International Comparisons

International Efforts to Serve Youth and Young Adults with Disabilities
Investigators: Todd Honeycutt and Lorenzo Moreno (Mathematica Policy Research)


In many respects, the supports required by young people with disabilities in other countries to obtain the education and work experiences of their peers without disabilities are similar to those needed in the United States. Other countries have instituted programs—such as cash and supplemental benefits, vocational supports, and time-limited programs—and developed policies to improve coordination among programs (such as between schools and adult vocational services) to promote transitions to adulthood for young people with disabilities. Many of these countries have also recently instituted reforms to their programs to promote self-sufficiency and divert young people from a lifetime of disability benefits. Despite cultural, political, and economic differences, the experiences of these countries may point to important lessons for the Social Security Administration (SSA) and others for altering current supports and considering additional ones.

This project reviewed programs and reforms across Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries to identify programmatic supports and evidence-based practices that enhance the long-term development of transition-age youth (ages 16 to 24) with disabilities. The project had two analytical phases. In the first, we conducted a systematic literature review of youth-targeted programs in countries with well-developed benefits and programs that are similar to those in the United States. In the second, we conducted in-depth case studies of the programs in two countries—Germany and the Netherlands—with potential applicability for the United States.

"International Efforts to Serve Youth with Disabilities: Lessons for the U.S. Disability Support System," Todd Honeycutt, Jennifer A. Lyons, and Lorenzo Moreno, March 2014. (PDF)

"Programs Serving Transition-Age Youth: A Comparative Analysis of the U.S. and 10 Other Countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)," Lorenzo Moreno, Todd Honeycutt, Stephanie McLeod, and Claire Gill, February 2014. (PDF)

"Experiences of Germany and the Netherlands in Serving Transition-Age Youth," Todd Honeycutt, Lorenzo Moreno, February 2014. (PDF)