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Information for High School Staff

It is important for high school and Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) staff to work together to ensure that students with disabilities can prepare for employment success. VRS has a counselor assigned to every high school in Minnesota.

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) sets forth requirements to ensure students with disabilities gain skills and have experiences that lead to success in competitive integrated employment. These requirements fall under the categories of Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) and Limitations on the Use of Subminimum Wage.

Pre-Employment Transition Services

Vocational Rehabilitation Services, in collaboration with local educational agencies, must provide statewide access to Pre-Employment Transition Services for all students with disabilities. Students with disabilities include those receiving special education services or that have a disability for the purpose of section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Pre-ETS must be available to students with disabilities starting in grade nine through the age of 21.

Pre-Employment Transition Services are the following five activities:

  • Job exploration counseling
  • Work-based learning experiences
  • Counseling on opportunities for enrollment in postsecondary education programs
  • Workplace readiness training
  • Instruction in self-advocacy

Additional Pre-ETS Resources

How can VRS, school, county, and health services work together to support student with disabilities?

  • Coordinated services among various agencies serving young people with disabilities and their families can improve their ability to achieve their goals. When different agencies and disciplines work together they can expand opportunities that lead to improved outcomes. Working together assures that the person receives supports that can lead to living, working and playing in the most integrated settings possible.
  • The four examples below are just a few of the many "success stories" that show how through collaboration, state and federal funds can be used together in creative ways to help people with disabilities achieve competitive, integrated employment. Minnesota's departments of Education, Employment and Economic Development and Human Services worked together to develop these examples. They act as roadmaps for how to use different agency services to help people achieve their preferred employment outcome. People with disabilities, their families and professionals can use stories like these to stimulate conversations and ideas about employment. As you work with various partners across the state, you can use these examples to help create more coordinated, innovative plans.

WIOA Limitations on the Use of Subminimum Wage

The VR program receives 77.08 percent of its funding through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. For federal fiscal year 2018, the total amount of grant funds awarded were $40,547,362. The remaining 22.92 percent of the costs ($14,300,000) were funded by Minnesota state appropriations.

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