Case Studies of Effective Partnerships between Institutions of Higher Education Enrolling Students with Intellectual Disability and/or Autism and Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies

Document Type


Publication Date

June 2021


There is growing evidence postsecondary education (PSE) is an effective pathway to employment for individuals with intellectual disability and/or autism spectrum disorder (ID/A). Partnerships between institutions of higher education (IHEs) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) are essential in providing better access to this pathway. This study sought to identify elements of effective IHE-VR partnerships through case studies at four sites, involving interviews with diverse stakeholders. Stakeholders included faculty and program staff, VR administrators and counselors, and students and families. Key elements of successful collaboration included shared values, student-centered teamwork, frequent formal and informal communication, VR support for students, and focusing on a successful transition from PSE to employment. We offer recommendations for both research and practice.