Advertisement

Embracing Diversity by Bridging the School-to-Work Transition of Students with Disabilities in Malaysia

  • Melissa Ng Lee Yen AbdullahEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training: Issues, Concerns and Prospects book series (TVET, volume 17)

Abstract

Despite having education and vocational training, the unemployment rate of persons with disabilities in Malaysia is persistently high. This phenomenon suggests that there is a school-to-work transitional gap among persons with disabilities, whereby many of them have failed to move into employment after leaving schools. Due to a lack of policy on school-to-work transition, it is unclear to what extent is transition planning currently being implemented for students with disabilities and how well these students are prepared for employment. This chapter approaches the school-to-work transitional issues from an educational and psychological framework. A mixed method research design was used to collect the data for this study. Qualitatively, semi-structured interviews were conducted to obtain the stakeholders’ views about the current educational system and vocational training in preparing students with disabilities for school-to-work transitions. A total of 82 participants made up of 23 school administrators, 21 special education teachers, and 38 students with disabilities were interviewed. Quantitatively, a questionnaire survey technique was employed to collect the data on profiles of employed and unemployed persons with disabilities. The sample was made up of 941 persons with disabilities. The findings suggest that school-to-work transition is not a smooth path for persons with disabilities. Based on the comparison of profiles between employed and unemployed persons with disabilities, job-related skills, and positive psychological traits were identified as critical skills that could make a difference in the employment outcome. Strategies were proposed to make school-to-work transition a more successful process for persons with disabilities in the country.

Keywords

Vocational Training Transition Program School Administrator Transition Service Psychological Empowerment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research project was funded by the Research University Grant, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Account No.: 1001/PGURU/816047. The contributions from Prof. See Ching Mey and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tan Kok Eng and also the participants of this study are acknowledged.

