The Transition: School-to-Work Program helps students with disabilities who
are eligible for vocational rehabilitation services to prepare for employment
and life after high school. Services available through counselors in the Divisions of Vocational
Rehabilitation and Visual Services assigned to each high school include:
- Vocational counseling and guidance assists teachers, parents and students in
developing appropriate career goals.
- Vocational assessment and evaluation helps determine students'
- Work study, arranged through contracts with the schools, provides job readiness skills,
minimum-wage work experience at the school district or in the community and high school
- Work adjustment training is provided through contracts with the schools or purchased from community-based facilities,
and provides students with skills to help them prepare for employment.
On-the-job training is arranged in the community for students in the second
semester of their senior year with permanent employment as a goal.
- Supported employment helps students in the second semester of their senior year
transition into permanent employment.
- Job development and placement specialists help students make job searches more
After graduation, DRS counselors and students continue to work toward vocational
and employment goals. Some services are available to all eligible individuals
without charge. At this point, individuals may be asked to share the cost of
some services, depending on income and financial resources.
Oklahoma Transition Institute
In partnership with the
Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) Special Education Services (SES),
The Department of Career and Technology Education, and other key stakeholders
from across state agencies, schools, families, businesses, and other groups, DRS
co-chairs the Oklahoma Transition Council which focuses on improving transition
planning, services, and post-school outcomes for young adults with disabilities.
The council hosts an annual
Oklahoma Transition Institute (OTI), where regional transition teams from
across the state come together to learn about innovative practices and programs
and to develop a plan for how to improve transition in their local areas. All of
this work is done in partnership with the
National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC) who has
chosen Oklahoma as one of its targeted states. The Council has patterned its
work after a model implemented in New Mexico using the
Taxonomy for Transition Programming.
To learn more about the council, OTI, or how to join a local transition team in
your area, contact the transition coordinator, by phone at
405.635.2768, or e-mail.
DRS' Transition: School-to-Work program works in collaboration with partners
to offer a program dedicated to providing education and employment preparation
opportunities for individuals with significant disabilities. Project SEARCH
originated with the
Cincinnati Children's Hospital and is a one-year, worksite-based
school-to-work program. Participants complete between three and four rotations of 10
weeks each on various jobs within a host employment setting.
DRS has five programs at this time—two young adult programs in Oklahoma City, and three high school transition programs for seniors. The programs include the following partners.
Young Adult Programs
- Francis Tuttle Technology Center, Mercy Health Systems, OU-NCDET, and DRS
- Metro Technology Centers, Chesapeake Energy Corporation, Dale Rogers Training Center, OU-NCDET, DRS
High School Transition Programs
- Byng Public Schools, Allen Public Schools, Latta Public Schools, Roff Public Schools, Stonewall Public Schools, Vanoss Public Schools, Valley View Regional Hospital, Not Just Jobs, OU-NCDET, DRS
- Enid Public Schools, INTEGRIS Bass Baptist Health Center, 4RKids Foundation, OU-NCDET, DRS
- Jenks Public Schools, St. John Medical Center, DRS, Central Technology Center, OU-NCDET, DRS
The mission of this program is to maximize the potential of people with
disabilities through competitive employment in non-traditional jobs. DRS
provides individualized vocational guidance and funding for job coaches,
training, technical assistance and project management through a contract with
the NCDET-OU. For more information about Project SEARCH, contact the DRS transition
coordinator, by phone at 405.635.2768, or e-mail.
Timeline of Transition Activities
The Oklahoma Transition Council (OTC) developed a timeline of transition activities to help families, schools, and other partners begin working with children and youth to develop skills, access resources, and make strides toward preparing for life after high school. You can access the timeline by visiting the University of Oklahoma Zarrow Center for Learning Enrichment, Timeline of Transition Activities.