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The experience of unemployment for learning disabled young adults Hansen, Lisa D. 1986

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THE EXPERIENCE OF UNEMPLOYMENT FOR LEARNING DISABLED YOUNG ADULTS by LISA D. HANSEN B.A., U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, 1982 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOP THE DEGREE OF MASTERS OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of C o u n s e l l i n g Psychology) We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming t o the accepted standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October 1986 © L i s a Hansen, 1986 In presenting t h i s thes is i n p a r t i a l fu l f i lment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L ibra ry s h a l l make i t f ree ly ava i lab le for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s thes is for schola r ly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by h i s or her representat ives. I t i s understood that copying or pub l i ca t ion of t h i s thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my wr i t ten permission. The Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 )E-6 (3/81) A b s t r a c t T h i s r e s e a r c h study e x p l o r e s the experience of unemployment from the vantage p o i n t of l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s . T h i r t e e n l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d people i n t h e i r t wenties were i n t e r v i e w e d u t i l i z i n g a p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l / c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t methodology. T h i s methodology was u t i l i z e d so as t o o b t a i n q u a l i t a t i v e data from the p e r s p e c t i v e of the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d person. The f i n d i n g s i y i e l d e d i n f o r m a t i o n on the unique f e a t u r e s of the p s y c h o l o g i c a l process of unemployment. The r e s u l t s i n d i c a t e the unemployment experie n c e begins e a r l i e r and extends f u r t h e r than f o r other non-d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s . For l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s , the r o o t s to a h i s t o r y o f unemployment l i e w i t h i n the s c h o o l system. Programming w i t h i n t h i s system has f a i l e d t o meet the s p e c i a l needs of l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d persons i n v o c a t i o n a l and academic ar e a s . Termination of the unemployment experience does not n e c e s s a r i l y c o i n c i d e with s e c u r i n g a p o s i t i o n w i t h i n the workforce. F r e q u e n t l y , the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d person has d i f f i c u l t y m a i n t a i n i n g a p o s i t i o n due t o s k i l l d e f i c i t s . Hence, what o f t e n o c c u r s i s a s e r i e s of s h o r t term p o s i t i o n s . The result, i s a s p o r a d i c work h i s t o r y . In c o n c l u s i o n , i t i s suggested t h a t a comprehensive l i s t o f s e r v i c e s o f f e r e d t o the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d would a s s i s t i n i n c r e a s i n g the o p p o r t u n i t y f o r long term employment. These s e r v i c e s i n p a r t i n c l u d e m o d i f i c a t i o n s t o e x i s t i n g programmes f o r unemployment a d u l t s and p s y c h o l o g i c a l c o u n s e l l i n g . i i Table of Contents Page ABSTRACT i i LIST OF TABLES v LIST OF FIGURES v i LIST OF APPENDICES v i i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS i x CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION 1 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE 6 P s y c h o l o g i c a l C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s 7 V o c a t i o n a l Adjustments 12 Suggested S o l u t i o n s 15 B a s i c Assumptions.. 17 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY 19 Methodological Approach 19 Su b j e c t s 21 Data C o l l e c t i o n 23 The P i l o t Interview 27 The Interview 30 Data A n a l y s i s 33 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 40 School Experience 40 Past School Experiences 41 Present School Experiences' 47 i i i Work H i s t o r y and Job Search 51 Job S k i l l s U t i l i z e d 56 P o s i t i v e and Negative C r i t i c a l I n c i d e n t C a t e g o r i e s 60 P o s i t i v e C r i t i c a l I n c i d e n t C a t e g o r i e s . 84 Negative C r i t i c a l I n c i d e n t C a t e g o r i e s 68 Future P l a n s and E x p e c t a t i o n s . . . . 75 H o l i s t i c D e s c r i p t i o n 78 Coping versus Non-Coping Techniques 86 CHAPTER 5 SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 90 I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r F u r t h e r Research 97 REFERENCES 100 APPENDICES 102 iv L i s t o f T a b l e s Page 1. Demographic Information 22 2. E d u c a t i o n a l H i s t o r y 42 3. Jobs Held S i n c e Leaving Secondary School 52 4. Frequency of Job Search Methods U t i l i z e d 57 5. P o s i t i v e C r i t i c a l I n c i d e n t C a t e g o r i e s 62 6. Negative C r i t i c a l I n c i d e n t C a t e g o r i e s .•**• 6 3 7. D e s c r i p t i o n o f Co-researcher Long Term Plans ... 76 V L i s t of F i g u r e s Page P s y c h o l o g i c a l Process of Unemployment 79 L i s t o f Appendices Page A. Referee L e t t e r 102 B. S u b j e c t Consent Form 104 C. P i l o t Interview Questions 106 D. Co-researcher Diagram Sheet....... 109 E. Background Information Sheet I l l F. Rati n g Sheets 113 F - l Rating Sheet Form 114 F-2 Completed Rati n g Sheet Example #25 116 F-3 Completed Rating Sheet Example #26 124 F-4 Completed Rati n g Sheet Example #27 129 G. Summary Example #25 134 H. S e l e c t e d Quotes i n P o s i t i v e C r i t i c a l I n c i d e n t C a t e g o r i e s 145 H-l Success/Achievement i n A d u l t Education Programme 146 H-2 P l e a s u r e i n Having a Job 149 H-3 R e a l i z a t i o n o f S e l f - w o r t h 152 H-4 Support from S e r v i c e Agency ( e x c l u d i n g C.E.C.) 154 H-5 Re-assessment o f S e l f 156 H-6 Support from Family 158 Vi i H-7 S u p p o r t i v e Work Environment 160 H-8 Landing a Job 162 H-9 Support from F r i e n d s 164 I. S e l e c t e d Quotes i n Negative C r i t i c a l I n c i d e n t C a t e g o r i e s 166 1-1 A n t i c i p a t e d Job F a i l u r e / J o b F a i l u r e 167 1-2 Discounted/Devalued by Support S e r v i c e s ( e x c l u d i n g C.E.C.) 170 1-3 F i n a n c i a l P r e s s u r e s 173 1-4 Job R e j e c t i o n s / L a c k of Opportunity from Employers 175 1-5 Avoidance of Job Search 178 1-6 Discounted/Devalued by C.E.C. Personnel 180 1-7 Delayws Career Progress 182 1-8 Longing f o r More E q u i t a b l e / S e c u r e Employment O p p o r t u n i t i e s 184 1-9 Stagnation/Boredom 186 1-10 Fear of School as an A d u l t Student 188 1-11 I s o l a t i o n Due t o Unemployment 190 1-12 Negative Comparisons 192 vii i Acknowledgements I would l i k e t o express my a p p r e c i a t i o n t o a number of people who were v i t a l t o the completion o f t h i s t h e s i s . The f o l l o w i n g people were most h e l p f u l i n c o n t a c t i n g p o t e n t i a l co-r e s e a r c h e r s . They took time out of t h e i r a l r e a d y too h e c t i c s chedules. These people i n c l u d e : Ms. C l a u d i a Mason of the I n d i v i d u a l i z e d Education Programme f o r A d u l t s a t King Edward Campus, Dr. A n n e l i e s e Robens, Ms. Therese M i l l s o f Community E n t e r p r i s e s , Matsqui-Abbotsford, Mrs. Betty Mackie, Roman Piontkosky and Grace Piontkosky of the Vancouver A s s o c i a t i o n f o r C h i l d r e n and A d u l t s with Learning D i s a b i l i t i e s and Mrs. E l i n o r M a r t i n o f the B r i t i s h Columbia A s s o c i a t i o n f o r C h i l d r e n and A d u l t s with L e a r n i n g D i s a b i l i t i e s . I would l i k e t o extend my g r a t i t u d e t o those people who stepped forward and made i t p o s s i b l e f o r me t o w r i t e a t h e s i s from the vantage p o i n t o f a l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d person. These are the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d people themselves and they i n c l u d e : Tony, Anthony, D a r r y l , Sue, John, P h y l i s , C h e r y l , Bob, Robert, Thomas Dobson, Steven, L i n d a , and Robert. I would a l s o l i k e t o thank my c o l l e a g u e s who a s s i s t e d with the r e l i a b i l i t y checks, Dorothy Hyslop and Russel Earnshaw and the person who typed the t h e s i s again and again , Michele Spence. Many thanks t o Brad f o r h i s support and encouragement throughout t h i s arduous p r o c e s s . 1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION What does i t mean t o be l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d both i n p r a c t i c a l 'and t h e o r e t i c a l terms? For the purposes o f t h i s study the f o l l o w i n g d e f i n i t i o n i s t o be used t o d e s c r i b e l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d people. 