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Abstract

This paper presents the findings of a qualitative research project that explores the experiences and aspirations of disabled young people in Northern Ireland as they make and deal with the transition to adulthood. The study involved young people with disabilities (n=76) in four areas of Northern Ireland, ensuring a geographical spread, an urban/rural mix and representation of both communities. Young people with learning disabilities were included as well as those with physical and/or sensory impairments. This paper focuses on those who were completing job training or work placements and examines the role of such schemes in assisting young people's transition to adulthood. The research found that many young people had positive experiences of work placement and job training and that social interaction was important to them. Few young people, however, had made the actual transition from work placement or training to 'real' employment.

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