Term Paper: Adults With Learning Disabilities

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[. . .] 58). Many people with LD have succeeded in the workplace, often as entrepreneurs, and recent legislation is intended to ease the process of disclosing a disability and obtaining on-the-job accommodations (Brown and Gerber 1994). Adults with LD are employed at the same rate as those with out disabilities, but many are underemployed in part-time, entry-level, minimum-wage jobs (Blackorby and Wagner

1997). Like other workers, people with LD must cope with workplace changes such as teamwork, productivity and skill demands, and technological advances (Brown and Gerber 1994).

In some of the literature (Kerka, 2002)3, on-the-job problems are framed in terms of individual deficits: persons with LD are said to encounter difficulties in establishing routines and processing information correctly (Ohler, Levinson, and Barker 1996); often exhibit low self-esteem and learned helplessness (ibid.); have impaired ability to assess strengths and weaknesses (ibid.); and lack career maturity and social awareness skills (Hitchings and Retish 2000).

Others recast employment issues (Kerka, 2002)3 as a function of the significant societal barriers faced by those who do not fit the norm, for example, biased attitudes, low expectations, or overprotected ness toward persons with disabilities (Michaels 1997).

Although IDEA mandates Individualized Education Programs and Individualized

Transition Plans, the latter often focus on academics, not career counseling or living skills; lack coordination among secondary, postsecondary, and community agencies; and are often developed too late in the educational process (Cummings et al. 2000).

Academic Experience

Academic difficulties faced by (Ann Corley & M. Taymans) 2 schoolchildren with LD persist throughout adulthood. Researchers who traced the academic profiles of persons with LD from elementary school into late adolescence and early adulthood found consistent pattern of lower-than-expected academic achievement (Spekman et al., 1992; (Raskind et al., 1999).Vogel and Reder (1998), in reviewing follow-up studies, found that the high school graduation rate for persons with LD ranged from 32% to 66%.

Ongoing academic difficulties can greatly affect participation and success in postsecondary education. Individuals with LD attend vocational and other non-college postsecondary programs at a higher rate than their non-disabled counterparts, who attend college and university programs at a higher rate (Murray, Goldstein, Nourse, & Edgar, 1000). It is not surprising that these persons, whose ways of learning often do not match typical school conditions, would gravitate to less academic forms of education. The discouraging news is that they successfully complete these programs at a low rate.

Hypothesis

For many individuals, learning disabilities are lifelong problems that continue into the adolescent and adult years. Secondary school program are increasing to serve adolescents with learning disabilities.

The school-to-work transition: problems and indicators

The school-to-work transition (Ryan, 2001)4 is a catch-all term for the activities of young people as they bounce around or struggle along between full-time schooling and fulltime, possibly career, employment. The activities in question include vocational education, work experience, unemployment, labor market programs, casual work, and fixed-term employment. The transition has become the focus of considerable interest, both academic and policy-oriented

In some accounts (Ryan, 2001)4, the school-to-work transition has become longer and more tortuous, in advanced economies at least (Organization for Economic Co- (operation and Development, 1996, 1998). A leading transition attributes youth status in the labor market, is said to have deteriorated in virtually all OECD countries (Blanchflower and Freeman, 2000). Others emphasize cross-country differences in transition patterns, with German and Japanese institutions performing particularly well.

Youth employment problems

The first stop in measuring (Ryan, 2001)4 the employment problems facing any age group has traditionally been the unemployment rate: the share of the labor force that lacks paid work, while showing sufficient interest in finding work and availability for work if it is found.

On that criterion (Ryan, 2001)4, youth employment problems appear serious in many advanced economies. The teenage unemployment rate stood in 1997 in double figures in all eight of the countries except Germany. It was particularly high in southern Europe: in Italy and Spain, around one-third of teenage workers were unemployed. In the same region, female rates were particularly high: unemployment accounted for around two-fifths of teenage workers in France and Spain, and fully three- fifths in Italy.