'Learning d i s a b i l i t i e s ' " i s a g e n e r i c term t h a t r e f e r s t o a heterogeneous group of d i s o r d e r s due t o i d e n t i f i a b l e or i n f e r r e d c e n t r a l nervous system d y s f u n c t i o n . Such d i s o r d e r s may be manifested by d e l a y s i n e a r l y development and/or d i f f i c u l t i e s i n any of the f o l l o w i n g a r e a s : a t t e n t i o n , memory, re a s o n i n g , c o o r d i n a t i o n , communicating, r e a d i n g , w r i t i n g , s p e l l i n g , c a l c u l a t i o n , s o c i a l competence, and emotional maturation. 'Learning d i s a b i l i t i e s ' * are i n t r i n s i c t o the i n d i v i d u a l , and may a f f e c t l e a r n i n g and behaviour i n any i n d i v i d u a l , i n c l u d i n g those with p o t e n t i a l l y average, average or above average i n t e l l i g e n c e . 'Learning d i s a b i l i t i e s ' a re not due p r i m a r i l y t o v i s u a l , h e a r i n g or motor handicaps; t o mental r e t a r d a t i o n , emotional d i s t u r b a n c e , or environmental disadvantage; although they may occur c o n c u r r e n t l y with any of these. 'Learning d i s a b i l i t i e s ' may a r i s e from g e n e t i c v a r i a t i o n s , b i o c h e m i c a l f a c t o r s , events i n the pre t o p e r i - n a t a l p e r i o d , or i n any other subsequent events r e s u l t i n g i n n e u r o l o g i c a l impairment. T h i s d e f i n i t i o n was formulated by the Board of D i r e c t o r s f o r the Canadian A s s o c i a t i o n f o r C h i l d r e n and A d u l t s with Learning D i s a b i l i t i e s . L e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t i e s can a l s o be e x p l a i n e d i n p r a c t i c a l terms. The f o l l o w i n g are exp e r i e n c e s t h a t many l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d people share: unable t o read d i r e c t i o n s on a copy machine 2 unable t o d i s t i n g u i s h between symbols found on a men's or women's washroom unable t o remember the l a s t name o f a person unable t o read s i g n s along a highway unable t o read a l e t t e r w r i t t e n by a c o l l e a g u e t a k i n g notes a t a meeting i n the form o f drawings or diagrams unable t o d i s t i n g u i s h between the r i g h t and l e f t hand u n i n t e n t i o n a l l y e x p r e s s i n g a q u e s t i o n as a demand r e s u l t i n g i n a secondary d i s a b i l i t y ; uncomfortable s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n s e a s i l y d i s t r a c t e d , meaning t h a t c o n c e n t r a t i o n can be broken by the dropping of a p e n c i l -- on the p o s i t i v e s i d e i s the a b i l i t y t o n o t i c e d e t a i l s t h a t o t h e r s do not see such as those found i n nature or i n c l a s s i c a l music m a t e r i a l i n a book may p r e s e n t i t s e l f l i k e a s i g n passed too q u i c k l y on the highway (Harms and Ridenour, 1975) T h i s l i s t c o u l d go on i n d e f i n i t e l y , however the essence o f the i s s u e i s t h a t l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t i e s a f f e c t each person d i f f e r e n t l y , while a t the same time many l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d people share some s i m i l a r e x p e r i e n c e s . One o f t h e i r d i f f i c u l t i e s i s f i n d i n g g a i n f u l employment as they move from adolescence to young adulthood. As s t a t e d by Aune and Gray (1983) a d u l t s with a l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y tend t o be under-employed and o f t e n are unable to keep jobs f o r more than a s h o r t p e r i o d of time. Because of t h e i r u s u a l l y low academic s k i l l s , they are f o r c e d t o apply f o r low-3 s k i l l and low-pay p o s i t i o n s with l i t t l e hope of upward m o b i l i t y . In d i f f i c u l t economic times t h i s s i t u a t i o n i s heightened by the m a j o r i t y of d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s being unemployed. During l e s s s t r a i n e d economic times the d i f f i c u l t y f o r l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d youth has been one of g a i n f u l employment, but under our present n e g a t i v e economic c o n d i t i o n s the main d i f f i c u l t y i s f i n d i n g any employment a t a l l . I t i s p o s s i b l e f o r the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d t o become g a i n f u l l y employed, but i t i s almost i m p o s s i b l e f o r t h i s to happen without a g r e a t d e a l of a s s i s t a n c e . Anderson (no date) makes the obvious statement t h a t l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d youth need t o l e a r n s k i l l s t h a t are marketable. She a l s o makes the more s u b t l e p o i n t t h a t i n a d d i t i o n t o marketable s k i l l s , the youth must break down i n t e r n a l b a r r i e r s t h a t e x i s t a f t e r y ears o f f a i l u r e . F i n a l l y , e x t e r n a l o b s t a c l e s must be overcome i n order f o r l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d youth t o become g a i n f u l l y employed on a long-term b a s i s . B r u t t o n (1981) says i t w e l l : "Once out of s c h o o l and on the 30b, l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d i n d i v i d u a l s no longer have people who w i l l i n t e r c e d e f o r them. Boss f i g u r e s [employers] have no i n t e r e s t i n the f a c t t h a t they are l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d " . There i s o f t e n i n t e n s i v e programming f o r l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d people while they are i n elementary s c h o o l . They are a b l e t o use l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y c e n t r e s p r e s e n t i n most s c h o o l s complete with t e a c h e r s s p e c i a l i z e d i n working with l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d c h i l d r e n . T h i s i s not always t r u e f o r the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d a d u l t s w i t h i n our community. These l e a r n i n g c e n t r e s decrease when the c h i l d 4 moves to secondary s c h o o l . The secondary s c h o o l becomes l a r g e r and the s o c i a l s k i l l s r e q u i r e d t o adapt to secondary s c h o o l i n c r e a s e . T h i s atmosphere can become overwhelming f o r l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d students who may l a c k both academic and s o c i a l s k i l l s . I t q u i c k l y becomes a s i t u a t i o n where the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d person l e a r n s t o expect f a i l u r e ; where he or she l e a r n s a t best how to a d j u s t t o f a i l u r e . Rarely does the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d a d o l e s c e n t experience success w i t h i n the s c h o o l system. Once the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d person becomes a young a d u l t f a c e d with the working world s/he can become g r o s s l y overwhelmed. S/he has most l i k e l y passed through years o f f a i l u r e and c e r t a i n defense mechanisms have s e t i n . "Given enough time, the f a i l u r e syndrome ( i . e . e x p e c t a t i o n of f a i l u r e ) , d i m i n i s h e d s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e , l a c k of m o t i v a t i o n , d e b i l i t a t i n g s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s , decreased i n i t i a t i v e may s e t i n " ( S e i g e l , no d a t e ) . As c o u n s e l l o r s we need t o have more i n f o r m a t i o n about how t o a l l e v i a t e or prevent these problems. T h i s study w i l l attempt t o d e s c r i b e the p s y c h o l o g i c a l process of unemployment f o r l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d youth. T h i s study i s an in-depth examination of the sub-group l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s and w i l l take p l a c e as a c o n t i n u a t i o n and f o l l o w - u p of the study done by Borgen and Amundson (1984). The r e s u l t s o f t h i s study are a p p l i c a b l e to those people who o b t a i n an average range or above s c o r e when admi n i s t e r e d an i n d i v i d u a l i n t e l l i g e n c e t e s t ; and can be viewed as r e f l e c t i n g the p s y c h o l o g i c a l e x p e r i e n c e o f unemployment f o r l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s (aged 20 - 30) a c r o s s Canada. T h i s study i s l i m i t e d i n t h a t the r e s u l t s do not g e n e r a l i z e t o those people who are mentally handicapped with an accompanying l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y . CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE The l i t e r a t u r e p e r t a i n i n g t o l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d a d u l t s and unemployment i s scanty a t be s