Regents 2008 Board Report
Regents 2008 Board Report: VESID (continued)
Through the MTP initiative, over 3,000 students with disabilities have been referred to VESID for supports leading to competitive employment or post-secondary education and training. Independent Living Services for School Age Youth with Disabilities projects also provide programs in partnership with local school districts. These projects use the peer model to engage students with disabilities and their families in transition planning and services that lead to quality outcomes in post-secondary education and employment. During the past year, 11 projects provided needed training to 2,583 students with disabilities, 1,471 parents, 1,016 school personnel and 783 community service providers.
Employment Outcomes and Access to Higher Education
In 2008 VESID assisted 13,236 New Yorkers with disabilities in finding employment and supported 10,619 students at institutions of higher education. Through marketing strategies designed to communicate better with employers, VESID enhanced the value of qualified candidates with disabilities in the recruitment and hiring process. The Linking Employment, Academics and Disability Services (LEADS) project in partnership with the City University of New York (CUNY) is operational on all 17 CUNY campuses. Comprehensive support and facilitated referral for VESID services is leading to success in college for students with disabilities.
Community Living in Least Restrictive Settings
Independent Living Centers are peer-driven, community-based resource centers that partner with State agencies such as the Department of Health, the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, the Office of Mental Health and the Office of Family and Children Services to leverage supports for New Yorkers with significant disabilities to live, learn and earn in their communities. The statewide network of 39 VESID-funded Independent Living Centers served as a critical link to community-based supports in 2008. Independent Living Centers assisted approximately 1,500 New Yorkers with significant disabilities in choosing community living over an institutional placement. Centers assisted 250 New Yorkers with the transition from institutional settings to the community.