It has been almost two weeks since approximately 65 participants and 10 presenters gathered in Houston, Texas for the “Building an Effective Comprehensive CIL Youth Program” training. It was a well-planned and well attended event that generated a lot of rich discussion on what some CILs are doing to engage with youth in their communities. The training gave all of us ideas for how we can start or continue to build momentum in our own communities to better serve young adults with disabilities as they transition to adulthood.
For those of you that were able to attend, here is a gentle prompt to help you keep the momentum from the training going… have you followed through on the 3-5 concrete next steps that you wrote down at the end of the training? If so, we would love to hear what has happened as a result. If not, what barriers did you encounter that have kept you from following through? How can we help you work around these barriers?
If you weren’t able to attend the training in Houston, know that the folks at ILRU and the IL-Net project partners are working diligently to make the presentations and materials from the conference available on-line as soon as possible. When available these resources will be placed on the Youth Resources page of the ILRU Wiki that can be accessed here.
In the meantime here are two additional resources that deal with employment issues for youth with disabilities to check out. One the “Soft Skill to Pay the Bills: Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success” curriculum produced by the Office of Disability Employment Policy may familiar to many of you, but it is worth a second look if you haven’t used it much. If you aren’t familiar with this curriculum many CILs use it in their youth programs and find that the hands on activities and interactive nature of the material make it appealing for the youth. Visit this link to learn more about the curriculum and get an electronic copy or order a hard copy for your program.
Finally, the Center for Studying Disability Policy is conducting a live forum and webcast titled “The Future for Young Americans with Disabilities: Economic Success or Dependence?” To learn more click here. The forum scheduled for Wednesday, May 16, 2012, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. (EDT) will cover the following topics:
•A disability framework to identify, compare, and contrast youth and young adults with disabilities
•Results from qualitative research highlighting barriers to economic independence as young people transition to adulthood
•Findings from a new synthesis of outcomes for youth and young adults with psychiatric conditions in supported employment programs