Transition from school to work for young males with learning disabilities in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Alanazi, Adel (2019). Transition from school to work for young males with learning disabilities in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The aim of this study was to examine the difficulties that individuals with learning disabilities encounter while transitioning to work in Saudi Arabia. Existing programmes have been identified that help such individuals in transitioning to work, while factors that restrict individuals in this transition to work have also been identified.

My aim at all points has been to illuminate and analyse the issues that confront people with learning disabilities with a view to easing the movement of young people from school to work in Saudi Arabia. Three main research strategies adopted in the study to gather relevant data were a cross-sectional study using interviews, case study, and critical incident analysis.

The attitudes of people in Saudi Arabia – resting mainly in history, tradition and culture – were found to be central to the difficulties in this transition process, with presumptions about the incapability of people with learning difficulties working in an organisational environment. The other underlying factors that exacerbate the challenges faced by these individuals include the lack of awareness of their parents regarding the rights of children with disabilities, inappropriate government policies, and overprotection of the children by their families.

Employment is crucial post-school because it enhances individuals’ independence, reducing dependence on third parties for emotional, moral and physical support. However, there was found to be a need for improvement in the training programmes for young people with learning disabilities approaching school-

leaving age – particularly in relation to the use of assistive technology – to help them deal with the social challenges of the workplace and gain equal employment opportunities.

From my findings, I conclude that people with learning disabilities in Saudi Arabia are often seriously restricted in the transition to work because of culturally embedded resistance to the idea of their potential. This resistance extends to inconsistencies in the role of the government in ensuring that the authorities tasked with protecting the rights of people with disabilities play their roles appropriately to promote the rights of these individuals in job applications and employment.

Recommendations are made about changes needed in public information about disability, in the provision of enhanced programmes of support for school leavers, and in improved coordination amongst stakeholders, and particularly between schools and employers.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Education, Department of Disability, Inclusion and Special Needs
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LA History of education


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