Scanning and synthesizing Canadian policies that address the school-to-work transition of youth and young adults with disabilities
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BACKGROUND: Disability faced by a young person can impact the school-to-work transition and shape health and well-being over the life course. Unique barriers to entry and advancement within the labor market that are relevant to young people with disabilities underscore the need for tailored policy-level supports. OBJECTIVES: To examine and describe policies that support the school-to-work transition of young people with disabilities in Canada. METHODS: A scan of policies which focused on the school-to-work transition of young people with disabilities across Canada was conducted between June 2019 and January 2020. Searches were completed within federal, provincial and territorial policy portals. Each policy relating to employment participation of people with disabilities was summarized. Policies that focused on the school-to-work-specific were synthesized using Bemelmans-Vidic, Rist and Vedung's policy tool framework. RESULTS: A total of 36 policies were identified by our scan that focused on the employment of people with disabilities. Only five policies explicitly addressed the school-to-work transition. All existing policies were implemented at the provincial level and aimed to promote entry into employment. The synthesis of policies revealed that financial policy tools were primarily used to incentivize employment, provision of workplace accommodations, or the development and implementation of job readiness programs. CONCLUSION: Our analysis of federal, provincial and territorial policies in Canada uncovered a limited number of policies that specifically support the school-to-work transition. Addressing these policy gaps can increase the inclusion of young people with disabilities in the labor market.
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