References

  1. 10th Malaysia Plan. (2010). http://www.malaysiaco.com/10th-malaysia-plan/. Accessed 15 Feb 2011.
  2. Agran, M., Snow, K., & Swaner, J. (1999). A survey of secondary level teachers’ opinion on community-based instruction and inclusive education. Journal of the Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps, 24(1), 58–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Alderman, M. K. (1999). Goals and goal setting. Motivation for achievement: Possibilities for teaching and learning. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  4. Australian Disability Enterprise. (2009). School-to-Work Transition Program: Phoenix Society. http://www.phoenixsoc.org.au/pdf/Brochure%20School%20to%20Work.pdf. Accessed 2 Jan 2011.
  5. Bakti-Mind. (2008). Sheltered Workshop. http://www.mind.org.my/index.php?page=26. Accessed 4 Mar 2010.
  6. Blackmon, D. (2007). The 2007 transition to adult living: An information and resource guide. Rohnert Park: California Institute on Human Services.Google Scholar
  7. Department of Statistics Malaysia. (2010). Population. http://www.statistics.gov.my/portal/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=35&Itemid=53&lang=en. Accessed 18 Nov 2010.
  8. Doren, B., & Benz, M. R. (1998). Employment inequality revisited: Predicators of better employment outcomes for young women with disabilities in transition. Journal of Special Education, 31(4), 425–442.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Durrant, M. (1993). Residential treatment. New York: W.W. Norton.Google Scholar
  10. Faridah, S. H. (2003). Career and employment opportunities for women with disabilities in Malaysia. Asia Pacific Disability Rehabilitation Journal, 14(1), 71–78.Google Scholar
  11. Goh, B. L. (2005, April 19). Urban poverty: Poor governance and weapons of the weak. Paper presented at the National Seminar on Urban Poor and Low Income Families: Towards the Ninth Malaysia Plan, Kuala Lumpur.Google Scholar
  12. Henderson, W. P. (2007). Transition service. Marichester: Parenting New Hampshire.Google Scholar
  13. Horn, J. R., Trach, J. S., & Howarth, S. L. (1998). Employment outcomes form a collaborative work study program. Journal of Rehabilitation, 64(3), 30–35.Google Scholar
  14. Japan International Cooperation Agency. (2009). Employment promotion and realization of decent work of persons with disabilities. http://www.jicafriends.jp/vocational/pdf/v2009jobMalaysia0101.pdf. Accessed 18 June 2010.
  15. Joy Workshop. (2010). Joy Workshop: A place with hope for people with learning disabilities. Paper Presented at Melaka Coastal Charity 2010.Google Scholar
  16. Kassim, A. B., Othman, S., Lai, P. G., & Yusoff, Z. (2009). Malaysia Country Report. The 7th ASEAN & Japan High Level Officials Meeting on Caring Societies, 31st August-3rd September 2009, Tokyo, Japan.Google Scholar
  17. Kuno, K. (2009). Disability equality training. (DET): Potentials and challenges in practice in developing countries. Asia Pacific Disability Rehabilitation Journal, 20(1), 4–51.Google Scholar
  18. Kuno, K. (2010) Social model of disability and job coach as a foundation and a practice for transition. Paper presented at the Southeast Asian Minister of Education Organization Seminar on Special Education. Malacca, Malaysia, 24–28 October 2010.Google Scholar
  19. Laird, S. D. (2004). Secondary transition: Connecting present education levels to the GRID. http://www.pattan.net/files/Handouts10/Transit051310a.pdf. Accessed 2 Nov 2010.
  20. Ling, H. K., & Wong, S. K. (2010). Impact of rising cost on low income communities in Sarawak, Malaysia. http://www.asienhaus.de/public/…%20GlobalRecessionSarawak.pdf. Accessed 25 Dec 2011.
  21. Malaysian Association for the Blind. (2007). The Gurney Training Center for the blind. http://www.mab.org.my/services/educational.html. Accessed 3 May 2008.
  22. Malaysian Embassy in China. (2007, August 31). Malaysia: Asia’s cultural melting pot. China Daily, p. 23.Google Scholar
  23. Malaysian Federation of the Deaf. (2007). History of the deaf education in Malaysia. http://www.mfd.org.my. Accessed 21 Apr 2008.
  24. Mamlin, N., Harris, K. R., & Case, L. P. (2001). A methodological analysis of research on locus of control and learning disabilities: Rethinking a common assumption. Journal of Special Education, 34(4), 214–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ministry of Education. (2008). The development of education. Report for International Conference on Education, http://www.ibe.unesco.org/National_Reports/ICE_2008/malaysia_NR08.pdf. Accessed 10 May 2010.
  26. Ministry of Education Malaysia. (2009a). The development of education: National report of Malaysia. International Conference on Education at Geneva. http://www.ibe.unesco.org/National_Reports/ICE_2008/malaysia_NR08.pdf. Accessed 10 May 2010.
  27. Ministry of Education Malaysia. (2009b). National Report on the provision of inclusive quality primary and junior secondary education for children with disabilities. Jakarta: UNESCO International Bureau of Education.Google Scholar
  28. Ministry of Education Malaysia. (2010). Country report on transition initiative project for students with disabilities in Malaysia. Southeast Asian Minister of Education Organization Seminar on Special Education, Malacca, Malaysia, 24–28 Oct 2010.Google Scholar
