School-to-work transitions for youth with disabilities: A review of outcomes and practices

L. Allen Phelps, Cheryl Hanley-Maxwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This review examined employment and postsecondary education outcomes for youth with disabilities leaving secondary schools, as well as studies of educational practices reporting high-quality outcomes. Analytical considerations included the current initiatives in educational reform that emphasize the improvement of career-related outcomes for all students and the inclusion of youth with disabilities in regular classes. While school-and employment-related outcomes for youth with disabilities continue to be problematic when compared with those for nondisabled youth, two educational practices appear to consistently align with higher-quality outcomes for students. The promising practices that merit attention in improving programs and in advancing the knowledge base include school supervised work experiences and functionally oriented curricula in which occupationally specific skills, employability skills, and academic skills are systematically connected for students. The educational reform literature indicates that valued outcomes for all students are focusing more prominently on workplace and transition outcomes, and that educational practice s supported with documented evidence from the secondary special education literature are viewed by many authors as promising directions for improving secondary education for all students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-226
Number of pages30
JournalReview of Educational Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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