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Title: The outcomes of mainstream post-secondary education for people with intellectual disability
Authors: Pleven, Lorraine
Keywords: Mainstreaming in education -- Malta
Youth with mental disabilities -- Education (Higher) -- Malta
Disabilities -- Social aspects -- Malta
Issue Date: 2015
Abstract: This research has investigated the outcomes of mainstream post-secondary education for people with intellectual disability. More specifically, this study aimed to answer three research questions regarding what are the available mainstream post-secondary options for people with intellectual disability and what are the experiences of students in mainstream post-secondary education. Additionally, the study looked at what impact post-secondary education opportunities have on the future of students with intellectual disability after they leave full time education and especially in relation to employment. A qualitative study was carried out and a series of semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight former students of the Pathway to Independent Living Programme at MCAST, and the Key Skills for Independent Living course at ITS. An interview with an MCAST representative of the Pathway Programme was also carried out. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used in the data analysis to investigate a major experience in the lives of young people with intellectual disability: that of undergoing mainstream post-secondary education and the outcomes of that education. The analysis of these experiences was also grounded within the context of the social model of disability and the human capital theory. The main findings of these research show that people with intellectual disability have restricted available options of mainstream post-secondary education. Therefore more available mainstream post-secondary options are needed besides the already available ones, which might include different post-secondary options or support for students with intellectual disability, and more awareness on the available post-secondary options. With regards to the experiences at mainstream post-secondary education, most participants remarked positively on their experience at MCAST Pathway Programme and ITS Key Skills course. However, some participants encountered some challenges when they started more mainstream courses at MCAST, including bullying by other students and the course content was also difficult for some students. This indicates that more support is needed for students with intellectual disability in mainstream courses at MCAST to bridge the transition to more mainstream courses at MCAST. Disability awareness training for students at MCAST and ITS as well as teaching basic skills such as using public transport and self-advocacy skills to people with intellectual disability are also very important. With regards to the outcome of mainstream post-secondary education, most participants remarked that the courses that they followed at MCAST and ITS have further prepared them for employment. Some participants also followed other courses at MCAST or at other organizations following the completion of MCAST Pathway Programme and ITS Key Skills course. With regards to employment, two participants are currently employed part-time and one participant is employed full-time, and some of these are experiencing some difficulties at the place of work. Three participants are currently on a job-exposure scheme and the other two participants are unemployed. This indicates that more awareness on disability issues is required to combat the attitudinal barriers of employers and follow-on support is also important for people with intellectual disability in employment.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacSoW - 2015
Dissertations - FacSoWDSU - 2015

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