Examining School and Community Preparedness for Transition of Young Adults with Intellectual Disability for Independent Living in Selected Counties, Kenya
Makumi, Mary Wangui
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The aim of this study was to examine the school and community preparedness for transition of learners with intellectual disability for independent living in Kiambu and Murang’a Counties. The study adopted descriptive research design which utilized both quantitative and qualitative research approaches. Target population was 2,643 while the sample size was 278. Respondents comprising headteachers, teachers, young adults with ID and opinion leaders were selected using purposive sampling and simple random sampling techniques. Questionnaires and interview guides were used to collect data. Questionnaires were used to collect data from headteachers and teachers, interview schedules were used to collect data from local leaders and young adults who had graduated from school while focus group discussion was conducted on young adults in school. Data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social sciences (SPSS). Qualitative data from interviews, group discussions and observations were analyzed by use of descriptions and thematic text through coding data in the context of research objectives while quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics. The study established that the curriculum offered in most of the special schools and units would prepare learners with intellectual disability to lead an independent life though a significant proportion disagreed that they were taught how to apply and maintain employment. Availability and retention of teachers, provision of teaching and learning materials and classification of pupils according to ability were identified as major factors hindering full implementation of the curriculum to learners with ID. The study further found out that after learners with ID graduated from special schools/units, most of them went back home and were not engaging in any income generating activity. The main reason being most of them lacked support from the parents and community in terms of availing job opportunities and financial support to start businesses hence hardly leading independent life. The study recommends that; parents and community members be involved in transition planning and be willing to offer transition services as attachments, financial advice, job training and job opportunities; the government through the Ministry of Education needs to employ more trained teachers; create a special class in secondary schools for those in the borderline; provide policy that Ministries, NGOs, private sectors among others should employ young adults with ID to promote independent living.