Transitions to adulthood for disabled young people: literature review - easy read

Easy read version of the literature review, commissioned by the Scottish Government, of existing research and evidence on disabled young people’s experiences of transitions to adulthood.


The research concluded that:

  • It can be hard for disabled young people to leave places and people they know and trust. Support can fall during this time.
  • Planning ahead with disabled young people and their families can help transitions happen more smoothly.
  • People working together and young people having akeyworker also help to make sure support is co-ordinated.
  • Disabled young people often feel they do not have enough say about what they want to do. Some go into college courses that do not interest them and others worry about being able to find jobs.
  • Disabled young people say they don't have many options and ways of getting good jobs. Targeted training, along with work experience and supported employment are good ways into work.
  • The transition to adulthood usually means more independence but not receiving the right support can be a barrier to this.
  • Housing can also often be poorly planned and disabled young people may struggle to find their own home.
  • Young people need good training and guidance on life-skills like looking after themselves, housing, and money.
  • Disabled young people often lack confidence when with other people. They often feel lonely and say they do not have the chance to be active members of their communities.
  • Good transition support and planning should support disabled young people to develop healthy adult relationships.

Gaps in Evidence

The research found that:

  • We all want to see better transitions for young disabled people but we do not always know how to make this happen.
  • Some work has been done to gather information about what makes a good transition but there is more to do.

General Thoughts

The research suggested that:

  • We need to think about how a good transition to adult services can be part of a good transition to adulthood in general.
  • We need to keep asking what makes a 'good life' for disabled people and what the relationship is between a 'good transition' and a 'good life'.

Future Research

A lot has already been written about good practice and challenges in transitions but the research found some gaps. These included:

Asking disabled young people more about their experiences and needs in areas like social care, education, and employment.

Asking disabled young people about more personal issues like independence and independent relationships, and being part of their community.

This will really help us understand what it means to disabled young people to have a 'good life'.



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