This study reports on an assessment system for school-leavers with disabilities to identify their capacity for work and the type of transition-to-work programme best suited to each person. Participants were 1,556 high school students in four cohorts who left school between 1999 and 2002. Each school-leaver was assessed by rehabilitation counsellors for functional ability and capacity for work. In a supplementary study, the 2002 cohort was assessed by special transition teachers using a short screening tool. The results demonstrate that there is a predictable hierarchy of functional acquisition among school-leavers with disabilities and that the single best predictor of future capacity for work and need for transition-to-work programmes among this group of young people is the capacity to manage activities of daily living. The results also demonstrate that a short screen used by teachers, together with a behavioural assessment, is sufficient to stream school-leavers with a disability into a range of transition-to-work programmes.