Soft skills refer to a broad set of skills, competencies, behaviors, attitudes, and personal qualities that enable people to effectively navigate their environment, work well with others, and achieve goals. While soft skills is an important ingredient for success for everyone in the labor force, the list below primarily highlights specialized research and resources focused on the disability population.
Youth Population Focus
1. Soft Skills to Pay the Bills: Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success: This curriculum, developed by ODEP focuses on teaching “soft” or workforce readiness skills to youth, including youth with disabilities. The curriculum focuses on six key skill areas: communication, enthusiasm/attitude, teamwork, networking, problem solving/critical thinking, and professionalism.
2. Helping Youth Develop Soft Skills for Job Success - Tips for Parents and Families: Publication by National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability discussing the importance of soft skills and offers strategies parents can use to help their child develop skills for employment services. This concise and well-written publication from 2011 was archived by National Clearinghouse of Rehabilitation Training Materials (NCRTM).
3.Alaska JOBZ Club for Work Readiness Skills: JOBZ Club is designed as an after school activity that introduces students to work readiness skills (soft skills). This initiative is a partnership between Alaska’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), Division of Employment and Training, and Early Development offices. In this innovative model, Alaska DVR can pay a teacher to facilitate a JOBZ Club in their school for students with disabilities.
Adult Population Focus
4. Engaging Employers: A Guide for Disability and Workforce Development Service Providers: This March 2016 report (69 pages) authored by SRI Education is written for leaders in education, industry, and workforce development interested in empowering working age adults to build sustainable careers through strengthened personal success skills.