1. What is Employment First?

Employment First is a philosophy that SC DDSN supports. It means that employment is the first and preferred option for everyone, regardless of how their disability may impact them in their environment.

Check out our flyers:  

2. What is the State-funded follow-along program? 

DDSN believes, and research shows that young adults who have employment while they are in school are much more successful.  DDSN encourages schools and the SC Vocational Rehabilitation Department (SCVRD) to help all youth gain pre-employment skills and opportunities for community-based paid work before graduation. DDSN can provide long-term job supports to help youth maintain their job after high school when services from the school and SCVRD end.  The youth's DDSN Case Manager can assist with the transition from employment support from SCVRD or the school.

Click the link for more information: State Funded Follow Along (PDF).

3. How can I tell if my client is already connected with DDSN?

If you, the client, or their family is unsure if the student is connected to DDSN, you can: 

  • Share this flyer with families or individuals, and they can contact DDSN at the number listed. Case Management Flyer (PDF)
  • Have the individual/family sign the release of information form, and DDSN staff, including the DDSN Transition Coordinator, can share this information with you.

By filling out the Release of Information form (with individual/guardian signature), DDSN can share information with the other agencies indicated as needed to coordinate services. If you are working with transition-age youth ages 13-22, DDSN Transition Coordinators can assist. DDSN Transition Coordinators can share information such as the youth's eligibility, case manager, waiver funding status, and documents needed to determine eligibility.

Please print and have signed the Release form:

Once the form is completed, follow the instructions below.

  • Forms can be scanned and sent to the appropriate person by e-mail 
  • Forms can be mailed to the following address:

           South Carolina DDSN
           Attn: Transition Coordinator/ ID/RD Division
           3440 Harden Street Ext.
           Columbia, SC 29203

4. I understand Employment First is essential.  How can the School, Vocational Rehabilitation, Pre-ETS providers, and DDSN work together to focus on employment for all students leaving school? 

Good communication between the school, family, and all of the agencies working with a student is essential for a smooth transition from school to adult life.  It is important for all parties to understand their role and how things progress as students set their plan while in high school and then as they exit and enter the adult world.  The below chart shares a progression of how services should flow during the various time frames.

School District, Vocational Rehabilitation, and SC DDSN Service Flow Chart (PDF)

Transition planning should involve understanding the students' interests, post-school goals, and needs after they leave school.  You can use the tool below with teachers, DDSN case managers, and VR counselors to enhance information sharing and planning for transition-aged youth.

Communication with Case Managers Tool (PDF)