Student and Youth Transition Services

Transition from school to work requires a variety of supports and collaborative efforts among education and workforce programs. No one institution or organization can provide the full range of services that may be required to serve youth with disabilities. However, collaboration and coordinated efforts among education and workforce programs, including vocational rehabilitation, is essential in assisting students with disabilities to make the transition from school to work.

By working closely with school districts, the P-12 Office of Special Education and community providers, ACCES-VR helps to ensure that all youth with disabilities are prepared for employment, post-secondary education and community living when they leave school.  ACCES-VR can provide a range of services to help eligible individuals reach an employment goal.

Application or Referral for VR Services

Unlike special education, the vocational rehabilitation program is not an entitlement program.  You must be determined to be eligible to receive vocational rehabilitation services.   

Individuals who are under age 25 at application are considered a youth applicant.

VR Services

Any VR service may be available to an eligible youth participant. There are also some services that are specifically geared to youth, based on well researched evidence as best practice.

Youth Employment Services (YES) include a range of services which can assist youth with transition to the world of work.  YES service provision accommodates an academic calendar and school day as necessary.  For youth enrolled in secondary school, YES services are recommended to be offered within the two years prior to anticipated exit from high school.

YES options are delivered with a focus on the unique concerns and issues of youth and are related to preparing for employment, developing employment related soft skills and obtaining work experience.  YES options may combine individual services in a meaningful way to enhance job readiness, provide a work experience, and provide coaching supports, etc. 

Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) are a specific category of services defined in the Workplace Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), signed into federal law July 22, 2014. Pre-ETS are specifically designed for students with disabilities between the ages 14-21. With WIOA emphasis on early outreach to students with disabilities, it is expected that students who are age 14 and/or more than two years prior to anticipated exit from high school will receive Pre-ETS services without formal application to ACCES-VR.  Application for services in these circumstances would only occur if there was a demonstrated need for a specific vocational rehabilitation service that has a clear employment focus and is not available through Pre-ETS or IDEA.

NYSED Special Education

Learn more about NYSED Special Education and Transition: Transition Planning Services


Statewide Team

ACCES-VR launched a statewide team on April 1, 2014 with a dedicated staff person assigned in each district office to facilitate the collaboration between ACCES-VR, education and work force programs.
The goals of the team are:

  • To collaborate with multiple stakeholders, including other state agencies, Special Education Quality Assurance (SEQA) and Regional Special Education – Technical Assistance Support Center (RSE-TASC) Transition Specialists; and,
  • To substantiate the policies and practices that lead to increased outcomes through gathering and tracking data and using it to guide the implementation and continuous improvement efforts at building knowledge and skill of VR staff and our partners.

Student and Youth Transition Services Statewide Team

Name Title Office Email Phone
Boyd, Lorie Senior Transition VR Counselor Hauppauge District Office 631-952-6364
Brehm-Bisaillon, Pam Senior Transition VR Counselor Albany District Office 518-457-8523
Delany, Michele Senior Transition VR Counselor Queens District Office 347-510-3112
Douglas, Cuquita Senior Transition VR Counselor Brooklyn District Office 718-722-6795
Ehrenberg, Debra Senior Transition VR Counselor Bronx District Office 718-931-3092
Gabrione, Debbie Senior Transition VR Counselor Spring Valley Satellite Office 845-426-5424
Hartmann, Laura Associate VR Counselor 518-486-1793
Joyce, Kathleen Senior Transition VR Counselor Syracuse District Office 315-428-4034
McCarthy, Bridget Senior VR Counselor Manhattan District Office 212-695-1201
Pearson, Suzanne Senior Transition VR Counselor Southern Tier District Office 607-721-8397
Weissberg, Barbara Senior Transition VR Counselor Garden City District Office 516-227-6852
Wilcox, Kathy Senior Transition VR Counselor Malone District Office 518-483-3530
Williams, Patti Senior Transition VR Counselor Utica District Office 315-793-2676
Wolf, Sarah Senior Transition VR Counselor Buffalo District Office 716-848-8054