School to Work Transition Programs for Students with Physical Disabilities in Indonesian Special Schools

Author: Nur Azizah

Azizah, Nur, 2016 School to Work Transition Programs for Students with Physical Disabilities in Indonesian Special Schools, Flinders University, School of Education

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Transition from secondary school to adult life is a critical period in students’ lives (Crockett & Hardman, 2010b; Trainor, Carter, Owens, & Sweden, 2008). Transition programs delivered at school play an important role in supporting students with disabilities to achieve successful post school outcomes (Crockett & Hardman, 2010a), particularly in the case of transition to work whereby employment is acknowledged as the main target after graduating from secondary school (Getzel & DeFur, 1997). However, students with physical disabilities have received less attention in the research literature regarding employment related transition (Yanchak, Lease & Strausser, 2005).

Using the Taxonomy for Transition Programming (Kohler, 1996b), this study investigated the current practices in school to work transition programs for students with physical disabilities in four special schools in Indonesia. Furthermore, perspectives and expectations from external stakeholders in relation to the practices of school to work transition were explored.

This study adopted a case study design. It engaged 57 participants including principals, teachers, students, parents, schools supervisors, business leaders, staff from the provincial Department of Education, Youth and Sport, staff from the district Department of Social Affairs, staff from the district Department of Manpower and Transmigration, and staff from a Disability Organisation. Data were gathered through observation, individual and group semi structured interviews, and document analysis. Prior to analysis, data from these sources were transcribed and then coded into the Taxonomy categories and clusters using Nvivo 10 software (QSR International, 2012).

The findings indicate that school to work transition programs in Indonesian special school settings are limited to providing vocational skills. However, this selection of skills was predominantly chosen by the teachers. Limited funding for work experience activities were provided by the provincial government and students with physical disabilities were not included. One of the schools established an onsite business that provided work experience for all their students. Limited student and parent involvement in the school to work transition program planning and conduct was identified in most of the schools. However interagency collaboration was characterised by disorganised collaboration in which clear roles and responsibilities of each party were lacking. In regards to human resource development, issues such as poorly trained and unqualified teachers were indicated in most of the schools, and one school had a serious issue in leadership that led to ineffective resource allocation.

The findings were used to develop a best practice model based on the Taxonomy for delivering school to work transition programs for students with a physical disability in Indonesian special school settings that links internal and external factors.

The model developed a series of actions for schools, external stakeholders, and the national government to improve the implementation of school to work transition programs. Although the model places emphasis on collaboration between these different stakeholders concurrently, the proposed new Indonesian model also explains what these stakeholders can do individually. Limitations and opportunities for future research are also discussed.

Keywords: school to work transition program, students with physical disabilities

Subject: Education thesis

Thesis type: Doctor of Philosophy
Completed: 2016
School: School of Education
Supervisor: Prof. Robert Conway