Pre-Employment Transition Services

In partnership with other programs around the state, TOPS is building a model curriculum to deliver Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS). The Pre-ETS curriculum will include five parts: (1) Instruction on Self-Advocacy; (2) Job Exploration Counseling; (3) Counseling on Postsecondary Education Programs; (4) Workplace Readiness Training to Develop Social and Independent Living Skills; and, (5) Work-Based Learning Experiences. Each learning module will include 8-hours of coursework, except for self-advocacy instruction, which will be a 4-hour course. The Pre-ETS curriculum aims to increase career awareness and develop evidence-based skills that improve transition outcomes for students with disabilities. This coursework will enrich our existing programming and services and be available to eligible students at no additional cost. We will keep you posted on our progress as we build the curriculum and apply to become a provider for these specific services this summer. To learn more about Pre-ETS, see OOD’s Students 14+ website:

Employment Tips during COVID-19

Many of us find ourselves navigating a new normal for work in the midst of COVID-19. Some of us have lost work, some of us do not want to work for the safety of themselves and others (and that is okay!), some of us can work and want to work, and some have been working all along to keep us safe. Here are some tips if you fall into any of those categories:

I lost my job, what next?

If you were furloughed or laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may qualify for Unemployment Benefits or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. You can learn more and apply for benefits at Under the expanded eligibility, those who were laid off as a direct result of COVID-19 are eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. There is no minimum income requirement for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance like there is for traditional Unemployment Benefits. (“Expanded Eligibility Coronavirus Unemployment Help.” Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, 2020,

As businesses are starting to open back up, make sure to get in touch with your employer about when it is safe to return to work. There might be new protocols you have to follow to make sure you are keeping yourself and others safe and healthy.

I do not feel comfortable working right now. What can I do from home to keep my skills sharp?

I am willing and ready to work. Where do I start?

First, you will want to make sure your resume and references are up-to-date. The State of Ohio has created a new job search website for those that are searching for work at this time at You can enter your city or zip code to filter jobs that are available near your home. As businesses are starting to reopen, jobs may begin posting again. Some other online resources to search for jobs include:

I have been working all along.

If you are still working, it might look very different than what you were used to. A lot of businesses have implemented new procedures to ensure the health and safety of their workforce and their customers, visitors or patients. Taking the time to recharge and do a relaxing activity each day may alleviate some of the new stresses you are facing. Some ideas include:

  • Take a walk or hike at your favorite park
  • FaceTime your friends and family
  • Try a new yoga workout on YouTube
  • Read for 30 minutes
  • Paint, color or draw
  • Cook or bake a new recipe
  • Watch your favorite movie or TV show
  • Take a nap
  • Meditate
  • Make a gratitude list

Wherever you are in the world of work right now, we hope these tips will be helpful in navigating your current circumstances. We hope you all stay healthy and safe!


Research Opportunity

Are you a person with a disability or chronic health condition ages 18-65?

We are doing a survey with people with disabilities and chronic health conditions.

· What about your life has changed since the COVID-19 outbreak?

· What services and supports have changed?

· What are you worried about?

    Your voice is important!

 What will happen in the study?

  • You will do an online survey.
  • You can do the survey of your own phone, tablet, or computer.
  • The survey will take 20-45 minutes.
  • We will not ask for any personal information. Everything you say will be private

Is the study right for me?

  • We are including people who live in the United States.
  • We are including people with most disabilities and chronic health conditions.
    • If your only disability is a learning disability, ADHD, or a temporary physical condition (such as a broken leg), then we will not include you.

Go to the survey:

 Ariel Schwartz at Boston University is in charge of this study. For more information, contact her at:

Recruitment flyer_PWD

Internship Feature – TBDBITL

TOPS employment team would like to make a shout out to The OSU Marching Band (TBDBITL)!  They have been a huge supporter of the program for the last four years.  TOPS had one student, Jackson Hilliard, intern with them for all four years he was in our program.  When the employment team talked to the band about a potential partnership they were happy to support the program.  TOPS would like to thank everyone who had a part of this FANTASTIC experience for Jackson and The TOPS Program!