Transition into Inclusive Society for Youths With Special Needs in Singapore: An Enquiry into Transition Outcomes

Project Number
OER 15/12 LJY

Project Duration
June 2012 - March 2016

Status
Completed

Abstract
The transition from school to adult life can be a complex one, more so for youth with disabilities, who may need more guidance and structured support. To help prepare them for their future roles, schools and other agencies may provide transition services such as skills training and work experiences. Such preparation can equip this group of young people for smooth transition into the community and society. However, a review of transition literature indicates that the outcomes for these youth are generally dismal, in the areas of employment, further education and independent living/quality of life. In the Singapore context, very little is known about the transition outcomes of youth with disabilities. No study has as yet been conducted to assess how young people with special needs have integrated with the community upon leaving school. This lack of knowledge is at odds with Singapore's vision of becoming an inclusive society, as outlined in the Enabling Masterplan 2007 -2011, which specifically states, ''Children with special needs will receive effective intervention and education services to maximise their potential and opportunity to eventually work and contribute to society''. There is thus an urgent need to build a knowledge base on transition outcomes of youth with disabilities, which this project aims to meet. This project seeks to establish a baseline understanding of the transition outcomes of youth with intellectual disability in the areas of employment, postsecondary education and independent living. Research results will provide an objective assessment of the current state of outcomes for young people with intellectual disability by investigating their experiences with employment and further education, as well as independent living. Additionally, it can offer insight on the conditions, challenges and achievements of youth with disabilities after they have left school. This project can provide a foundation of research-based evidence to stakeholders, such as the Ministry of Education and the APSN itself, to identify areas of efficacy and improvement in relation to policies and practices of special schools, and help inform the planning and preparation process for transitioning young people from school into the adult community.

Research Themes
Children at Risk (Disability/Disorder)

Funding Source
NIE

Related Links
ReEd Vol 7 (2012): Special Needs Students in Transition

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