Youthhood is a stage of life filled with change and transition. It is a time of exploration and growth as one develops their personal identity and builds skills to manage the transition into adulthood. Although this is an exciting and transformative time, there are also many challenges. This is also the time where many young people begin their employment journey. Youth with disabilities navigate this dynamic and challenging transition while facing additional barriers.
The Employment Support Model for Youth with Disabilities uses five dimensions to support young people with disabilities as they navigate the youth to adulthood transition and pursue employment. It aims to address the unique needs of young people with disabilities by guiding them as they explore their identity, set goals, find purpose, and pursue meaningful work.
The model is visualized as a wheel with five dimensions. Each dimension represents an area of development. While each dimension is unique, they are all interconnected. Together, they represent a holistic view of the different areas of growth and learning that youth with disabilities need to move through their employment journey.
The dimensions are not to be completed in any specific order. Movement through the model is non-linear, and specific to each youth.
Offers immediate low barrier employment support
Is non-linear so youth are free to use the models that are relevant to them
Curriculum connects to youth’s personal life and meant to support them as they learn skills they can easily use everyday
Is holistic, and takes into account the many different aspects that are involved in employment (e.g., wellness, self-exploration, exploring contribution, connection, and purpose, navigation through the employment journey, etc.)
Was built in collaboration with youth with disabilities
Is engaging and activity based – it is a self-serve support or tool for youth as they navigate their employment journey
Is a tool that empowers youth to drive their own learning and support
The Employment Support Model for Youth with Disabilities is currently in development and is slated for release in Spring 2025.