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A study to explore the factors that influence the aspirations of youth with Down syndrome in terms of employment

By Vanessa Dos Santos


Includes abstract.~Includes bibliographical references (p. 99-108).It is a common belief that people with Down syndrome are to be considered not capable of being employed in the open labour market. Upon leaving school they are usually placed in segregated setting such as sheltered or protected workshops or are simply left at home. This study aims to establish which factors influence the aspirations of youth with Down syndrome with regards to gainful employment. This study gave the participants an opportunity to speak up for themselves and provided insight into the factors that influence their employment. The literature review encompasses a theoretical base on key concepts such as Down syndrome, aspirations, employment, education and community based rehabilitation. A naturalistic approach focusing on qualitative design was used to establish these factors using collective case studies. The studied population was the Down Syndrome South Africa (DSSA) branch in Johannesburg, Gauteng. Six young people with Down syndrome formed the sample group of which three participants were employed in the open labour market, and three were working in protective environments. Informal interviews were done and all interviews were transcribed verbatim. A preliminary analysis was done to extract the important themes and data which were then compared. A thematic framework was developed for classification and summary of the data. Cross referencing of members was also done to ensure trustworthiness. The study focuses on the community based rehabilitation (CBR) aims as a framework. By using the actual opinions of youth with Down syndrome the following themes emerged as a result of the findings: 1. Challenges to employment. 2. Making work work. 3. Prepare and teach them well. 4. Lift their potential.The study found that the resilience shown by parents and family members as well as the self-determination shown by youth with Down syndrome was a most enabling factor. It further revealed that parents can be seen as the major stakeholders in the success of youth with Down syndrome and support for parents and family members

Topics: Disability Studies
Publisher: Department of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences
Year: 2011
OAI identifier:

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