Centre for Research in Education Inclusion and Diversity (CREID)

Abstract ─ J. Gangneux, I. Norberg, C. Pearson & N. Watson, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow

Transition to where and to what? Mapping the experiences of transition to adulthood for young disabled people in Scotland

Transition to adulthood for young disabled people remains a major policy failure across the UK, despite the fact that education legislation ostensibly grants rights to support and planning throughout the process. Typically, either the support offered is inappropriate and fails to meet their needs or, as they progress from child to adult services, they fall through the cracks and become lost in the system.  Previous work on transition has tended to focus on the shift from paediatric to adult services, emphasising the structural constraints young people experience. This narrow approach is too deterministic and it ignores the cultural constraints and the potential for individual agency.  In contrast to their nondisabled peers, where much of the discourse and policies are focussed around risk behaviours, for disabled young people the focus is on them being at risk. Their agency is ignored. In this paper, we draw on interviews with young disabled people in Scotland aged 16-23, collected as part of an evaluation of the recently established Independent Living Fund Transitions. Like the wider personalisation agenda, this fund aims to promote autonomy and individual responsibility.  We examine and critique this approach and will argue that the emphasis on young people as entrepreneurs can act as both a facilitator and a barrier to successful transition.