Transition School to Work (TSW) Program
The Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) Transition School to Work program focuses on the provision of vocational rehabilitation (VR) services to eligible and potentially eligible high school students with disabilities who are interested in employment after leaving high school. The goal is a smooth, seamless transition from high school to post-high school career development and/or employment.
Planning for eligible students should mirror the regular transition process. In Tennessee, planning for transition begins at age 14. We refer to this period as the preparation phase – getting the student ready to benefit from services. Consultation should intensify as the eligible student moves further along the school path. Services for eligible students could be added to the transition page of the IEP at 16 years of age.
VR counselors should work with appropriate school personnel to determine how they plan to disseminate VR information to students and their families. The dissemination could take place at school sponsored events (fairs, career nights, college nights, etc.) or through individual meetings at the school. VR materials will be provided to school personnel so that they can share with parents of guardians.
All VR eligible students receive counseling and guidance from a vocational rehabilitation counselor. Examples of other transition services that lead to employment might include vocational assessment, assistive technology evaluation, post-secondary training including Project SEARCH and Walgreens REDI, and/or job placement. Post-secondary training might include on-the-job training, training at the Tennessee Rehabilitation Center (Smyrna, TN), or training at the vocational/technical or college/university levels.
High school teachers, school counselors, family members or students may request that a DRS counselor become involved early in the transition planning process. Career exploration is the foundation of successful transition planning. It is a service that allows the student to participate in tours of businesses, job shadowing opportunities and to complete research on their career interests. From these experiences the student, the family, the LEA personnel, and the VR counselor can develop a career goal and pick classes and work-related activities that will help the student meet that goal, through the Individual Plan for Employment (IPE).
For more information about TSW, please contact:
Transition School to Work Director
Citizens Plaza State Office Building, 12th Floor
400 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37243