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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
Author: Laungani, Diksha Narendra
ISNI:       0000 0004 8507 5748
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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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.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available