Date Presented 04/01/2022
Employment is a meaningful occupation with benefits in well-being, quality of life, independence, and social engagement. School-to-work (STW) programs are one method used to prepare students with intellectual disabilities (ID) in obtaining skills needed to participate in employment after high school. Despite efforts in this area, students with ID continue to report lower rates of obtaining employment, living independently, and being socially engaged. OT can contribute to enhancing outcomes.
Primary Author and Speaker: Colleen Sunderlin
Additional Authors and Speakers: Olivia Kodsy, Nicole Herringshaw, Ashley Pomponio
Contributing Authors: Melanie Powers
IMPORTANCE: Employment is a meaningful occupation with benefits in well-being, quality of life, independence, and social engagement. School-to-work programs are one method to prepare students with Intellectual disabilities (ID) as they transition from education to employment. Students with Intellectual disabilities (ID) report lower rates of obtaining and maintaining jobs. They also report lower job satisfaction, living independently, and being socially engaged.
PURPOSE: To determine the effectiveness of school-to-work transition programs for students with intellectual disabilities in the areas of employment, independent living skills, and social participation.
DESIGN: Systematic review examining school-to-work programs and their reported outcomes for students with intellectual disabilities.
METHOD: A search of four databases (MEDLINE, ERIC, PsycINFO, and CINAHL) was conducted with the search terms “students with intellectual disabilities AND school-to-work programs.” Articles, in the final analysis, were assessed for quality and risk of bias using the AOTA CAP Quality Review Form and McMaster Review Tool.
RESULTS: Outcomes were coded in the domains of employment, independent living skills, and social skills.
CONCLUSION: This review suggests that school-to-work transition programs are an effective intervention in the areas of employment and social skills. It was inconclusive whether STW programs are effective in increasing independent living skills. The role of OT in transition is expanding. Occupational therapists can collaborate with school-to-work programs to enhance their outcomes in all of these domains.
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