Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Lindsay, S. McDougall, C., Sanford, R. Menna-Dack, D. Kingsnorth,S. and Adams, T. (2014). Exploring employment readiness through mock job interview and workplace role play exercises: comparing youth with physical disabilities to their typically developing peers. Disability and Rehabilitation, 1-13.
Title:  Exploring employment readiness through mock job interview and workplace role play exercises: comparing youth with physical disabilities to their typically developing peers
Authors:  Lindsay, S. McDougall, C., Sanford, R. Menna-Dack, D. Kingsnorth,S. and Adams, T.
Year:  2014
Journal/Publication:  Disability and Rehabilitation
Publisher:  Informa UK Ltd.
DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3109/09638288.2014.973968
Full text:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25323394   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  No
Research design:  Qualitative research

Structured abstract:

Background:  Youth with disabilities have high unemployment rates after leaving high school. Employment readiness programs for individuals with disabilities are designed to help reduce barriers to work by teaching individuals how to disclose a disability, request accommodation and practice of skills (i.e. interview, soft skills etc...). Youth with disabilities may not receive the training and education needed to develop these skills and research in this area is limited. Developing these skills may enhance employment outcomes.
Purpose:  This study examined differences between youth with and without disabilities related to job interview and employment soft skills.
Setting:  The study took place in an accessible, mock retail environment.
Study sample:  A total of 31 youth participated in the study. Sixteen did not have a disability and 15 had a physical disability. The mean age for those without a disability was 16.75 and 17.6 for youth with a disability. Among the participants with a disability, most had cerebral palsy (N=10) and about a third or 11 used a wheelchair or walker for mobility.
Intervention:  There was no intervention.
Control or comparison condition:  Fifteen youth with a physical disability were compared to 16 typically developing peers.
Data collection and analysis:  A mock job interview and workplace role play exercise were developed based on a review of the literature. A scoring rubric was also developed to assess participant competence during the interview and workplace role play exercise. Participant interviews and role plays were video-taped, transcribed and entered in to NVIVO 10. The lead researcher and two assistants read through the transcripts and scored answers for the mock interview. If scores were not agreed upon, discussion occurred until consensus was reached. Two members of the team viewed and scored the video using the rubric. They discussed disagreements in scores with another member of the research team to reach consensus. T-tests and Chi-square tests were used to examine differences between the two groups.
Findings:  Most of the participants had prior interview and volunteer experience. Significant differences were found between the two group More youth without disabilities were employed or had worked in the past (75% vs. 33%),were participated in extra curricular activities (93.5% v.53%),used independent modes of transportation (100% v.66%) were actively seeking employment (87.5% v. 12.5%) and had friends who worked (87.5% v 60%). There were no significant differences between the groups related to interview experience, volunteer experience, or participation in work readiness training. Several significant differences were found related to the mock interview. Youth with disabilities scored significantly lower on certain questions like tell me about yourself, how would you provided feedback to someone not doing his share of the work, and a problem solving scenario. Youth with disabilities also scored significantly lower on voice clarity. No significant differences were found in workplace role play scores. There was a difference in the time needed for the workplace role play. It took youth with disabilities about 2:30 minutes longer.
Conclusions:  Research is limited on ways to best support youth with physical disabilities with employment. Improving interview and work readiness skills may help. More research aimed at developing intervention is needed.

Disabilities served:  Cerebral palsy
Muscular dystrophy
Spinal cord injury (SCI)
Populations served:  Gender: Female and Male
Transition-age youth (14 - 24)