Transition Services: Holding Pennsylvania Accountable to Students with Disabilities


Mixed Results: First OVR Report of 2018-19 Shows Some Progress, but Failings Remain in Career Readiness for Students with Disabilities

February 8, 2019 – The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR)’s first quarterly report for the 2018-2019 school year is finally out, covering July 2018 through September 2018, and some troubling trends continue. Most notably, statewide only two (2) students with disabilities entered competitive integrated employment within three months of graduation. This number is particularly concerning because this reporting period includes data from September 2018—three months after high school graduations in June 2018, meaning that those students were included in the count. If students were being successfully guided to competitive integrated employment, those numbers should have markedly increased with the new cohort of June graduates. Instead, they stagnated. Equally disturbing, OVR is still serving only 2 percent or less of the 105,000 eligible students statewide in each of the six categories.

OVR is still serving only 2 percent or less of the 105,000 eligible students statewide in each of the six categories

In comparing the three counties where the largest school districts are located, there is still wide variation on how counties are doing across all metrics, as the chart below shows.

Metric Allegheny County Bucks County Philadelphia County
OVR Staff attended IEP meeting


25 5 12
Students working PT/summer jobs based on OVR referral 102 6 62

Despite the low numbers and variation among counties, this most recent report does show some meaningful progress. There are two categories where the number of students served statewide has more than doubled when compared to the first quarter of 2017-2018.

  1. Students who were working in part-time or summer jobs based on OVR referrals increased from 399 students in the first quarter of 2017-2018 to 1,142 students in 2018-2019.
  2. And students who received referrals from OVR while still in high school increased from 677 high school students in the first quarter of the 2018-2018 school year to 1,732 high school students in 2018-2019.

OVR’s next report must be published on February 15, 2019 and include data for October-December of 2018.