An integrated practical placement programme for students with disability: A pilot study

Debra Kiegaldie, Louise Shaw, Stuart Hunter, Jan Davis, Helen Siddel, Mike O’Brien

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Supported work internship programmes for young adults with disability are an evidence-based model, leading to greater employment outcomes. This mixed methods pilot study evaluated the experiences of students, supervisors and a project coordinator, who participated in an Integrated Practical Placement (IPP) programme for students with disability in Australia. Intervention students (n = 10) completed 3, 9-week rotations, and accessed personal placement support and employment coaches. Comparison students (n = 38) completed 3, 2-week placements without additional support. Intervention students perceived significantly greater initial changes in work skills (p < 0.01) and work readiness (p < 0.05). Intervention students reported development of communication and self-organisational skills and stressed the value of staff support. Post programme 70% of intervention students gained employment, compared with 15.4% of comparison students. The findings suggest an evidence-based supported employment programme emphasising personalised assessment and training, could provide individuals with disability the required skills to enable successful employment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Intellectual Disabilities
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jul 2022


  • education
  • employment
  • intellectual disability
  • learning disability
  • supported employment

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