Disability Employment Challenge:
American high school students with a disability are nearly as likely to enter the juvenile justice system as they are to engage in a career. How do we ensure they end up on the right path?
High Schools in more than 25 locations, including New York City, Philadelphia and throughout Connecticut
Community businesses, such as hospitals and universities
Since 1994, the Start on Success (SOS) program – developed and seeded by NOD in a dozen cities – has been changing the odds dramatically for students with disabilities. SOS student interns split their day between paid positions at major community businesses and classroom instruction leading to a diploma. Interns are matched to jobs that take full advantage of their skills, interests, and longer-term career goals, with worksite supervisors providing regular guidance and mentorship.
Results have been impressive for the 4,000+ students served. Once students are introduced to the world of work through SOS, they go on to postsecondary education or employment at a rate of 75 to 85 percent - nearly triple the rate for all students with disabilities.