t . K r o l l , <1984> who completed a thorough review of the l i t e r a t u r e comments on the dearth of r e s e a r c h completed p e r t a i n i n g t o l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d a d u l t s l o c a t i n g and h o l d i n g a j o b. F a f a r d and Haubrich (1981) a l s o s t a t e t h a t the i n f o r m a t i o n d e s c r i b i n g l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s i s "minimal". The l i t e r a t u r e review w i l l f o l l o w along t h r e e main l i n e s . The f i r s t s e c t i o n d e s c r i b e s with c a u t i o n the p s y c h o l o g i c a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s . I t i s important t o r e c o g n i z e t h a t the presented p s y c h o l o g i c a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s may or may not h o l d t r u e f o r a l l members o f the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t p o p u l a t i o n . Next, d i s c u s s i o n w i l l proceed with a p r e s e n t a t i o n o f the l i t e r a t u r e s p e c i f i c a l l y o r i e n t e d toward the antecedents f o r unemployment and the presen t unemployment f a c t o r s f o r l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s . F i n a l l y , i n f o r m a t i o n w i l l be presented s u g g e s t i n g p o s s i b l e s o l u t i o n s as p e r c e i v e d by r e s e a r c h e r s i n the f i e l d . P e r sonal c o u n s e l l i n g , v o c a t i o n a l c o u n s e l l i n g , psychotherapy, support groups and rem e d i a t i o n are some of the p o s s i b i l i t i e s t h a t e x i s t t o enhance the economic p r o s p e c t s f o r l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s . 7 E§Y-?l22i2Si9§i C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s Research i n d i c a t e s t h a t adjustment d i f f i c u l t i e s f o r l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s begin a t the elementary s c h o o l l e v e l . Osman <1982) s t a t e s t h a t many members o f an a d u l t support group were aware t h a t they had a l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y from an e a r l y age. They remembered s t o r i e s o f being teased by t h e i r classmates as elementary s c h o o l c h i l d r e n . Neyers and Messerer (1981) a l s o suggest t h a t the antecedent t o f u t u r e "adjustment concerns" begin a t s c h o o l age. T h i s s t r e s s begins e a r l y and can extend w e l l i n t o the a d u l t y e a r s . Many l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s f e e l t h e i r bodies t e e t e r t o t t e r with the overuse o f the f i g h t or f l i g h t mechanism f i r s t r a c i n g through t h e i r bodies and then l e a v i n g them exhausted. L e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s are o f t e n c o n f r o n t e d with i n a p p r o p r i a t e e x p e c t a t i o n s , e x t r a energy e x p e n d i t u r e s i n having too much t o cope with, c o v e r i n g up problems, overcompensation f o r f a i l u r e s , being too d i f f i c u l t f o r s o c i a l acceptance and belongingness, unusual and s t r e s s f u l f a m i l y dynamics and the con s t a n t f r u s t r a t i o n o f f e e l i n g i l l a t ease with the t o t a l environment (Johnson, 1981, p. 439). Cox (1977) expresses concern f o r the p s y c h o l o g i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n o f long term messages. Many l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s p e r c e i v e d as young people t h a t they were inadequate and incompetent. These messages r e c e i v e d over time l e a d t o d y s f u n c t i o n a l behaviours f o r some l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d a d u l t s . "The inadequate p e r s o n a l i t y w i l l not speak up f o r h i m s e l f , take c a r e o f h i m s e l f or work independently" (Cox, 1977, p. 86). Johnson (1981) d e s c r i b e s l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s as undergoing long term s t r e s s . She d e s c r i b e s the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d a d u l t as a l a y e r w i t h i n a l a y e r . The l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d person i s s u b j e c t t o a c o n s t a n t stream of academic d i f f i c u l t i e s which s e r v e s t o o f t e n c r e a t e a s o c i a l l y i n t e n s e world. The person i s not a b l e t o perform as expected f o r h i s i n t e l l e c t u a l a b i l i t i e s but t h i s does not occur i n i s o l a t i o n . H i s or her i n a b i l i t y t o grasp academic fundamentals meets with d i s a p p r o v a l from p e e r s . He or she then must d e a l with a s o c i e t y t h a t f r e q u e n t l y makes r e f e r e n c e t o t h e i r i n f e r i o r i t y . F a f a r d and Haubrich (1981) suggest t h a t although l i t t l e data e x i s t s on the i n f l u e n c e o f long term academic problems, one can say a t l e a s t t e n t a t i v e l y t h a t e x p e r i e n c e s of f a i l u r e and the ongoing s t r e s s o f being d i f f e r e n t may l e a d t o s o c i a l and v o c a t i o n a l adjustment problems i n adulthood. Often w i t h i n the l i t e r a t u r e an attempt i s mode t o d e s c r i b e the p s y c h o l o g i c a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d a d u l t s . The d e s i r e e x i s t s f o r the p r o f e s s i o n a l i n the f i e l d t o want t o r e p r e s e n t a "composite" of the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t . U n f o r t u n a t e l y t h i s i s not p o s s i b l e , nor i s i t d e s i r a b l e (Gray, 1981). I t i s p o s s i b l e t o p r e s e n t a g e n e r a l d e s c r i p t i o n of p e r s o n a l , emotional, s o c i a l , p s y c h o l o g i c a l , academic, and v o c a t i o n a l t r a i t s , but i t must be noted t h a t these c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s are not found w i t h i n every l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t . They are simply a d e s c r i p t i o n of p e r s o n a l i t y t r a i t s 9 which might p l a y a r o l e i n the shaping of p e r s o n a l i t y . I t i s a l s o r e l e v a n t t o note t h a t s i m i l a r l i f e e x p e r i e n c e s may be r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the development o f a c o h e s i v e group. In a d d i t i o n , p o s i t i v e t r a i t s e x i s t f o r l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d a d u l t s which c o u l d render them h i g h l y marketable. Examples o f p o s i t i v e t r a i t s e x i s t i n g f o r l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d people are high energy, m o t i v a t i o n , c r e a t i v i t y (Patton and Polloway, 1982). The f o l l o w i n g i s a l i s t d e v i s e d by Patton and Polloway (1982) which s e r v e s t o d e s c r i b e the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d a d u l t s . P e r sonal - d i s o r g a n i z a t i o n , s l o p p i n e s s , c a r e l e s s n e s s , d i f f i c u l t y i n f o l l o w i n g d i r e c t i o n s , poor decision-making s k i l l s , inadequate independent f u n c t i o n i n g s k i l l s . Emotional - f r u s t r a t i o n , a n x i e t y , f e a r , anger, s h o r t temper, sense of hopelessness, g u i l t , poor s e l f concept, embarrassment, n e u r o t i c and b o r d e r l i n e p s y c h o t i c symptoms. S o c i a l - s o c i a l imperception ( d i f f i c u l t y r e a c t i n g to p e r c e p t u a l s i t u a t i o n s a p p r o p r i a t e l y ) poor peer r e l a t i o n s h i p s (meeting people, making f r i e n d s , and keeping f r i e n d s ) . P y s c h o l o g i c o l - problems i n a t t e n t i o n ( s e l e c t i n g important f e a t u r e s and s u s t a i n i n g a t t e n t i o n t h e r e a f t e r ) i m p u l s i v i t y , r e s t l e s s n e s s , h y p e r a c t i v i t y . Academic - underachievement, d i f f i c u l t y i n language ( w r i t t e n and spoken), r e a d i n g , math, s p e l l i n g . V o c a t i o n a l - below average c a r e e r success, problems f i n d i n g and keeping job, poor work h a b i t s ( f o l l o w i n g d i r e c t i o n s , a t t i t u d e s ) , poor work s k i l l s ( i n e f f i c i e n c y , e r r o r s ) , problems with s p e c i f i c work s k i l l s (e.g. t a k i n g phone messages), numerous job changes (p. 83). The sources o f i n f o r m a t i o n d i s c u s s i n g a d u l t outcomes o f l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t i e s f a l l i n t o two main c a t e g o r i e s . They i n c l u d e case s t u d i e s and f o l l o w - u p s t u d i e s . The case s t u d i e s tend t o be a n e c e d o t a l . There i s no c o n s i s t e n t i n f o r m a t i o n presented a c r o s s these p e r s o n a l d e s c r i p t i o n s . As w e l l , t h e r e are problems with the f o l l o w - u p 'studies. Patton and Palloway (1982) comment t h a t the f o l l o w - u p s t u d i e s tend toward "ambiguity" and o f t e n as not l i t t l e agreement