Post-school transition & employment

Transitioning from school to post-school education and rewarding careers


    Finishing school and starting post-school life can be challenging for everybody. But as well as the usual challenges senior students often face at these times, students with disability face a range of additional barriers.

    Young people with disability generally don’t have access to education of the same quality as others, and are often segregated in special schools or excluded in 'mainstream' schools. Students with disability are also significantly more likely to face restrictive practices such as restraint and seclusion.

    During the transition out of school, people often hold lower expectations for young people with disability, and there is little tailored information or assistance available.

    Current research

    Transitions from school to employment

    CYDA are currently working with university researchers, Helen Dickinson and Catherine Smith on a research project about transitions from school to employment. Jess and Amy from our team, who you might have met at the National Youth Disability Summit are driving this work.

    The research team is up to recruiting participants and would like help please.  

    Are you a young person with disability who left school in 2020 or is planning to leave in 2021? Have your plans for transitioning from school been disrupted by COVID-19?  Would you like to share your experience and hear from others in a similar situation?  If so, then you might want to take part in this research project. You can choose to take part in an interview or a research group. 

    A research group session will be online and last a maximum of two hours – there will be up to five (5) other young people participating in the group with along with you and up to 4 researchers.  An interview will last a maximum of one hour and will be a conversation between you and a researcher. You will receive a $50 prepaid visa card for your time.

    The results will be used for advocacy around improving school transitions for young people with disability. If you are interested find out more here.

    Previous research

    CYDA conducted a national survey between November 2019 and February 2020 to collect information about the experiences of senior students with disability and their families with career planning and post-school options. 

    The survey findings supported existing evidence that career planning and other post-school transition opportunities and support for students with disability are fragmented and generally poorer than for other students. Along with low expectations around students’ capabilities and desires, this contributes to poorer long-term outcomes and opportunities for young people with disability in further education, employment and social inclusion.

    In a submission to the Education Council’s review of senior secondary pathways into work, further education and training in December 2019, CYDA made a series of targeted recommendations to:

    • address exclusion in schools
    • develop tailored support for students with disability
    • provide more information to students with disability and their families
    • deliver strong outcomes for students with disability after school.

    Advocating for greater inclusion at these times of life is a key part of CYDA’s work. Our recent submissions on the topic can be found below.

    If you’d like to share with us your stories about school life or the transition out of school, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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