Presentation W P6

W P6 (Poster Presentation):
Interventions to support work prospects and outcomes for youth with disabilities

Presented by: Lynn E Shaw


Shaw L1, O'Brien J2, Urbanowski R3, MacFadden A3, Surmacz M1, Dickinson W1, Stewart D1, Bishop K1, Wijekoon S1, Patel A1, Jónasdóttir S1, Warren K1

  1. Western University, London Ontario
  2. St. Marys University, Nova Scotia
  3. Government of Saskatchewan



Despite completion of higher education, students with disabilities experience persistent underemployment, unemployment and delayed entry into work. Current economic and labour market studies indicate that young workers with disabilities are at risk for prolonged work disability, across the life span. Specifically, the experience of youth with disabilities can include long periods of work disengagement, lack of participation in valued or meaningful work, and loss of confidence in skills due to delays in finding work; all of which contribute to decreased self-worth, health, and wellbeing. These outcomes and consequences underscore new areas of concern in the domain of youth work disability prevention for both governments and employers. Identification of the mechanisms and processes that can improve employability and reduce work disability among disabled youth is indicated.To address this problem a scoping review study was funded. The population of interest was identified as students with disabilities who graduate from post-secondary education. The aim of the study was to identify and synthesize findings related to work transitions interventions that support safe and effective entry into work, as well as work retention in the labour market. A secondary aim was to identify areas for research innovations.


Arskey and O’Malley’s scoping review methodology was used to search and synthesize literature from evidence and policy databases (EMBASE, CINAL, SCOPUS, Pub Med, Canadian Public Policy Collection, Canadian Research Index, ERIC, Sociological Abstracts, PsychINFO/INFORM, Index to Foreign Legal periodicals, Proquest).


Preliminary results of the review of n=44 documents have identified that coordination of an array of targeted interventions will improve employment outcomes. These interventions include work experiences such as job placements and internships in and after post-secondary education; labour market skills training; accommodation awareness and support; self awareness and disclosure training; and mentorship.


All of these programs and future research require cooperation, partnership and participation of labour, agencies, government, employers and the educational sectors to prevent long term work disability among youth with disabilities.

Schedule Details

Wednesday October 1
13:00 - 14:00 Poster Viewing
Session: Vulnerable workers & ethical issues