e x i s t s between r e s e a r c h e r s . The f o l l o w - u p s t u d i e s do not a l l use one d e f i n i t i o n f o r l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y . A l s o each r e s e a r c h e r uses h i s own measurement d e v i c e t o d e c i d e on s o c i a l and v o c a t i o n a l adjustment. The samples tend t o be s m a l l and c o n t r o l groups are not used. I t c o u l d be s a i d t h a t most r e s e a r c h m a t e r i a l a v a i l a b l e to date can be c l a s s e d as p r e l i m i n a r y f i n d i n g s . Wore r i g o r o u s , d e t a i l e d work seems warranted. Of the v a r i o u s s o c i a l concerns abounding f o r the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d a d u l t , one f r e q u e n t l y mentioned i s s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n . Osman (1982) s t a t e s t h a t many l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s may 11 have d i f f i c u l t i e s i n m a i n t a i n i n g a c o n v e r s a t i o n with another person because they are unable t o a r t i c u l a t e t h e i r i d e a s or they have d i f f i c u l t y m a i n t a i n i n g the s o c i a l cues necessary f o r an i n t e r a c t i v e f low. Another d i f f i c u l t y i s i n the development o f c l o s e f r i e n d s h i p s . T h i s i s due i n p a r t t o the f e a r of r e j e c t i o n . I f the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d a d u l t d i s c l o s e s t h e i r l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y the f e a r i s t h a t people w i l l not want t o maintain or develop the f r i e n d s h i p . Osman (1982) s t a t e s , " T h i s group c a r r i e s with them the shame and stigma t h a t has been a t t a c h e d t o t h e i r handicaps when they were young" <p. 119). F a f a r d and Haubrich <1981) conducted a study i n t e r v i e w i n g twenty-one l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s on t h e i r p e r c e i v e d s o c i a l adjustment. A l l s u b j e c t s were found t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n a wide range o f r e c r e a t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s . The s u b j e c t s d i d not d i s c l o s e d i f f i c u l t i e s i n d e v e l o p i n g or m a i n t a i n i n g f r i e n d s h i p s . I t was found t h a t most of the r e c r e a t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s were i n v o l v e d i n r e v o l v e d around secondary s c h o o l , church or home s e t t i n g s . Although these are h e a l t h y s e t t i n g s f o r young people t o spend time, one c o u l d suggest t h a t most a c t i v i t i e s were planned by o t h e r s . I t may be t h a t a growth toward more autonomous s e t t i n g s would be more i n keeping with the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s ' c h r o n o l o g i c a l age. Researchers present evidence f o r a v a r i e t y o f l e v e l s of adjustment among l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s . White e t a l . 12 (1982) found t h a t l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s appear t o a d j u s t as w e l l as n o n - l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d a d u l t s i n the areas of v o c a t i o n a l , s o c i a l , p e r s o n a l , community, medical s t a t u s , and e d u c a t i o n . Even though t h i s was found to be the case, the r e s e a r c h e r s express concern r e g a r d i n g the q u a l i t y o f t h e i r l i v e s . The l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d group d e s c r i b e d themselves as being n e i t h e r happy nor unhappy. The r e s e a r c h e r s , using a Duncan Socioeconomic J.Qdex, found the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d a d u l t s had a s i g n i f i c a n t l y lower mean job s t a t u s than the n o n - l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s . The authors s p e c u l a t e t h a t the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d a d u l t s p r i o r e x p e r i e n c e s have i n a l l l i k e l i h o o d shaped t h e i r e x p e c t a t i o n s f o r the f u t u r e . The r e s e a r c h r e s u l t s i n d i c a t e t h a t not a l l l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d i n d i v i d u a l s e x p e r i e n c e s o c i a l adjustment problems. As w e l l , the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t may not p e r c e i v e themselves as being d i s s a t i s f i e d with t h e i r l i f e s t y l e , and, i t i s i m p o s s i b l e though to i g n o r e the l i n k between competent s o c i a l s k i l l s and the a b i l i t y t o compete s u c c e s s f u l l y i n the workforce (Brown, 1985). V o c a t i o n a l Adjustment When a c l o s e examination i s made o f the l i t e r a t u r e on v o c a t i o n a l adjustment o f l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s a number of p o i n t s s u r f a c e r e p e a t e d l y . Researchers w r i t e of s i m i l a r concerns which i n c l u d e poor long term p l a n n i n g s k i l l s , inadequate c a r e e r p r e p a r a t i o n w h i l e a t t e n d i n g secondary s c h o o l , poor job search s k i l l s , acceptance of low-status work, below average work h a b i t s , and poor work s k i l l s . None of those 13 concerns serve t o present an o p t i m i s t i c p i c t u r e f o r the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t . I t can be assumed t h a t a marked decrease i n the q u a l i t y o f l i f e e x i s t s f o r those people who are unable t o e s t a b l i s h a s a t i s f a c t o r y l o n g term employment r e c o r d . Kronick (1978) s t a t e s t h a t a primary d i f f i c u l t y l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s f a c e i s the i n a b i l i t y t o develop long term g o a l s . There e x i s t s a d i f f i c u l t y i n p r o j e c t i n g i n t o the f u t u r e . In a d d i t i o n , t h i s placement a t a l o w - l e v e l p o s i t i o n c o u l d be p r i m a r i l y based upon the i n i t i a l outward appearance the person p r e s e n t s t o h i s employer. The employer misses the u n d e r l y i n g s t r e n g t h s o f i n t e l l i g e n c e , m o t i v a t i o n or a s p e c i f i c g i f t . Instead the person i s l a b e l l e d by the employer as "handicapped". T h e i r p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r o b t a i n i n g a h i g h e r l e v e l p o s i t i o n are minimal ( S i e g e l , 1975). Meyer and Messerer (1981) s t a t e t h a t l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s tend t o " s e t t l e " f o r jobs r a t h e r than "choose" j o b s . Hence t h e i r l e v e l of employment s a t i s f a c t i o n tends t o be minimal. F a f a r d and Haubrich (1981) examined the s t a t u s l e v e l of the v a r i o u s o c c u p a t i o n s l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s were working i n and found they obtained low-status work. The most f r e q u e n t l y mentioned category was the f a s t food s e r v i c e i n d u s t r y . The s u b j e c t s i n t e r v i e w e d by F a f a r d and Haubrich (1981) i n d i c a t e d they had almost no v o c a t i o n a l p r e p a r a t i o n while i n high s c h o o l . S u b j e c t s were not p r o v i d e d with i n f o r m a t i o n on how t o chose a v o c a t i o n , apply f o r work or d e c i d e on e d u c a t i o n a l p u r s u i t s based on f u t u r e c a r e e r d e s i r e s . Although the people i n t e r v i e w e d expressed a d e s i r e t o o b t a i n a h i g h e r l e v e l of 14 employment, they d i d not know how t o o b t a i n s k i l l s commensurate with t h e i r a s p i r a t i o n s . T h i s area was d e s c r i b e d by i n d i v i d u a l s as being very d i f f i c u l t . A f u r t h e r d i s h e a r t e n i n g f e a t u r e f o r the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t i s being p l a c e d i n a p o s i t i o n where l i t t l e c h a l l e n g e e x i s t s . The areas most f r e q u e n t l y mentioned as l i m i t i n g the long term employment o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r young l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d a d u l t s are inadequate work h a b i t s and work s k i l l s . D e f i c i t s i n work s k i l l s may i n c l u d e poor o r g a n i z a t i o n a l a b i l i t y , u nproductive work h a b i t s , poor problem s o l v i n g s k i l l s , i n f l e x i b i l i t y and poor long term p l a n n i n g . These d e f i c i t s are f u r t h e r compounded when one examines the h i s t o r y of f a i l u r e many l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d people have endured ( S i e g e l , 1975). Neyers and Messerer <1981) and Patton and Polloway (1982) d e s c r i b e s i m i l a r d e f i c i e n c i e s i n work h a b i t s . T h e i r f i n d i n g s i n d i c a t e t h a t l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d people r e q u i r e c l o s e s u p e r v i s i o n and more i n d i v i d