Transition: School-to-Work

An African American young man and hispanic young man pick out job appropriate clothes

Transition helps students with disabilities who are eligible for vocational rehabilitation services to prepare for employment and life after high school. Services available through counselors in the Divisions of Vocational Rehabilitation and Visual Services assigned to each high school include:

  • Vocational counseling and guidance:  through direct contact, the DRS counselor assists teachers, parents and students in developing appropriate career goals.
  • Vocational assessment and evaluation:  helps determine students' employment-related strengths and interests and provides recommended career fields to investigate
  • School Work Study (SWS):  arranged through contracts with the schools, provides job readiness skills training through work experience at the school district or in the community, while earning a minimum wage and high school credits.
  • Work Adjustment Training (WAT):  is provided through contracts with the schools or from community-based facilities, and provides students with foundational employment skills to help them prepare for competitive, integrated employment after high school.
  • On-the-Job Training (OJT):  provides students the opportunity (during the second semester of their senior year) to obtain community employment in their career of choice with permanent employment as a goal.
  • Supported Employment (SE):  helps students (with the most significant disabilities) in their senior year transition into permanent employment with supports from a job coach to search for employment, apply, prepare for the interview, learn the job, and work toward independence on the job.
  • Job Development and Placement specialists help students make job searches more successful by helping them take their interests and strengths and identifying possible businesses with job openings, receive and complete the job application, and prepare for the interview.  The specialists will work with the DRS counselor on this process.

After graduation, DRS counselors and students continue to work toward vocational and employment goals. Some services are available to all eligible individuals without charge. At this point, individuals may be asked to share the cost of some services, depending on income and financial resources.

To find the DRS office that serves your high school, follow this link.


Transition: School-to-Work brochure

Transition: School-to-Work checklist

Oklahoma Transition Council

Oklahoma Transition Council logo

In partnership with the Department of Career and Technology Education, and other key stakeholders from across state agencies, schools, families, businesses, and other groups, DRS chairs the Oklahoma Transition Council which focuses on improving transition planning, services, and post-school outcomes for young adults with disabilities.

The council hosts an annual Oklahoma Transition Institute (OTI), where regional transition teams from across the state come together to learn about innovative practices and programs and to develop a plan for how to improve transition in their local areas. Teams are comprised of DRS counselors, school personnel, other state agencies, family members, community service providers, higher education, and other stakeholders with a vested interest in the transition of youth with disabilities. The Council has patterned its work after a model implemented in New Mexico using the Taxonomy for Transition Programming.

To learn more about the council, OTI, or how to join a local transition team in your area, contact the transition coordinator, by phone at 405.635.2768, or e-mail. Be sure to visit the OTC Facebook page for upcoming events and important information.

You can also access information about the OTC, presentations from previous Institutes (OTI), team plans, and a host of other resources relevant to secondary transition for youth with disabilities by visiting the University of Oklahoma Zarrow Center for Learning Enrichment.

Project Search

Project Search logo

Are you a student who has a disability between the age of 18 to 24 and want to earn some work experience? Project SEARCH may be for you.

This program introduces a group of young adults to the workplace with real world job experiences over the course of nine months through a nonpaid internship. Youth will be exposed to various job skills and positions over three 10-week rotations. Don’t worry we’ve got your back with on-the-job coaching and work site accommodations.

Don’t miss out on experiencing a combination of classroom instruction, career exploration and on-the-job-training with support from professional Project SEARCH staff.

Benefit to Participants

  • Acquire competitive and marketable job skills
  • Gain increased independence, confidence and self-esteem
  • Obtain on-site and individualized instruction and support
  • Receive job placement assistance after program graduation
  • Gain successful, independent community employment

Eligibility Criteria

  • Must have an employment goal instead of attending college
  • Must be 18 years of age (before or during program year)
  • Have a disability and eligible for DRS services
  • Ability to take direction and change behavior
  • Be able to communicate
  • Able to pass drug and felony screening (if applicable)
  • Have updated immunizations
  • Willingness to access independent transportation options
  • Willingness to utilize acquired skills to obtain independent community employment

Project SEARCH originated with the Cincinnati Children's Hospital and is a one-year, worksite-based school-to-work program. Check out the national Project SEARCH website.

For more information contact DRS Transition Coordinator at 405 951-3488.

Timeline of Transition Activities

The Oklahoma Transition Council (OTC) developed a timeline of transition activities to help families, schools, and other partners begin working with children and youth to develop skills, access resources, and make strides toward preparing for life after high school. You can access the timeline by visiting the University of Oklahoma Zarrow Center for Learning Enrichment, Timeline of Transition Activities.

Transition: School-to-Work folder

How to Apply

Step 1: Locate an office nearest you, use this link to find the state office and contact information that serves your area.
Step 2: Call for an appointment
Step 3: Fill out an application
Step 4: Gather as much medical information as you can (including a copy of the most current Individualized Education Program (IEP) from the school, if you have one available).
Step 5: Show up for the appointment to complete the application

Keys to Success

  • Keep in contact with your counselor
  • Let him or her know if you move or change phone numbers
  • Complete any assignments

Oklahoma Works

Oklahoma Works brings all of our state’s workforce resources together, connecting employers, employees and job-seekers to information and programs that help build Oklahoma’s workforce.

Oklahoma Works logo

Visit the Oklahoma Works website

Transition: School-to-Work folder - Spanish

What to bring in order to expedite the application process:

Copy of documentation verifying the disabling condition(s), copy of academic transcript(s), (most current Individualized Education Program (IEP) from the school), Social Security card, picture ID, immigration status documentation if not a US citizen, medical insurance verification, if available.

VR Eligibility


A person may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services if he or she has a significant physical, emotional, mental, or learning disability that is a substantial barrier to employment and requires VR services to prepare for, obtain, keep or return to work.

VS Eligibility


A person may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation Visual Services if he or she has blindness or a significant visual impairment that is a substantial barrier to employment and requires VS services to prepare for, obtain, keep or return to work.

Transition: School-to-Work

3535 NW 58th Street, Suite 500
Oklahoma City, OK 73112



(405) 951-3488


(405) 951-3529