The problems facing (Ryan, 2001)4 an assessment of youth employment problems are illustrated here by focusing on two counties, France and the U.S.A., for which the familiar contemporary perception is one of labor market failure and success, respectively. Unemployment rates broadly support that view: teenage unemployment rates were much higher in France than in the U.S. In 1997, particularly for females. At the same time, as unemployment rates in the U.S. were hardly low by absolute standards, youth employment problems are apparent there too.

It is widely recognized (Ryan, 2001)4 that unemployment rates provide only a limited indicator of employment difficulties. In the case of young workers, the first limitation concerns the size of the youth labor force. When few young people are members of the labor force, as a result, e.g., of extensive participation in full-time education, not even a high unemployment rate involves many young people.

Returning to the Franco-American comparison (Ryan, 2001)4, against the much higher female youth rate in France must be set the fact that only 4% of teenage females participate in the labor force in France, as opposed to 51% in the U.S. The unemployed constitute therefore less than 2% of female teenagers in France, as against nearly 8% in the U.S. Youth employment difficulties appear less marked from this standpoint in France than in the U.S. In Spain and the U.K., however, serious problems remain visible, with at least 10% of the teenage population unemployed.

Secondly (Ryan, 2001)4, even when measured relative to population, unemployment offers only a partial guide to employment problems. The youth labor force shrinks when jobs are hard to find. The main dimension of adjustment is enrolment in full-time education. Enrolments rise as labor market slack increases, driven partly by the difficulty of finding work, and partly by improved prospects of finding work, through increased skills and educational credentials. In the U.S., the effect is weak, as many students work part-time; in France, strong, as few students do so (Blanchflower and Freeman, 2000).

Our Franco-American comparison of youth unemployment rates (Ryan, 2001)4, which became more favorable to France when the basis was changed from the labor force to the population, therefore swings back in favor of the U.S. The smallness of the teenage labor force and the high rate of educational enrolment in France do not just relieve the youth employment problem, they also reflect its severity.

Thirdly (Ryan, 2001)4, the definition of unemployment requires consideration.

How interested in work and available for work must a jobless person be in order to be considered an unemployed member of the labor force rather than an inactive nonmember? The ILO/OECD definition of unemployment requires at the time in question both some active job search during the previous four weeks and full readiness to start work during the coming two weeks. If either criterion is not satisfied, a workless individual is classed as inactive rather than unemployed.

The imposition (Ryan, 2001)4 of these interest and availability criteria classes as inactive of people whose labor market attachment fails either test but is not zero on either.

Low attachment is more common among the young than the middle aged, reflecting the greater importance of schooling, leisure, and labor market programs for young people, as well as the lower household responsibilities of youth. The issue has attracted particular attention in the U.S., where large numbers of young people, especially nonwhite inner- city residents, are economically inactive, lacking links either to school or legitimate employment, even in tight labor markets (Rees, 1986).

Even if a young person's (Ryan, 2001)4 work interest and availability are both zero, an employment-related problem may still be judged present. A teenager who is educationally as well as economically inactive may be seen as wasting his or her time at a formative stage of the life-cycle. A government that promotes self-reliance rather than dependence on public income support (or criminality) may view such a choice as mistaken, and seek to move such young people towards the labor market.

Such considerations favor the use of joblessness (Ryan, 2001)4, a potentially more comprehensive indicator of youth employment problems than unemployment (ibid.).

One variant is the total non-employment rate, measured on a population basis i.e., 1-(E/N), where E. is employment and N. is population). For teenagers, the usefulness of that indicator is reduced by high rates of educational participation, which are only partly attributable to employment problems. A superior indicator is provided by inactive joblessness, with inactivity defined with respect to education as well as to the labor market (i.e., 1-{(E+S)/N}, where'd is non-employed students).

Inactivity proves (Ryan, 2001)4 substantial in all eight countries, accounting for around one-half of teenage male joblessness in the group as a whole. Its importance varies considerably across countries. In the U.K. And Sweden, the approximately one- tenth of young males who are inactive actually… [END OF PREVIEW]

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