u a l i z e d i n s t r u c t i o n s . When compared t o b r a i n damaged people they were found t o have more i n t e r p e r s o n a l c o n f l i c t and fewer f r i e n d s h i p s . In a d d i t i o n a number of r e s e a r c h e r s note the l a c k of dependable work s k i l l s . Osman (1982) and F a f a r d & Haubrich (1981) note t h a t many l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young people simply l a c k the work s k i l l s needed t o complete a job they would f i n d rewarding or c h a l l e n g i n g . Patton and Polloway (1982) and Geib, Guzzardi and Genova (1981) comment t h a t i f a l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d 15 person p r e s e n t s t o an employer t h a t they l a c k i n s p e c i f i c v o c a t i o n a l s k i l l s t h e i r continued employment i s u n l i k e l y . The r e s e a r c h e r s s t a t e problems i n work s k i l l areas as d i f f i c u l t y i n r e a d i n g i n s t r u c t i o n s and t a k i n g phone messages. One can assume t h a t the complex adjustment problems f a c e d by many l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s are sure t o impact on t h e i r q u a l i t y o f l i f e . Geib, Guzzardi and Genova (1981) express concern over the unusual e f f o r t f r e q u e n t l y needed t o complete rudimentary t a s k s . The above s t a t e , " the q u a l i t y of l i f e . i s p a i n f u l l y , i f not dangerously d i m i n i s h e d . When an i n d i v i d u a l cannot e f f e c t i v e l y engage i n e s s e n t i a l d a i l y a c t i v i t i e s r e q u i r e d i n modern s o c i e t y " (p. 318). In a summary statement White e t al.(1981) draws to g e t h e r the key v o c a t i o n a l elements impinging the q u a l i t y of l i f e o f l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s . They i n c l u d e : a d u l t s i n low-status p o s i t i o n s , t h e i r expressed l a c k of s a t i s f a c t i o n , and t h e i r i n a b i l i t y t o view themselves as being capable of seeking h i g h e r e d u c a t i o n a l and employment o p p o r t u n i t i e s . One can i n f e r from t h i s t h a t much p s y c h o l o g i c a l damage has taken p l a c e over the years i n f l u e n c i n g the v o c a t i o n a l adjustment p r o c e s s . Suggested S o l u t i o n s A number o f p r o f e s s i o n a l s i n the f i e l d of l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t i e s express concern r e g a r d i n g the p s y c h o l o g i c a l outcome of such continuous s t r u g g l e . Rogan and Hartman <1976) suggest t h a t psychotherapy f o r l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s i s worthy 16 of c o n s i d e r a t i o n , Johnson (1981) e s t a b l i s h e s a c l e a r stance i n favour o f u t i l i z i n g the p s y c h o l o g i c a l f i e l d s t o a s s i s t l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d i n t h e i r quest f o r a more balanced l i f e s t y l e . Cox (1977) suggests t h a t psychotherapy be a v a i l a b l e t o l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d a d u l t s c o n c u r r e n t l y with r e m e d i a t i o n . She views psychotherapy as an attempt t o compensate f o r an uninformed e d u c a t i o n a l system encountered d u r i n g t h e i r youth. Cox (1977) advocates the use o f psychotherapy along with a d u l t e d u c a t i o n c l a s s e s t o i n r e a s e s e l f - e s t e e m and a s s i s t i n the development of a more p o s i t i v e i d e n t i t y f o r the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d a d u l t . As one reads the l i t e r a t u r e i t becomes apparent t h a t the authors serve as s t r o n g advocates f o r the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s . Frequent r e f e r e n c e s are made by the p r o f e s s i o n a l s f o r the est a b l i s h m e n t o f s p e c i a l i z e d programmes. S i e g e l (1975) makes a p l e a f o r people t o have knowledge s p e c i f i c t o n e u r o l o g i c a l l y impaired people. K e n d a l l (1981) s t a t e s t h a t d e v e l o p i n g comprehensive c a r e e r programmes f o r l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d people i s not a "benevolent" a c t but necessary one. I t i s necessary f o r p r o f e s s i o n s t o c o n s t a n t l y upgrade s e r v i c e s and as such r e c o g n i t i o n needs t o take p l a c e t h a t l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s r e q u i r e v a r i e d and unique s e r v i c e s as a s p e c i a l p o p u l a t i o n Geib, G u z z a r d i , and Genova (1981) q u e s t i o n the adequacy of the s e r v i c e p r o v i d e d t o l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d youth s u g g e s t i n g t h a t improvements t o the present v o c a t i o n a l programming and p s y c h o l o g i c a l s e r v i c e s need t o be upgraded. I t i s necessary f o r r e s e a r c h e r s t o examine the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d person h o l i s t i c a l l y t a k i n g i n t o account h i s / h e r many ye a r s o f l i f e e x p e r i e n c e . 17 B a s i c Assumptions Due t o the methodology u t i l i z e d i n t h i s r e s e a r c h study i t i s necessary f o r the author t o o u t l i n e her p e r s o n a l assumptions. These assumptions are not n e c e s s a r i l y supported i n the l i t e r a t u r e , but are the assumptions o f the author based on experie n c e w i t h i n the f i e l d o f r e h a b i l i t a t i o n . L e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young are l e s s aware o f e f f e c t i v e job search techniques than o t h e r s w i t h i n a s i m i l a r age group. Le a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s are l i k e l y t o have l e s s developed s o c i a l s k i l l s which serve t o hamper the person both when l o o k i n g f o r a job and when they are employed. Lea r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s are l i k e l y t o have low s e l f -esteem due t o the f a c t t h a t most l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d people who went t o secondary s c h o o l i n the s e v e n t i e s have met t y p i c a l l y with a s c h o o l system unable and/or u n w i l l i n g t o meet the needs of l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d people. Due t o a l a c k o f s c h o o l success, l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s have l e a r n e d t o a d j u s t t o f a i l u r e r a t h e r than view themselves as competent people a b l e t o ac h i e v e . Family dynamics may be presented as s t r a i n e d due t o the f a c t t h a t t h e r e has been a f a m i l y member with a s p e c i a l need i n the f a m i l y f o r a minimum of twenty years 19 CHAPTER 3 METHOD Method o l o g i c a l Approach The purpose o f t h i s study i s to examine i n as much depth as p o s s i b l e the e x p e r i e n c e of unemployment f o r l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s . The i n i t i a l i n t e n t of the r e s e a r c h e r was t o f o l l o w the p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l / c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t approach developed by Borgen and Amundson (1984), but a f t e r conducting a p i l o t i n t e r v i e w i n became apparent t h a t g i v e n the nature o f the co-r e s e a r c h e r s , more comprehensive data c o u l d be y i e l d e d u s i n g a more s t r u c t u r e d i n t e r v i e w i n g approach. Hence, the i n t e n t i s s t i l l the same, but the data i s c o l l e c t e d i n a d i f f e r e n t manner from Borgen and Amundson's (1984) r e s e a r c h study. The reason the phenomenological method i s used i s to " l e t the world o f the d e s c r i b e r or more c o n c r e t e l y , the s i t u a t i o n as i t e x i s t s f o r the s u b j e c t r e v e a l i t s e l f through d e s c r i p t i o n i n an unbiased way" ( G i o r g i , 1975, p. 74). The f o l l o w i n g e i g h t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s ( G i o r g i , 1975, p. 99 -106) more f u l l y d e s c r i b e the methodological requirements f o r a phenomenological study: "1. F i d e l i t y t o the phenomenon as i t i s l i v e d ... 2. Primacy of l i f e world ... 3. D e s c r i p t i v e approach ... 4. E x p r e s s i o n o f s i t u a t i o n from viewpoint of s u b j e c t ... 5. S i t u a t i o n as u n i t of r e s e a r c h i m p l i e s s t r u c t u r a l approach ... 6. B i o g r a p h i c a l emphasis ... 7. Engaged r e s e a r c h e r s ... 8. Search f o r meaning ... ". 