Transition and Youth 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

All VR services may be available to youth but there are some services that are geared specifically to youth.

Youth Employment Services (YES)- include a range of services to assist youth with their 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 in the final year prior to exit from high school.

YES is 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 may combine individual services in a meaningful way to enhance job readiness, provide a work experience, and provide coaching supports, etc. 

Pre-Employment Services- are similar to YES but are geared toward students prior to their final year in high school.  To be eligible for Pre-Employment Services, the youth must be a student in high school with an IEP or 504 plan.

NYSED Special Education

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

Publications

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.

Transition and Youth Services Statewide Team

Name Title Office Email Phone
Betances, Maria Senior VR Counselor Bronx District Office Maria.Betances@nysed.gov 718-931-3858
Canfield, Gwenn Senior Transition VR Counselor Spring Valley Satellite Office Gwenn.Canfield@nysed.gov 845-426-5423
Delany, Michele Senior Transition VR Counselor Queens District Office Michele.Delany@nysed.gov 347-510-3112
Douglas, Cuquita Senior Transition VR Counselor Brooklyn District Office Cuquita.Douglas@nysed.gov 718-722-6795
Ginster, Carol Senior Transition VR Counselor Utica District Office Carol.Ginster@nysed.gov 315-793-2512
Hartmann, Laura Senior Transition VR Counselor Hauppauge District Office Laura.Hartmann@nysed.gov 631-952-6364
Joyce, Kathleen Senior Transition VR Counselor Syracuse District Office Kathleen.joyce@nysed.gov 315-428-4034
Murphy, Kathy Senior Transition VR Counselor Albany District Office Kathy.Murphy@nysed.gov 518-485-5504
Pearson, Suzanne Senior Transition VR Counselor Southern Tier District Office Suzanne.Pearson@nysed.gov 607-721-8397
Shay, Kathy Senior Transition VR Counselor Rochester District Office Kathy.Shay@nysed.gov 585-238-2965
Skender, Elizabeth Associate VR Counselor Elizabeth.Skender@nysed.gov 518-486-1793
Steiner, Amy Manager Amy.Steiner@nysed.gov 518-474-3161
Weissberg, Barbara Senior Transition VR Counselor Garden City District Office Barbara.Weissberg@nysed.gov 516-227-6852
Wilcox, Kathy Senior Transition VR Counselor Malone District Office Kathy.Wilcox@nysed.gov 518-483-3530
Wolf, Sarah Senior Transition VR Counselor Buffalo District Office Sarah.Wolf@nysed.gov 716-848-8016