Employment First: A Family Perspective

Employment First (E1st) is based on the idea that "Employment is the first priority and preferred outcome of publicly funded services for people with disabilities." (Iowa APSE) It may sound like another "new thing" but really it isn't. Instead, it is a way for Iowa services to increase integrated work options for Iowans with disabilities.

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Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services (IVRS) can provide a multitude of services that are tailored specifically to the needs of each individual. The services and supports a student receives begin in high school and can continue throughout their employment.

Learn More at IVRS

Age of Majority

Age of majority is the legal age established by state law at which a person is no longer a minor and has the right and the responsibility to make certain legal choices that adults make. The IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) affords parents certain rights to ensure their participation in the educational process for their child with disabilities.

More Information on Transferring Rights

Transition Iowa is a website for youth with disabilities, their families and the professionals who serve them. The resources found here support high expectations and successful outcomes for all students, and help transition-age young adults prepare for life after high school. A new version of this site will be launching in Fall 2019.

Learn More at Transition Iowa

Transition Terms

Special Education uses many acronyms or abbreviations, many of which families become familiar while their student is in school. As teens and their families prepare to exit school and begin life as an adult, they are faced with many new terms and acronyms. Listed below are definitions of some words and acronyms often used during this important time.

Understand the Terminology

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act: What it Means for Iowa Youth, Families and Schools

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) was signed into federal law July 2014. The purpose is to "empower individuals with disabilities to maximize employment, economic self-sufficiency, independence, and inclusion in and integration into society."

Learn About WIOA

Life After High School

We have all thought about what we want to do when we "grow up." For most teenagers, high school is a time when they have to move from thinking and dreaming to planning and working toward real goals. All students face the big transition from high school to the "real world," and students with disabilities may face that transition with even more factors to consider. Preparing how to meet those special needs is the purpose of transition planning for students with IEPs

Prepare for Life After High School

Iowa Disability Benefits Network

Iowa Workforce Development partnered with state and local agencies to develop the new Iowa Disability Benefits Network. The website provides information for recipients of Social Security disability benefits, their families and professionals supporting people with disabilities. The site includes resources for employment support, instructions for reporting wages to Social Security, informative videos about Social Security benefits, and other information for Iowans with disabilities. The content aligns with the requirements of the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act and focuses on developing Iowa's workforce.

Read More on the Iowa Disability Benefits Network

Student Involvement in the IEP Process

IDEA requires that students with disabilities be invited to attend every IEP meeting where postsecondary transition goals will be considered. This page offers resources you can use to involve students with disabilities in planning their own transitions into adulthood.

Learn More at Parent Center Hub