Abstract

Community colleges have a mission to provide access to postsecondary education. As such, they enroll nearly half of all U.S. undergraduates, with 12% of enrollees indicating that they are students with disabilities (American Association of Community Colleges, 2015). This article describes Onondaga Pathways to Careers (OPC), a pilot project which will research, develop, test, and evaluate innovative systems models for providing inclusive integrated education and career development services to youth and young adults with disabilities, including those with significant disabilities. OPC will implement a model program to improve transition planning for youth and young adults with disabilities through secondary education, into and through supportive community college pathways, and ultimately into skilled employment for which they have trained and which will offer living wages, benefits, and opportunities for advancement. OPC fully embraces what the Americans With Disabilities Act declared in 1990: that “the Nation's proper goals regarding individuals with disabilities are to assure equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency….” This article will provide an overview of OPC while also discussing the importance of interagency collaborations to improve outcomes for youth and young adults with disabilities.

You do not currently have access to this content.