During the past decade, the delivery of vocational services for people with severe disabilities has shifted dramatically from work activities in segregated settings to real work in community settings. The services being utilised to achieve community-based employment are known as supported employment services. While a significant body of research has described the effects of the supported employment initiative on the lives of people with severe disabilities, little research is available that documents the perceptions and expectations of parents and/or primary caregivers to this approach to service delivery. In the present study, parents and primary caregivers of individuals with severe intellectual disabilities were interviewed to determine their attitudes toward supported employment in relation to their child/ward. Findings suggested that the respondents were generally satisfied and accepting of their child's/ward's participation in supported employment. They felt that the supported employment programs offered more normalised and beneficial work experiences than those typically provided for persons with severe disabilities. Respondents also expressed relatively low expectations for improving wages, opportunities for career advancement and social integration. Results are discussed relative to the need for improved communication between professionals and families.
|Number of pages
|Australia and New Zealand Journal of Developmental Disabilities
|Published - 1995