Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (Occupational Therapy) Honours


School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Sciences


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Supervisor

Dr Sonya Girdler


OBJECTIVE: To review the research examining the effectiveness of vocational training programs, transition programs and work experience placements and describe their impact on work and employment attainment and maintenance for young adults with intellectual disability. METHOD: Electronic searches of six data bases and manual searches of references lists locating all available evidence of programs and interventions to assist young adults with intellectual disability to find paid employment. Interventions described as vocational training, work placements and experience and transition programs aimed at securing employment were included. Two reviewers undertook data extraction and quality assessment and a systematic review was possible. RESULTS: Nine articles met the inclusion criteria reporting on young adults with intellectual disability with a collective total of 325 participants. Authors described the supports and interventions as job skills training, preparation for post-school, transition programs, transition to adult services, and vocational/training programs. CONCLUSIONS: The effectiveness of transition programs aimed at employment, job skills training and work experience placements and their positive impact on the employment outcomes of young adults with intellectual disability is supported by the evidence. Small samples sizes and the qualitative nature of research meant only a systematic review was possible, and no generalisations to the wider population could be made. Further studies with larger sample sizes and longitudinal follow-up is needed to further understand the effectiveness of these programs.


Thesis Location