Strategies for Gaining Insights into the Employment Challenges of Veterans with Disabilities (Woodruff Foundation)


The Yang-Tan Institute (YTI) convened three sets of focus groups in the New York tri-state area, in Albuquerque, in San Antonio, TX, and in Los Angeles, CA to gather information from veterans with disabilities, their family members, and employers regarding each constituency’s concerns, challenges, and interest in achieving the full integration and participation of wounded warriors in employment and community life.

Meetings were designed to explore unmet needs and service gaps and identify necessary supports and resources to facilitate the transition of veterans with disabilities from the military to civilian careers. Feedback obtained from each group was compiled into a report along with recommendations for interventions and best practices.

Project Activities

The first series of focus groups kicked off in December 2015. In the summer of 2016, YTI shared recommendations for interventions and best practices for Woodruff Foundation staff and grantees, program participants, service providers and policymakers. The grant expanded the Institute's work in helping veterans with disabilities enter or return to the workforce.

In this effort, the YTI utilized knowledge gained during a 2014–2015 grant from the Blackstone Charitable Foundation that connected veterans with disabilities to business mentors for guidance on translating military occupations to civilian careers and for support in adjusting to a newly acquired disability. YTI’s Bob Woodruff Foundation project also tapped the Institute's employer resources which comprise more than 5,500 companies working to create supportive and welcoming workplace cultures for persons with disabilities, including veterans.

Funding Agencies

The Bob Woodruff Foundation

Principal Investigator

Judy Young

Collaborating Partners