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The COVID pandemic has had wide impacts on children and young people with disability in their education. Students with disability have not only had their education interrupted, but the pandemic has reinforced the existing inequality they face in their education. This report explores experiences of young people with disability transitioning from secondary school in 2020 or 2021 and explores whether the COVID-pandemic has had a significant impact in the post school transition period. The research was co-produced between two academics and two young people with disability who were co-researchers employed by Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA), the national representative organisation of children and young people with disability.
Transitions can be difficult times that involve a number of practical and emotional implications for all young people and a key transition time is leaving secondary school. This has important implications for future economic and community participation. Young people with disability experience challenges with transitions from secondary school at higher rates than non-disabled peers.
Post-school transition processes are particularly high stakes for young people with disability given that this group is one of the most disadvantaged cohorts in the labour market, experiencing unemployment and underemployment at higher rates than their peers. The literature consistently evidences that where post-secondary school transitions are done well and are supported appropriately, they have a significant impact on the future lives of young people with disability.
In this research we interviewed eight young people with disability about their post- secondary school transition experiences.