What is the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA)?

What the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Means for Young People with Disabilities in New York State

Because of a new federal law called the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), there are important changes to help more young people with disabilities to

  • work in typical community settings
  • earn at least minimum wage
  • work with co-workers who do not have disabilities

This is called competitive integrated employment. Because of WIOA, there will be more opportunities for support in gaining skills and preparing for working and earning.

How Does WIOA Impact Students With Disabilities?

Under WIOA, students in high school must receive pre-transition services that prepare them for work. These include job exploration, workplace readiness skills (such as interviewing, resume writing, good work habits and conduct,
and appropriate communication) and internships and job experiences.

Also, high school students must be helped to apply for vocational rehabilitation services. These services are provided by Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies, to:

  • look at the types of jobs and skills needed where people live (“job driven demand”)
  • help develop skills that match a person’s interests and abilities with the local job market.
  • help people overcome obstacles caused by their disability get and keep jobs

What Are The New York State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies?

There are 2 NYS agencies that help provide eligible people learn the skills necessary to get and keep a job. They can sometimes also help pay for equipment, college, transportation, and other things that help on the journey to competitive employment. They are:

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