Applying an ecological framework to understand transition pathways to post-secondary education for youth with physical disabilities.

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    • Abstract:
      Purpose:The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of youth with physical disabilities and clinicians who support them in their transition to post-secondary education (PSE). Most research on transition to PSE has focused on youth with intellectual disabilities while there is a lack of research on youth with physical disabilities. Methods:This study drew on 30 interviews with 20 youth with disabilities and 10 clinicians. We used Bronfrenbrenner’s ecological framework to inform our analysis. Results:Our results showed that there are several important individual skills that youth need to be successful in transitioning to PSE. Youth with disabilities experienced supports from peers and family that influence their transition to PSE. Several disability-specific issues (e.g., coping, self-care, disclosure, and accommodations) were often a barrier to transitioning to PSE. Clinicians and youth both reported that improved inter-professional collaboration and inter-agency partnerships were needed to enhance the transition experience. Societal attitudes (stigma and discrimination), policies, and the timing of transitions also influence youth’s transition. Conclusion:Applying an ecological approach helped to provide a more holistic perspective of the PSE transitions and emphasizes the need to consider more than just preparing individuals but also where they are transitioned.Implications for rehabilitationClinicians and educators should continue to promote the development of relevant life skills (e.g., self-advocacy, disclosure, and navigating public transportation) that youth need to succeed in post-secondary education.Clinicians should continue to educate and support youth regarding the process for disclosing their condition and how to request and set up accommodations in PSE.Clinicians should connect youth with disabilities to appropriate resources that can support them and continue to help them to set career goals and develop career plans.There is a critical need for improved inter-professional collaboration among clinicians providing transition services and inter-agency partnerships among high schools, disability organizations, and PSEs to enhance transition experiences for youth with disabilities. [ABSTRACT FROM PUBLISHER]
    • Abstract:
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