The many challenges associated with the transition from adolescence to adulthood are all the more acute for young people with disabilities and special needs.

That is why ongoing individualized and planned support for a successful transition from school to active life (TSAL) is recommended for young people seeking to realize their life plan. For over 20 years, schools across Québec and their partners have been deploying TSAL practices, and the provincial government has released a guide to this effect (in French). In light of the most recent conclusive data, our study took an in-depth look at the most promising practices implemented in six Québec high schools. It was found that quality support may be provided when there is a dedicated TSAL team. Even so, the challenge remains to make TSAL resources accessible to all the young people who require them.

The study coincides with the release of the Report of the Auditor General of Québec to the National Assembly for 2020–2021 (in French), which includes an analysis of the employment integration and retention of adolescents and young adults with a disability.

The findings converge to highlight the discontinuities at the government level with regard to TSAL development. More specifically, the lack of an effective communication channel between ministerial authorities and practitioners (schools and school service centres) hinders the implementation of an individualized and contextualized TSAL plan for each person.

Finally, TSAL planning based on the best available knowledge would facilitate access for all adolescents and young adults with special needs in Québec. An especially relevant model to be considered is illustrated here.

Main researcher
Chantal Desmarais, Université Laval

Summary

Research report

Call for proposals

Deposit of the research report: December 2020