About the study
This study involved a series of interviews with young job seekers with disabilities who were seeking employment after completing their studies.
What can be learned from this study?
• Youth with disabilities had a strong desire to find paid work and become independent. This was especially so after they took independent living courses. Work placements and work experience further increased confidence and gave young people with disabilities a greater chance to obtain paid work.
• Voluntary work is becoming an important part of the career development process that gives young people with disabilities the opportunity to gain work experience. Some youth found paid work through volunteer experience where their employers hired them after seeing their potential and capability to do the job.
• Accessibility issues, in particular transportation needs, were an important barrier for young people with disabilities, especially for those doing volunteer work.
• Many youth with disabilities were interested in and opted for self-employment since it gave them more flexibility. The report notes that employment centres need to provide more information and advice on self-employment opportunities for youth with disabilities.
• Young people with disabilities cited employers and service providers’ negative perceptions of their capabilities as a major barrier to employment.
• The study found that many professionals and staff helping young disabled job seekers lack awareness or understanding of their available services, rights, and issues. Service providers need to provide accurate information to their clients in order to help them make informed career choices.
What method(s) did the study use?
12 face-to-face interviews of people aged 18-26 with a physical or learning disability were conducted across England in March 2012.