  29. Ministry of Women, Family, and Community Development (2009). The 16th National Celebration of Persons with Disabilities Day. Kuala Lumpur: Ministry of Women Family and Community Development.Google Scholar
  30. Mithaug, D. E., Wolman, J., & Campeau, P. (1992). Research in self-determination in individuals with disabilities: Technical proposal. Palo Alto: American Institutes for Research.Google Scholar
  31. Murray, B., & Heron, R. (1999). Placement of job-seekers with disabilities: Elements of an effective service. Bangkok: International Labor Office.Google Scholar
  32. Mustapha, R., & Abdullah, A. (2004). Malaysia transition toward as knowledge based economy. Journal of Technology Studies, 30(3), 51–61.Google Scholar
  33. National Center on Secondary Education and Transition. (2002). IDEA 1997 Transition Issues (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED469045). Minneapolis, MN: Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota.Google Scholar
  34. Rogers, H., & Saklofske, D. H. (1985). Self-concepts, locus of control and performance expectations of learning disabled children. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 18, 273–279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Salleh, N. M. (2002). Our vocational school: From the eyes of visually impaired children in Malaysia. International Journal of Learning, 9, 1398–1402.Google Scholar
  36. Simos, M. (2009, April 7). From school to work. The Advertiser Adelaide.Google Scholar
  37. Social Welfare Department. (2008). Pemulihan, perkhidmatan dan pembangunan OKU. [Rehabilitation, services and development of disabled people]. http://www.jkm.gov.my. 15 April 2008.
  38. Social Welfare Department. (2009a). Program Pemulihan dalam Komuniti [Community-Based Rehabilitation]. http://www.jkm.gov.my. Accessed 17 May 2010.
  39. Social Welfare Department of Malaysia. (2009b). Statistik Orang Kurang Upaya. [Statistics on persons with disabilities]. Retrieved May 5th 2010, from http://www.jkm.gov.my/
  40. Special Education Department (2006). Collaboration Based on Partnership towards realization of Principle, Equity and Social Cohesion: Malaysian Perspective. Proceedings in the 26th Pacific International Seminar on Special Education Japan, 4th to 7th December 2006, The National Institute of Special Education Japan, Japan.Google Scholar
  41. Systematic Instruction Organisation.(2008). Training. http://www.systematicinstruction.org/cms/content/view/12/27/lang,en/. Accessed 18 June 2010.
  42. United Nations Development Program. (2007). Encouraging increased participation by persons with disabilities in the workforce in the State of Johor. http://www.undp.org.my/uploads/PWD-Johor_prodoc.pdf. Accessed 10 May 2009.
  43. Ward, M. J. (1988). The many facets of self-determination. NICHCY Transition Summary: National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities, 5, 2–3.Google Scholar
  44. Warger, C. (2003). Current research in post-school transition planning. The ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education (ERIC EC). http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/eric/e642.html. Accessed 11 Oct 2010.
  45. Warner, G., & Adnand, P. (2009, June 14). Supported employment in Malaysia: Current scenarios and future direction. Paper presented at Seminar on Supported Employment in Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, MalaysiaGoogle Scholar
  46. Wehman, P. (2001). Life beyond the classroom: Transition strategies for young people with disabilities. Maryland: Paul Brookes Publishing.Google Scholar
  47. Wehmeyer, M. L. (1996). Self-determination as an educational outcome: Why is it important to children, youth, and adults with disabilities? In D. J. Sands & M. L. Wehmeyer (Eds.), Self-determination across the life span: Independence and choice for people with disabilities (pp. 17–36). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publication.Google Scholar
  48. Wehmeyer, M. L. (1997). Self-determination as an educational outcome: A definitional framework and implications for intervention. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 9, 175–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Wehmeyer, M. L., Kelchner, K., & Richards, S. (1996). Essential characteristics of self-determined behaviors of adults with mental retardation and developmental disabilities. American Journal on Mental Retardation, 100, 632–642.Google Scholar
  50. World Health Organization. (2006). WHO action plan 2006–2011. Geneva: World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/entity/disabilities/Publications/dar_action_plan_2006to2011.pdf. Accessed 17 Jan 2012.
  51. Worth, S. (2003). Adaptability and self-management: A New ethic of employability for the young unemployed? Journal of Social Policy, 32, 607–621.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Yeo, S. L. (2010) Self-advocacy: An essential component in transition program. Paper presented at the Southeast Asian Minister of Education Organization Seminar on Special Education. Malacca, Malaysia, 24–28 October 2010.Google Scholar
  53. Zarocostas, J. (2005 December 5). Disabled still face hurdles in job market. The Washington Times.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Educational StudiesUniversiti Sains MalaysiaGelugorMalaysia

Personalised recommendations