20 The c r i t i c a l , i n c i d e n t technique " c o n s i s t s o f a s e t of procedures f o r c o l l e c t i n g d i r e c t o b s e r v a t i o n s o f human behaviour i n such a way as t o f a c i l i t a t e t h e i r p o t e n t i a l u s e f u l n e s s i n s o l v i n g p r a c t i c a l problems and de v e l o p i n g broad p s y c h o l o g i c a l p r i n c i p l e s " (Flanagan, 1954, p. 327). Through t h i s technique the i n t e r v i e w e r c o l l e c t s c o n c r e t e i n f o r m a t i o n on what h e l p s or hi n d e r s a group o f people i n a s p e c i f i c s i t u a t i o n . T h i s technique i s c o n s i d e r e d powerful, because s i m i l a r t o the phenomenological methodology, the c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t technique u t i l i z e s the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s viewpoint. With t h i s technique one s t r i v e s t o e l i c i t i n f o r m a t i o n on the high and low p o i n t s o f the process o f unemployment f o r l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s . Once s p e c i f i c i n f o r m a t i o n on the t o p i c has been e l i c i t e d a category system e v o l v e s . T h i s category system must be v e r i f i a b l e by o u t s i d e o b s e r v e r s . Gray (1981, p. 432) s t a t e s t h a t " s y s t e m a t i c , data based r e s e a r c h i s needed t o examine the L.D. a d u l t s ' needs from h i s / h e r own p e r s p e c t i v e . " Johnson (1981 p.435) s t a t e s : "Each i n d i v i d i d u a l i s an expert i n the a r t and s c i e n c e of being l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d . A common p e r s p e c t i v e on l i v i n g with l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t i e s can e x i s t " . E s s e n t i a l l y through the use of a p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l / c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t technique c o - r e s e a r c h e r s w i l l have an o p p o r t u n i t y t o t e l l t h e i r own s t o r y . The c o - r e s e a r c h e r s are viewed as " e x p e r t s " and t h i s methodology i s chosen t o enhance t h e i r e x p ert s t a t u s . 21 S u b j e c t s T h i s study u t i l i z e s a phenomenological approach and thus a l l s u b j e c t s w i l l be r e f e r r e d t o as c o - r e s e a r c h e r s . For the purposes of t h i s study, "unemployed" i s d e f i n e d as a l a c k o f f u l l - t i m e permanent employment i n any f i e l d . Volunteer c o - r e s e a r c h e r s were r e f e r r e d t o the w r i t e r from v a r i o u s e d u c a t i o n a l f a c i l i t i e s , a s s o c i a t i o n s f o r l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d a d u l t s , and s o c i a l s e r v i c e agencies o f f e r i n g v o c a t i o n a l programming f o r l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d a d u l t s i n the Lower Mainland of B r i t i s h Columbia. A person from each o r g a n i z a t i o n , knowledgeable about a s s e s s i n g l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t i e s , was c o n t a c t e d by the w r i t e r . The c o n t a c t person w i l l h e r e a f t e r be known as the r e f e r e e . These r e f e r e e s work with l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s on a r e g u l a r b a s i s . Referees were informed t h a t s u b j e c t s needed t o be 20 - 30 years o f age, unemployed f o r a minimum o f t h r e e months or have a h i s t o r y o f unemployment, and have a l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y as d e f i n e d by C.A.C.L.D. (see i n t r o d u c t i o n ) . T h i r t e e n s u b j e c t s were c o n t a c t e d and i n t e r v i e w e d (see Table 1 f o r demographic i n f o r m a t i o n ) . A l l c o - r e s e a r c h e r s have undergone d i a g n o s t i c t e s t i n g t h a t d e f i n e them as having a l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y . C o - r e s earchers were unemployed from t h r e e to s i x t y months with a mean of 23.4 months. The t h r e e month minimum unemployment p e r i o d was deemed necessary t o ensure a l l TABLE 1 Demographic Information Time Age Sex Marital Living Unemployed Present (II) Statue Situation <Ho) (H) Income 13 23 S females 1 married 5 with family 23.4 3 No Income 8 males 12 single 8 Independently • 6 Income Assistance 4 Approx. SlOOO/aos. 23 c o - r e s e a r c h e r s had adequate exper i e n c e from which t o speak. The breakdown between sexes was 61.6fc <n= 8) male and 38.4?s (n= 5) female. T h i s approximates the sexual d i s t r i b u t i o n w i t h i n the community of l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d people (Lerner, 1981). The e d u c a t i o n a l l e v e l s of the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s ranged from Grade 8 t o Grade 12. Two c o - r e s e a r c h e r s had taken courses a t a community c o l l e g e l e v e l but had not completed a c e r t i f i c a t e or diploma programme'. These l e v e l s r e p r e s e n t the l a s t grade the co-r e s e a r c h e r s attended and not n e c e s s a r i l y t h e i r a c t u a l l e v e l of academic achievement. For example, two c o - r e s e a r c h e r s were awarded high s c h o o l diplomas, but are p r e s e n t l y t a k i n g Grade 6 l e v e l r e a d i n g and math courses i n a d u l t e d u c a t i o n c l a s s e s . P r e v i o u s o c c u p a t i o n s of the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s i n c l u d e : j a n i t o r , camp c o u n s e l l o r , b e r r y p i c k e r , c h i c k e n c a t c h e r , r e c r e a t i o n a s s i s t a n t , k i t c h e n h e l p e r , c l e r k , mechanic's a s s i s t a n t , l a b o u r e r , careworker, Canadian Forces employee, and s a i l i n g c o n s u l t a n t . One c o - r e s e a r c h e r had no p a i d work exp e r i e n c e , but she had done v o l u n t e e r work as a l i b r a r y page ( f o r complete l i s t of c o - r e s e a r c h e r s ' p r e v i o u s o c c u p a t i o n s , p l e a s e see Table 3 ) . Data C o l l e c t i o n Volunteer c o - r e s e a r c h e r s were r e f e r r e d from numerous sources w i t h i n the Lower Mainland of B r i t i s h Columbia. The r e f e r r i n g agents i n c l u d e : Vancouver A s s o c i a t i o n f o r C h i l d r e n and A d u l t s 24 with L e a r n i n g D i s a b i l i t i e s , B r i t i s h Columbia A s s o c i a t i o n f o r C h i l d r e n and Adults, with L e a r n i n g D i s a b i l i t i e s , Vancouver i Community C o l l e g e -- King Edward Campus, I n d i v i d u a l i z e d E d u c a t i o n Programmes f o r A d u l t s , Community E n t e r p r i s e s Matsqui Abbotsford, and A d u l t B a s i c Education, D e l t a . A l l r e f e r e e s were f u l l y informed of the study both v e r b a l l y and i n w r i t i n g (See Appendix A). They were t o l d the purpose o f t h i s study i s to examine the p s y c h o l o g i c a l i s s u e s surrounding the e x p e r i e n c e o f unemployment f o r l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s from the p e r s p e c t i v e o f the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d person. I t was e x p l a i n e d t o r e f e r e e s t h a t the study i s meant as f o l l o w - u p study to s i m i l a r r e s e a r c h conducted by Dr. Amundson and Dr. Borgen i n the Department of C o u n s e l l i n g Psychology, U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia. T h i s study u t i l i z e s a s i m i l a r methodology t o Borgen and Amundson (1984), but i t takes a more d e t a i l e d look a t a p a r t i c u l a r group w i t h i n the a d u l t c a t e g o r y . Referees were informed the study was approved by the E t h i c s Committee o f U.B.C., and t h a t i t was i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l l m e n t of the requirements f o r a Master o f A r t s i n C o u n s e l l i n g Psychology. Referees were t o l d the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s would be i n t e r v i e w e d f o r 45 minutes t o one hour. During t h a t time they would be asked t o d e s c r i b e i n as much d e t a i l as p o s s i b l e , t h e i r unemployment h i s t o r y . C o - r e searchers were a l s o t o be asked t o recount some d e t a i l s on t h e i r e d u c a t i o n a l e x p e r i e n c e s and t h e i r f u t u r e p l a n s . A l l i n t e r v i e w s would need t o be audio-taped. Co-researchers were 25 asked t o f i l l out a background i n f o r m a t i o n form. The i n f o r m a t i o n sheet c o u l d be completed i n e i t h e r o r a l or w r i t t e n form. Referees were t o l d t h a t c o - r e s e a r c h e r s ' p a r t i c i p a t i o n was v o l u n t a r y , and hence they c o u l d r e f u s e t o answer any q u e s t i o n with which they were not c o m f o r t a b l e . A l l i n f o r m a t i o n would be kept c o n f i d e n t i a l and audio-tapes would be destroyed upon the study's completion. Co-researchers would be asked to s i g n a consent form p r i o r t o commencing the i n t e r v i e w (Please r e f e r t o Appendix B). Referees were a l s o t o l d c o - r e s e a r c h e r s would be c o n t a c t e d by phone t o review a summary o f the i n t e r v i e w . Referees were then informed o f the c r i t e r i a p o t e n t i a l co-r e s e a r c h e r s must meet i n order t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n the study. They are as f o l l o w s : A l l c o - r e s e a