition Coordinator will be focusing more of her time on meeting with educators during her visits to the regional offices.
  • Counselor participation in their regional One Stop's.
  • Counselor participation in their regional Transition Councils.

In addition, ICBVI is also addressing the needs of students and youth with disabilities through the following:

  • ICBVI is implementing changes in the delivery of pre-employment transition services. The Commission has begun to take a tiered or scaffolded approach to program development that will enhance the delivery of pre-employment transition services to students with disabilities. This educational approach is not uncommon in our public school systems, where programs build upon each other to reinforce skill building and knowledge.
  • ICBVI has enhanced outreach efforts to students and youth with disabilities that are not traditionally known to the Commission through collaboration with special education services. ICBVI has increased outreach to mainstream educators, especially 504 coordinators.
  • ICBVI continues to focus outreach to parents and families of youth with disabilities, community rehabilitation programs, educators, and other youth servicing agencies. One of the most significant vehicles ICBVI uses to achieve this goal is for our Assessment and Training Center staff to travel around the state to conduct seminars on blindness and visual impairments. Regional staff promote the regional seminars to those unserved and underserved communities.