Inclusive Design for Employment Access (IDEA): Transition to work and career development

Reasons for the study

Persons with disabilities encounter barriers as they transition into work and advance within their careers. Disability scholarship and practice has increasingly focused on the school-to-work transition. Specifically, existing research tends to focus on the experience of obtaining entry-level positions and the barriers and facilitators to early stages of employment. Far less research exists on understanding the determinants to job quality (e.g., secure employment that meets career aspirations, offers competitive wages and provides opportunities for career growth) and the career success of persons with disabilities. We will conduct rapid reviews to identify and synthesize innovative school-to-work transition programs/practices/interventions that emphasize access to high-quality jobs and career success.

Objectives of the study

  • Examine and synthesize interventions and practices that support the transition into jobs with higher quality among persons living with disabilities. 
  • Examine and synthesize interventions and practices that support the career success of persons with disabilities. 
  • Utilize findings from rapid reviews to develop demand-side initiatives that are relevant to the school-to-work transition for persons living with disabilities. 

Target audience

Canadian work disability policy system stakeholders, including injured worker/ disability community representatives, employers, policy-makers, disability program administrators, educators and service providers  

Project status


Research team

  • Arif Jetha, Institute for Work & Health (PI)
  • Dan Samosh, Queen's University

Collaborators and partners

  • Jazz Aviation
  • Holland Bloorview
  • National Educational Association for Disabled Students
  • Youth Employment Services

Funded by

MLITSD, New Frontiers in Research Fund (a Tri-Council initiative among CIHR, SSHRC and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council)