r c h e r s must be a t l e a s t 20 years o l d up t o and i n c l u d i n g 30 years of age. A l l c o - r e s e a r c h e r s must be l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d as d e f i n e d by the Canadian A s s o c i a t i o n f o r C h i l d r e n and A d u l t s with Learning D i s a b i l i t i e s . A l l c o - r e s e a r c h e r s must be unemployed or newly employable f o r a minimum of t h r e e months or have a h i s t o r y o f unemployment. A l l c o - r e s e a r c h e r s may be i n v o l v e d i n s c h o o l or v o l u n t e e r work as long as the time committment does not exceed twenty 26 hours per week or t h e i r s t a t u s i s " p a r t - t i m e s t u d e n t " Once a r e f e r e e e s t a b l i s h e d t h a t a p o t e n t i a l c o - r e s e a r c h e r met the c r i t e r i a f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n , the r e f e r e e approached the p o t e n t i a l c o - r e s e a r c h e r and o u t l i n e d the study. They then asked i f the p o t e n t i a l c o - r e s e a r c h e r would be i n t e r e s t e d i n p a r t i c i p a t i n g . Referees d i d express some concern i n approaching p o t e n t i a l c o - r e s e a r c h e r s . Host concerns surrounded whether the co-r e s e a r c h e r would be c o m f o r t a b l e with the term " l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y . " I t was decided t h a t only those people who were comfortable with the term and viewed themselves as having a l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y would be i n t e r v i e w e d . The degree of comfort a p o t e n t i a l c o - r e s e a r c h e r had i n d e s c r i b i n g h i m s e l f / h e r s e l f as having a l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y was deemed important, because otherwise i t was thought the i n t e r v i e w might prove d i s t u r b i n g f o r the c o - r e s e a r c h e r . Once p o t e n t i a l c o - r e s e a r c h e r s expressed an i n t e r e s t i n being i n t e r v i e w e d the r e f e r e e asked f o r h i s / h e r name and phone number which was forwarded t o the r e s e a r c h e r . The r e s e a r c h e r then made c o n t a c t with the p o t e n t i a l c o - r e s e a r c h e r and e x p l a i n e d the study i n f u l l a g a i n . The p o i n t s emphasized were t h a t the r e s e a r c h e r would i n t e r v i e w the c o - r e s e a r c h e r f o r approximately 45 minutes t o one hour t o d i s c u s s t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e of unemployment. I t was s t r e s s e d p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the study was v o l u n t a r y and c o u l d be terminated a t any time. A l l i n t e r v i e w s would be audio-taped. 27 Information gathered would be kept c o n f i d e n t i a l and used only f o r r e s e a r c h purposes. P o t e n t i a l c o - r e s e a r c h e r s were informed p r i o r t o t h e i r involvement i n the study t h a t they would be con t a c t e d a second time by phone t o review a summary of the i n t e r v i e w . T h i s summary would be sent t o the c o - r e s e a r c h e r ' s home one week p r i o r t o the phone c a l l . T h i s e x e r c i s e o f v a l i d a t i n g the i n t e r v i e w was done t o ensure the r e s e a r c h e r captured the essence of the unemployment ex p e r i e n c e . The summary was presented t o co-r e s e a r c h e r s as an audio-tape or w r i t t e n t r a n s c r i p t . I f p o t e n t i a l c o - r e s e a r c h e r s showed continued w i l l i n g n e s s t o be i n t e r v i e w e d a time and p l a c e , convenient t o the c o - r e s e a r c h e r , was arranged. Interviews took p l a c e e i t h e r a t the home of the c o - r e s e a r c h e r or a t the e d u c a t i o n a l i n s t i t u t i o n the c o - r e s e a r c h e r attended. The P i l o t I nterview One c o - r e s e a r c h e r was i n v o l v e d i n a P i l o t Study so as t o ass e s s the i n t e r v i e w i n g s t y l e and adequacy of the q u e s t i o n s . In a d d i t i o n t o the same q u e s t i o n , (see Appendix C) posed t o those i n v o l v e d i n the r e s e a r c h p r o j e c t , the c o - r e s e a r c h e r f o r the p i l o t study was asked the f o l l o w i n g q u e s t i o n s : 1. Were the q u e s t i o n s c l e a r l y s t a t e d ? 2. Were t h e r e any q u e s t i o n s t h a t were worded i n such a way as t o sway your answers? 3. What changes c o u l d you suggest r e g a r d i n g the i n t e r v i e w s t y l e or the wording o f the qu e s t i o n s ? 28 4. Any f u r t h e r feedback? The p i l o t c o - r e s e a r c h e r spoke at l e n g t h about h i s unemployment h i s t o r y and e d u c a t i o n a l background. He appeared a t ease throughout the i n t e r v i e w and answered a l l q u e s t i o n s without h e s i t a t i o n . He had a tendency to speak i n a detached, general manner meaning he sometimes p r e f a c e d h i s statements with, " T h i s i s t r u e f o r L.D. people ... " r a t h e r than speaking from h i s own experience u s i n g " I " statements. The r e s e a r c h e r made a mental note of t h i s tendency and attempted t o remain a l e r t towards s i m i l a r speech p a t t e r n s i n subsequent i n t e r v i e w s . When the i n t e r v i e w e r n o t i c e d a c o - r e s e a r c h e r moving i n t o a detached manner of speaking, she g e n t l y guided the c o - r e s e a r c h e r back towards d i s c u s s i n g h i s / h e r own e x p e r i e n c e however p a i n f u l t h a t might be. The p i l o t c o - r e s e a r c h e r s t a t e d he thought the i n t e r v i e w flowed smoothly, but t h a t the f i r s t q u e s t i o n was too "wordy" and needed t o be s i m p l i f i e d . A l s o , a t t h i s p o i n t the i n t e r v i e w e r became aware t h a t the unemployment d i f f i c u l t i e s c o - r e s e a r c h e r s were d e s c r i b i n g commenced s h o r t l y a f t e r they l e f t secondary s c h o o l . The i n t e r v i e w e r t h e r e f o r e decided t o a l t e r the f i r s t q u e s t i o n so i t c o n t a i n e d l e s s i n f o r m a t i o n and was d i r e c t l y a p p l i c a b l e to i n t e r v i e w i n g an uemployed person with a l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y . Question one was a l t e r e d to r e a d : "Could you p l e a s e d e s c r i b e your unemployment experience i n as much d e t a i l as p o s s i b l e , beginning with when you l e f t secondary s c h o o l ... ?" During the course of f u t u r e i n t e r v i e w s the i n t e r v i e w e r a l s o found 29 i t necessary t o f r e q u e n t l y break q u e s t i o n one down i n t o t h r e e p a r t s . F i r s t , t o q u e s t i o n the c o - r e s e a r c h e r on the f a c t u a l a s p e c t s o f h i s / h e r unemployment ex p e r i e n c e . Second, t o a s c e r t a i n h i s / h e r thoughts d u r i n g the e x p e r i e n c e s . In the t h i r d and f i n a l p a r t , the i n t e r v i e w e r requested i n f o r m a t i o n on the f e e l i n g s experienced while unemployed. Other changes took p l a c e i n the sequencing o f the q u e s t i o n s a f t e r the p i l o t i n t e r v i e w . Question two and t h r e e remained unchanged. The p a r t o f q u e s t i o n one i n the P i l o t Interview Questions which d e a l t with job search s t r a t e g i e s became q u e s t i o n f o u r . I t became apparent d u r i n g the P i l o t Study t h a t people had a g r e a t need t o d i s c u s s t h e i r e d u c a t i o n a l e x p e r i e n c e s , t h e r e f o r e q u e s t i o n seven was moved to become q u e s t i o n f i v e and q u e s t i o n e i g h t was moved t o the q u e s t i o n s i x p o s i t i o n . Questions f o u r , f i v e and s i x were thus m o d i f i e d t o become q u e s t i o n s seven, e i g h t and ni n e . Questions nine and ten were combined t o form q u e s t i o n t e n . Question e l e v e n remained the same i n r e s p e c t t o wording and sequence. Question twelve ( p l e a s e r e f e r t o Appendix D) became more s p e c i f i c as the p i l o t co-r e s e a r c h e r requested c l a r i f i c a t i o n o f the q u e s t i o n . I t was t h e r e f o r e f u r t h e r s p e c i f i e d as t o the p e r i o d o f time t o be i n c l u d e d ( i . e . t h a t the diagram was t o begin when the co-r e s e a r c h e r l e f t secondary s c h o o l and con t i n u e t o the time of the i n t e r v i e w ) and t h a t the diagram needed t o i n c l u d e events, the date o f the event and the f e e l i n g s which accompanied the event. 