By Joanne Lara, MA, CCTC Mod/Severe Ed Specialist
Originally published in Autism Asperger’s Digest, August-October 2016
Prior to 1975, very few people were even thinking about how students with autism could be brought into the workforce because individuals with disabilities were not even allowed to be educated in the public schools in most states in the country before that time.
By June 2014, only 19.3% of people with disabilities in the U.S. were participating in the labor force working or seeking work. Of those, 12.9% were unemployed, meaning only 16.8% of the population with disabilities was employed (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014).
The truth is that now, after 19 years of the institution of the individual transitioning plan (ITP) being enacted as part of IDEA 1997 (with 2004 transition revisions)-only a small percentage of our youth on the autism spectrum are transitioning into jobs in their communities, even though the sole purpose of the ITP programs was and still is to get our students into the workforce after high school.Read the rest...