Robert's cover image
Robert

Robert Lawson

Year of Award: 2017 Award State: New South Wales None > Education
Social Welfare > Disabilities
To investigate transition programs from school to work for students with disability - USA, UK, Ireland
Download

Recommendations

I have identified four key priorities that I will be working on from 2019, these have been informed by my research tour. These priorities are based on key findings, validated data and positive program outcomes over many years of operation.

These priorities are my recommendations.

1. Work Education/Experience Program
If a program is to be implemented in a school there is more likelihood of it being taken up if it is linked or imbedded into curriculum. NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) develop and maintain the NSW Department of Education’s Syllabus from Kindergarten to Year 12. Work Education is a 7-10 syllabus that provides students with an understanding of the world of work, employment options and career related skills. The goal is to imbed Work Education in a set program of four stages, Work Introduction, Work Exploration, Work Exposure and Work Experience

2. Project SEARCH
Project SEARCH is a school to work transition program that is based on students engaging in an internship with a host employer. Students are supported by a ‘support teacher transition’ on site and can access external support services. The aim of the program is employment with the host employer or at another location. This program is highly regarded across the world and has produced great student outcomes for many years. I will be working towards facilitating partnerships between large employers and the Project SEARCH team.

3. Quality workplace learning opportunities
Providing quality work place learning activities for students with disability including pre-placement preparation, work experience opportunities and post placement learning activities.

These opportunities can be school based, especially in the early years and then lead into work based learning with a host employer. Students require regular touch points with employers leading into workplace learning experiences.

Schools find it difficult to provide students with workplace learning opportunities due to the many and at times complex problems establishing relationships with the required number of host employers. There have been state initiatives established to link employers with schools and these are expected to start in 2019.

There is also equity issues as location and socio-economic status influence a schools ability to engage with the required number of employers.

4. Explicit teaching of Employment Related Skills
Employment related skills need to be explicitly identified during class activities and their importance in the workplace described. Employment related skills are more broadly identified as ‘soft skills’ and in the Federal Curriculum as General Capabilities. 

These skills have been identified as being important for students transitioning to further education and contribute to successful course completion rates.

One or more of these four priorities have been the key to positive employment outcomes for students with disability in all of the countries I visited. 

Keywords: Transition, students with disability, school to work, workplace learning, transition to work, disability

Related fellows
Catherine Doherty, Catherine
None > Education
2016
John Gaffney, John
None > Education
2016
Michael Small, Michael
Social Welfare > Disabilities
2016
Lara Torr, Lara
Social Welfare > Disabilities
2016
Rachel Wotton, Rachel
Social Welfare > Disabilities
2016
Gina Dal Santo, Gina
None > Education
2015
Corrine McMillan, Corrine
None > Education
2015
Benjamin Newsome, Benjamin
None > Education
2013
Anne FORELL OAM, Anne
Social Welfare > Disabilities
1973
Valerie BURNS, Valerie
None > Education
1970