A pair of Utah State researchers have received a share of a $14 million grant to create a website that will help youth with disabilities transition from school to careers.
Photo courtesy of Utah State University.

LOGAN – A pair of Utah State University researchers, working with partners in Pennsylvania and Colorado, were recently awarded a $14 million Disability Innovation Fund (DIF) grant to expand access to transition services for youths with disabilities.

As part of the grant, Brian Phillips and Tim Riesen of USU have a $5.4 million contract to create a website that will help youth with disabilities transition from school to careers.

They will develop “Map My Transition,” an interactive website for parents and youth with disabilities. It will allow a network to connect parents and youth to support systems and will transition programming specific to their local region.

Phillips is an associate professor in Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling and Riesen is director of research and training in the Institute of Disability Research, Policy, and Practice.

Over the next five years they will work with partners from Penn State University, Northern Colorado University and several disability state agencies in Colorado.

Phillips said there is a great deal of provider turnover in programs for those with disabilities and the goal of the grant is to create a turnover-resistant approach.

Youth who have come through special education programs in the K-12 system are the students targeted to use this mapping system.

The Disability Innovation Fund (DIF) Program supports innovative activities aimed at improving employment outcomes “for youth and other individuals with disabilities.”

Map My Transition is slated to launch in early 2024.

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