Youth Engagement

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Youth participation in planning, engaging, and assessing transition services empowers them, increases their self-determination, and gives them the skills and self-confidence needed for success in learning, working, and living.

The resources in this section are for students and youth as they prepare for adult living. There are also resources for the professionals and family members who serve as allies with young people. Content in this section has been developed by both young adults with disabilities and adult allies with expertise in this area of transition planning and services. Use these resources to better understand challenges to engagement, the youth development process, and key components to successful youth engagement.

Supported by NTACT:C, the Youth Engagement Transition Initiative (YETI) is group of young adults that will be developing leadership skills through networking and activities and will help inform our work. There's more to come from YETI!

Youth Engagement Training

Unpacking Assumptions: Equitable Approaches to Re-Engaging Students and Youth in Education and VR Services
This webinar helps you understand and deconstruct key equity-oriented language, understand how disability and poverty intersect and its resulting implications, critically reflect on one’s own biases using mental models, and reimagine student and youth re-engagement in secondary education and transition services.

Self-Determination Presenter Guide
This packaged set includes all the materials you need to train staff on the concept of self-determination and the importance of youth leadership development and engagement in the planning of their futures.

Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok & Beyond: Social Media for Peer2Peer Engagement
This webinar provides tips from teenagers and young adults and their adult allies about supporting online engagement and social interactions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Engaging Communities for Systems Change
This course provides an opportunity to increase your capacity to learn from and work with deaf young adults. Drawing from the National Deaf Center’s experiences working with local communities, this course outlines the key elements and actions for collective systems change.

Social Capital for Young Job Seekers
This webinar provides strategies for engaging youth and families to prepare for employment, as well as best practices to help students and families begin career exploration and planning.

Culturally Responsive Practices in Transition Planning
This webinar provides an overview of the concepts of culturally responsive and sustaining practices, which include attending to an individual youth’s perspective.

Resources from Other Sources

Youth Engagement: Lessons Learned from YARH (PDF)

Instruction in Self-Advocacy (Pre-Employment Transition Service)

Arkansas Inclusion Film Camp – learn more!

Gender Affirming Care

Explore Work – Future planning for teens with disabilities.

I’m Determined - Resources for youth, families, and professionals serving youth with disabilities in transition.

Self-Advocacy and Conflict Resolution Strategies – a website to support professionals and students with student-directed requests for and use of accommodations for academic and employment success

Transition Discoveries Guide (Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council grant) includes a Youth Development and Family Engagement components in English and Spanish for assessment and strategic planning

Youthood! A planning site for students and youth.

Youth Voice Resources – numerous resources for organizations serious about engaging youth in their work and systems change efforts

Every state hosts a website associated with college and career planning. Many of these websites include a mechanism for youth to organize their documents from school, internships, work experiences, and interest or skill inventories with tips for planning for what’s next.

What's New

Getting Started Resources

Key Resources

Related Topics

Youth Engagement: Youth Development Webinar Handout (PDF)

This resource provides an overview of the youth engagement continuum, describes how to recognize engagement and its challenges, and details key components of a successful youth engagement program. It also outlines youth development and leadership activities, projects, and resources from three state’s perspectives.

Community Rehabilitation Providers Pre-ETS Guidebook

Securing parental consent and continued parent engagement is important when working with transition age students. This guidebook offers strategies for community rehabilitation providers to collaborate and engage with families when providing Pre-ETS services to youth.