Panel: Promoting Work Among Youth with Disabilities: Evidence from Three Rigorous Impact Evaluations
(Poverty and Income Policy)

Saturday, November 10, 2018: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
8224 - Lobby Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Chairs:  Gina Livermore, Mathematica Policy Research
Discussants:  Jade Ann Gingerich, Maryland Department of Disabilities and Priyanka Anand, George Mason University

Long-Term Impact Findings from SSA’s Youth Transition Demonstration
Jeffrey Hemmeter, Social Security Administration

Supporting young people with disabilities to make successful transition to adulthood through improved educational and employment outcomes and reduced dependence on public assistance is an enduring emphasis of policy and practice. With the promulgation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) in 2014, policymakers have further emphasized the need for providing employment-related transition services to in- and out-of-school youth with disabilities, as well as the need for interagency collaboration at the federal, state and local levels. In addition, the growth in the number of children with disabilities who rely on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and other public assistance is a creating long-term concerns about fiscal burden on federal and state governments. Yet, there is limited rigorous evidence on what works to improve educational and employment outcomes and promote long-term economic independence for youth with disabilities, which constraints the possibilities of translating policy to practice that effectively serve youth with disabilities. This panel will present evidence from three recently conducted studies—including two large-scale randomized controlled trials—that focus on transition services aimed at promoting employment among youth with disabilities. The evidence presented include short-term impacts on youth service receipt and work related outcomes as well as long-term impacts on employment, earnings and disability benefit program participation. The three studies cover innovative programs implemented in 14 U.S. states, thus providing lessons learned that are likely to be relevant for youth and service providers in a variety of settings. The new evidence is expected to inform policy and practice that support transition age youth with disabilities to become more independent and economically self-reliant.

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