Badge for A Project of the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs


Youth with Disabilities

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law ensuring services to children with disabilities throughout the nation. IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities.

Children and youth (ages 3-21) receive special education and related services under IDEA Part B.

Grant Funds for Students with Disabilities
Federal Student Aid Grant Programs

Join the Conversation for Change

Help shape federal agency strategies for helping youth and young adults with disabilities successfully transition from school to work.

Overview To examine the impact of existing federal regulations and legislation on the successful transition from school to work of youth with disabilities, a free, public online dialogue will be held May 13-27, 2013. The U.S. Departments of Labor, Education, Health and Human Services and the Social Security Administration will host the event and invite policymakers, service providers, advocates, youth with disabilities and others to join this online dialogue to improve transition outcomes for youth with disabilities.

To learn more about why this is happening, read the details in the Transitioning Youth Section: Youth with Disabilities.

Why is this happening?
The four host agencies want to ensure that all youth benefit from collective federal resources to achieve economic empowerment and maximize independence. Your input in this conversation is extremely important because studies and reports have shown that, compared to their peers without disabilities, students with disabilities are less likely to receive a regular high school diploma; twice as likely to drop out of school; and half as likely to enroll in and complete post-secondary education programs. Up to two years after leaving high school, about 4 in 10 youth with disabilities are employed, compared to 6 in 10 same-age, out-of-school youth in the general population (National Center for Education Statistics, 2000; National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 [NLTS-2], 2005).

Why Participate?
Your input can help these agencies identify federal legislative and regulatory barriers and opportunities to improve transition outcomes for youth with disabilities. It will also facilitate their working together strategically on an inter-agency basis to foster the alignment of policies, programs and practices that support the successful transition from school to work of youth with disabilities. Once the dialogue has closed, a summary report will be made public.

Who Should Participate?
Anyone with a personal or professional stake in supporting the aspirations of youth and young adults with disabilities to live, work and thrive in their communities is invited to register and participate.

How to Participate

Online registration will begin May 7, 2013. You will be able to provide input from May 13 until May 27, 2013. Instructions for registering are available at Once registered, participants may submit ideas, submit comments about ideas, and rate those ideas they think are the most important. The dialogue will be facilitated to ensure participants experience a robust and productive exchange.

National Council on Disability (NCD)

National Council on Disability (NCD) is a small, independent federal agency charged with advising the President, Congress, and other federal agencies regarding policies, programs, practices, and procedures that affect people with disabilities. NCD is comprised of a team of fifteen Senate-confirmed Presidential appointees, an Executive Director appointed by the Chairman, and eleven, full-time professional staff.

NCD's mission is to be a trusted advisor, in collaboration with people with disabilities to:

  • The President
  • The Congress
  • Federal entities
  • State, tribal communities, and local governments; and
  • Other entities and organizations

Bullying and Students with Disabilities
A Briefing Paper from the

National Council on Disability

 NCD highlights Youth Perspectives
National Council on Disability provides invaluable perspectives on promising practices identified by youth and young adults with disabilities themselves.

Read the Letter by the National Council on Disability, Policy and Program Evaluation Committee Chair, to Massachusetts DDS Commissioner Urging Elimination of Electric Shock. July 2011

National Health Care Transition Center

Health care transition for youth with special health care needs
Visit the National Health Care Transition Center, which disseminates health care transition best practices in primary care medical homes and specialty settings for youth and young adults with special health care needs.

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities

Youth with learning disabilities transition to adulthood.

National Center for Learning Disabilities

On Capitol Hill: Federal Laws & Learning Disabilities
Congress and the Obama Administration are making decisions that affect students and adults with learning disabilities (LD). Learn how you can work with the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD)to make sure the specific needs of people with LD are fully considered in the development of national policies.

The major laws that protect individuals with LD are the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Elementary Secondary Education Act/No Child Left Behind, The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Literacy Education for All, Results for the Nation Act or the LEARN Act will improve the literacy of children from birth through grade twelve and also gives priority to states serving a high number or percentage of impoverished children.

The IDEA Fairness Restoration Act will allow parents to recover expert witness fees in due process hearings and litigation under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). NCLD urges you to contact your Representative and Senator and tell them to support this important legislation.

Policy-Related Publications

The National Center for Learning Disabilities provides data-driven information and recommendations to policy makers and the media to positively influence the education and disability policy debate.

LD Advocates Guide
NCLD's LD Advocates Guide offers information and guidance for both first-time and experienced advocates to promote voices of children and adults with learning disabilities represented in Washington, D.C. and at the state and local level. In 2009, NCLD Public Policy Staff published the LD Advocates Guide.

Special Education Scorecards
The National Center for Learning Disabilities has issued the Special Education Scorecards for every state in the nation, which include information on each state's special education enrollment, including students with learning disabilities, student performance on key indicators, federal funding provided to states in support of special education, plus the state's latest rating according to the 2010 Special Education State Scorecard Data by the U.S. Department of Education on its State Performance Plan.

U.S. Department of Education

Resources related to IDEA and its implementing regulations released on August 3, with searchable versions of IDEA and the regulations, access to cross-referenced content from other laws (e.g., the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), etc.), video clips on selected topics, topic briefs on selected regulations, links to OSEP's Technical Assistance and Dissemination (TA&D) Network and a Q&A Corner where you can submit questions, and a variety of other information sources.

You can access Public Law 108-446 - 108th Congress, regulations (version 08/14/06) and the Supplemental from 2008.

DOA News

Revised Q&A Document on Private Schools - Released April 2011