Title

Policy and evidence review on work transition interventions and work disruptions of post- secondary student graduates with disabilities: Insights for social and education policy

1

Location

Regency Room

Start Time

29-9-2016 2:00 PM

End Time

29-9-2016 3:30 PM

Session Type

Research Paper

Abstract

Statement of purpose: Despite completion of higher education, students with disabilities experience persistent underemployment, unemployment and delayed entry into work. Specifically, they experience long periods of work disengagement, lack of participation in valued or meaningful work, and loss of confidence in skills due to delays in finding work; all of which contribute to decreased self-worth, health, and wellbeing. These consequences underscore new areas of concern by governments and employers and the need to find new ways that policy and practices can minimize work occupation disruptions for youth. In 2013 Urbanowski and colleagues suggested that to promote work sustainability or mobility in times of economic challenge and globalization there is a need for social policy informed by concepts from occupational injustice, occupational salience, and the examination of the occupational ecosystem. Thus, the first aim of this review was to synthesize knowledge of work transitions interventions that support safe and effective entry into work, as well as work retention in the labour market for post-secondary student graduates. The second aim was to identify implications for informing policy and research. Methods: Arskey and O’Malley’s scoping review methodology (Arskey and O’Malley 2005) was used to search and synthesize data from evidence and policy databases (EMBASE, CINAL, SCOPUS, Pub Med, Canadian Public Policy Collection, Canadian Research Index, ERIC, Sociological Abstracts, PsychINFO/INFORM, Index to Foreign Legal periodicals, Proquest). DistillerSR and Excel supported document selection and management. Results: N=30 documents met the selection criteria. Synthesis of extracted data from 23 empirical studies and 7 grey literature documents and 20 websites identified that coordination of an array of targeted interventions will improve employment outcomes. The existence of policies or legislation to support employment equity or human rights are associated with less disruptions and easier entry into employment. Intervention components with promise include work experiences such as job placements and internships; labour market skills training; accommodation awareness and support; self-awareness and disclosure training; and mentorship.

Implications: The current occupational ecosystem of employment resources and accommodation policies in the literature related to post- secondary graduates with disabilities is focused on becoming employed and on foundational skills. There is little attention on career supports after graduation or on global citizenship skills to support work sustainability or mobility in times of precarious employment. This presentation identifies key steps that are needed to open a social policy dialogue in higher education and employment supports and a research agenda to support improved work transitions and work sustainability for post-secondary graduates with disabilities.

References

Arksey, H., & O'Malley, L. (2005). Scoping studies: Towards a methodological framework. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 8(1), 19-32.

Urbanowski, R. Shaw, L. Chelagat Chemmuttut, L. (2013) Occupational Science Value

Propositions in the field of Public Policy. Journal of Occupational Science, 20(4), 314-325.

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Sep 29th, 2:00 PM Sep 29th, 3:30 PM

Policy and evidence review on work transition interventions and work disruptions of post- secondary student graduates with disabilities: Insights for social and education policy

Regency Room

Statement of purpose: Despite completion of higher education, students with disabilities experience persistent underemployment, unemployment and delayed entry into work. Specifically, they experience long periods of work disengagement, lack of participation in valued or meaningful work, and loss of confidence in skills due to delays in finding work; all of which contribute to decreased self-worth, health, and wellbeing. These consequences underscore new areas of concern by governments and employers and the need to find new ways that policy and practices can minimize work occupation disruptions for youth. In 2013 Urbanowski and colleagues suggested that to promote work sustainability or mobility in times of economic challenge and globalization there is a need for social policy informed by concepts from occupational injustice, occupational salience, and the examination of the occupational ecosystem. Thus, the first aim of this review was to synthesize knowledge of work transitions interventions that support safe and effective entry into work, as well as work retention in the labour market for post-secondary student graduates. The second aim was to identify implications for informing policy and research. Methods: Arskey and O’Malley’s scoping review methodology (Arskey and O’Malley 2005) was used to search and synthesize data from evidence and policy databases (EMBASE, CINAL, SCOPUS, Pub Med, Canadian Public Policy Collection, Canadian Research Index, ERIC, Sociological Abstracts, PsychINFO/INFORM, Index to Foreign Legal periodicals, Proquest). DistillerSR and Excel supported document selection and management. Results: N=30 documents met the selection criteria. Synthesis of extracted data from 23 empirical studies and 7 grey literature documents and 20 websites identified that coordination of an array of targeted interventions will improve employment outcomes. The existence of policies or legislation to support employment equity or human rights are associated with less disruptions and easier entry into employment. Intervention components with promise include work experiences such as job placements and internships; labour market skills training; accommodation awareness and support; self-awareness and disclosure training; and mentorship.

Implications: The current occupational ecosystem of employment resources and accommodation policies in the literature related to post- secondary graduates with disabilities is focused on becoming employed and on foundational skills. There is little attention on career supports after graduation or on global citizenship skills to support work sustainability or mobility in times of precarious employment. This presentation identifies key steps that are needed to open a social policy dialogue in higher education and employment supports and a research agenda to support improved work transitions and work sustainability for post-secondary graduates with disabilities.