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Preparing for employment: An exploration of the transition experiences of young people with mild and moderate learning difficulties and their parents of a supported internship programme

Laungani, Diksha Narendra; (2019) Preparing for employment: An exploration of the transition experiences of young people with mild and moderate learning difficulties and their parents of a supported internship programme. Doctoral thesis (D.Ed.Psy), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Transition to adulthood marks a crucial yet complex developmental stage for any young person (YP), more so for YP with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND). This transition is associated with several key outcomes; gaining meaningful employment is one of them. Within the United Kingdom (UK), there exists ample grey literature preceded by recent changes in the SEND Code of Practice (Department for Education [DfE] & Department of Health [DoH], 2015) pertaining to supporting transitions. However, to date, few studies have explored the transition experiences of YP with SEND of supported employment (SE) initiatives in the UK. This study aimed to provide a platform for YP with mild and moderate learning difficulties (LD), a diverse yet under-researched population, and their parents to express their views about the transition to supported internships (SIs), a national SE programme growing in implementation. A qualitative, multiple case-study approach with a longitudinal data-collection design was adopted to explore the views of five YP and their parents at three stages: before, at the beginning of, and midway through the SI. YP’s diverse and co-morbid needs (e.g. Autism Spectrum Disorder [ASD]/mental health needs, etc.) were apparent and acknowledged in this study through the inclusion of comprehensive sampling criteria which included adaptive functioning, rather than LD classifications only. Data-collection was via semi-structured interviews with an additional participatory approach, i.e. photo-elicitation used with YP. Within- and cross-case analysis of participant data through a thematic analysis approach (Braun & Clarke, 2006) yielded several distinctive findings. Gaining employment, emerging independence and forming relationships emerged as key aspirations of YP and parents. YP experienced an ongoing transition to employment through SIs; encountering challenges yet demonstrating personal and skills-based growth along the way. Participants had different perceptions about the role of parents during the transition to SI, which contributed to a dichotomy of views about YP’s independence and support required during the transition process. Research implications are presented through a Preparing for Adulthood framework and reflections on the research process, findings, strengths, limitations and future directions are discussed.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: D.Ed.Psy
Title: Preparing for employment: An exploration of the transition experiences of young people with mild and moderate learning difficulties and their parents of a supported internship programme
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10083349
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