30 The Interview The r e s e a r c h e r began each i n t e r v i e w . At a l l times the r e s e a r c h e r played the r o l e of the i n t e r v i e w e r . Questions were asked i n such a way as t o not sway the c o - r e s e a r c h e r or l e a d the i n t e r v i e w i n t o a c o u n s e l l i n g s e s s i o n . The i n t e r v i e w e r "made use of such techniques as "employing open-ended q u e s t i o n s , p a r a p h r a s i n g , l i n k i n g , and summarizing" (Borgen and Amundson, 1984, p. 17). The i n i t i a l s t e p of the i n t e r v i e w was the consent form. The form was reviewed with the c o - r e s e a r c h e r and any q u e s t i o n s or concerns were d e a l t with a t t h i s time. The consent form was p r i n t e d on U.B.C. l e t t e r h e a d . The c o - r e s e a r c h e r read the consent form and signed on the space p r o v i d e d . In order t o ensure the c o - r e s e a r c h e r was f u l l y informed r e g a r d i n g the i n t e r v i e w process and content, the i n t e r v i e w e r v e r b a l i z e d the important elements of the consent form. ' T h i s i n c l u d e d emphasizing t h a t the co-r e s e a r c h e r c o u l d r e f u s e t o answer any q u e s t i o n , and t h a t the i n t e r v i e w would be audio-taped. A f t e r completing the consent form, the c o - r e s e a r c h e r was asked t o complete a s h o r t demographic i n f o r m a t i o n sheet. The q u e s t i o n s on the demographic i n f o r m a t i o n sheet d e a l t p r i m a r i l y with the c o - r e s e a r c h e r ' s employment and e d u c a t i o n h i s t o r y (please r e f e r t o Appendix E ) . The same a p p l i e d here as t o the consent form. I f r e a d i n g or w r i t i n g was a d i f f i c u l t y , the form was e i t h e r e x p l a i n e d v e r b a l l y and/or the i n t e r v i e w e r wrote the 31 answers onto t h e , form. E f f o r t s were made throughout the i n t e r v i e w t o ensure matters r e g a r d i n g a c o - r e s e a r c h e r ' s w r i t i n g or r e a d i n g s k i l l s were d e a l t with i n a d i r e c t but s e n s i t i v e way. T h i s was done t o minimize any p o s s i b l e d i s c o m f o r t f o r the co-r e s e a r c h e r . An i d e n t i f y i n g number was p l a c e d on each tape, consent form, and background i n f o r m a t i o n sheet. Once these f a c t s were completed, the i n t e r v i e w commenced. The i n t e r v i e w e r turned on the tape r e c o r d e r and proceeded t o ask the c o - r e s e a r c h e r the mo d i f i e d i n t e r v i e w q u e s t i o n s . 1. Could you p l e a s e d e s c r i b e your unemployment experi e n c e i n as much d e t a i l as p o s s i b l e beginning with when you l e f t secondary s c h o o l ? P l e a s e i n c l u d e your 30b s e a r c h s t r a t e g i e s , what p o s i t i o n s you have h e l d , your e x p e r i e n c e s while working and your thoughts and f e e l i n g s throughout the unemployment ex p e r i e n c e . 2. T h i n k i n g back over your unemployment experi e n c e , p l e a s e d e s c r i b e what you c o n s i d e r t o be your lowest p o i n t s d u r i n g t h i s time. Begin with the f i r s t low p o i n t , and t e l l me why i t was so d i f f i c u l t f o r you a t the time. 3. Now l e t ' s t u r n t o the high p o i n t s of your unemployment e x p e r i e n c e . Begin with the f i r s t high p o i n t , and t e l l me e x a c t l y why i t was so h e l p f u l f o r you a t the time. 4. What job search s t r a t e g i e s have you used? 32 5. What was your e d u c a t i o n a l e x p e r i e n c e l i k e ? 6. What success d i d you experience while i n school? 7. What he l p have you had? 8. What he l p would you have l i k e d t o have had e i t h e r i n s c h o o l , while working or while l o o k i n g f o r work? 9. What help would you l i k e i n the f u t u r e ? 10. What are your f u t u r e e d u c a t i o n a l and c a r e e r plans? 11. How about o t h e r f u t u r e plans? 12. The l a s t t h i n g I would l i k e t o ask you t o do i s t o draw a diagram of your unemployment ex p e r i e n c e . Begin with when you l e f t s c h o o l t o the present and i n c l u d e each event, date and how you f e l t a t the time. The c o - r e s e a r c h e r had an o p p o r t u n i t y t o answer each q u e s t i o n i n as much depth as he/she chose. The i n t e r v i e w e r f a c i l i t a t e d , but d i d not d i r e c t the i n t e r v i e w . The q u e s t i o n s or p a r t s of q u e s t i o n s were repeated as necessary. The i n t e r v i e w e r f a c i l i t a t e d the i n t e r v i e w by u s i n g such phrases as "uh uh", "I see", "go on." At the end of the i n t e r v i e w the c o - r e s e a r c h e r was asked whether t h e r e was any a d d i t i o n a l i n f o r m a t i o n the i n t e r v i e w e r needed t o know to a s s i s t i n f u l l y understanding the 3 3 experience of unemployment, f o r a l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d person. At the c o n c l u s i o n o f the i n t e r v i e w , the i n t e r v i e w e r thanked the c o - r e s e a r c h e r f o r h e r / h i s time, and made arrangements t o mail a content summary of the i n t e r v i e w t o the c o - r e s e a r c h e r ' s home. The content summaries were presented t o the c o - r e s e a r c h e r i n e i t h e r v e r b a l or w r i t t e n form. The c o - r e s e a r c h e r was a l s o reminded t h a t the i n t e r v i e w e r would phone the c o - r e s e a r c h e r a f t e r he/she had reviewed the content summary. Every c o - r e s e a r c h e r was c o n t a c t e d by telephone w i t h i n approximately one month of the i n t e r v i e w . T h i s was done t o v e r i f y t h a t a l l i n f o r m a t i o n c o l l e c t e d was a c c u r a t e l y understood by the i n t e r v i e w e r . T h i s area w i l l be f u r t h e r d i s c u s s e d i n the data a n a l y s i s s e c t i o n t o f o l l o w . Data A n a l y s i s The data a n a l y s i s format was developed by Borgen and Amundson (1984) and c o n s i s t s o f the f o l l o w i n g f o u r s t e p s : 1. A> P r o t o c o l A n a l y s i s or summary o f t r a n s c r i p t s to e s t a b l i s h the essence of the meaning u n i t s . V a l i d i t y Check on meaning u n i t s u t i l i z e d . R e l i a b i l i t y Check on the meaning u n i t s . 2. A) L i s t i n g a l l emotional s h i f t s and r e l a t e d s i t u a t i o n a l f a c t o r s on a r a t i n g sheet developed by Borgen and Amundson (1984). (Refer t o Appendix F - l f o r a copy of the r a t i n g sheet form, and Appendices F-2 through F-4 f o r examples o f completed r a t i n g sheet forms). 34 B) V a l i d i t y . Check on the emotional r a t i n g sheet. C) R e l i a b i l i t y . Check on the emotional r a t i n g sheet. 3. A) S o r t i n g v i a themes and r e s u l t i n g i n an E s t a b l i s h m e n t of C a t e g o r i e s . B) R e l i a b i l i t y Check on the e s t a b l i s h e d c a t e g o r i e s . 4. A) The e s t a b l i s h m e n t o f a h o l i s t i c d e s c r i p t i o n u t i l i z i n g the i n d i v i d u a l q u e s t i o n s a n a l y s i s , category a n a l y s i s , r a t i n g sheets and diagram sheet a n a l y s i s . 1. (A) P r o t o c o l A n a l y s i s - A l l tapes were l i s t e n e d t o two t o t h r e e times with the r e s e a r c h e r l i s t e n i n g f o r r e f e r e n c e s made t o the unemployment exp e r i e n c e . These u n i t s were then put together to form a summary of the c o - r e s e a r c h e r ' s e x p e r i e n c e . Each summary i s seven to 10 pages i n l e n g t h (see Appendix G). (B) V a l i d i t y Check - The f i r s t two summaries were checked by the t h e s i s c h a i r p e r s o n . Dr. Norman Amundson, to ensure r e l i a b i l i t y o f the meaning u n i t s d e s c r i b e d . As w e l l , t h r e e i n t e r v i e w s (one-quarter of the sample) s e l e c t e d a t random, were checked by a c o l l e a g u e t o f u r t h e r ensure r e l i a b i l i t y o f the meaning u n i t s d e s c r i b e d . The c o l l e a g u e found t h a t a l l summaries a c c u r a t e l y r e f l e c t e d the statements expressed by the co-r e s e a r c h e r s d u r i n g the i n t e r v i e w s . (C) R e l i a b i l i t y Check - A l l summaries were sent t o the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s i n e i t h e r v e r b a l or w r i t t e n form w i t h i n approximately one month o f the i n t e r v i e w . The m a i l i n g was then f o l l o w e d up with a phone c a l l from the i n t e r v i e w e r . The i n t e r v i e w e r asked the c o - r e s e a r c h e r i f i t was necessary t o make 35 any changes or a d d i t i o n s to the summary. Because a l l summaries are i n the exact words of the co-r e s e a r c h e r , no changes were necessary except i n one case where a c o - r e s e a r c h e r decided i n r e t r o s p e c t t h a t she wanted t o a l t e r her d e s c r i p t i o n d e a l i n g with f u t u r e p l a n s . She s t a t e d d u r i n g the f o l l o w - u p phone c a l l t h a t she d i d not want to be t h a t "good a c u r l e r , " t h a t she i s not " t h a t b o r i n g " and t h a t she "knows [she] w i l l a c h i eve what she wants." Here i s a sample of the co-r e s e a r c h e r s " comments t o t h e i r t r a n s c r i p t s : "No changes. Nothing needs t o be added.," " I t ' s b a s i c a l l y what I was s a y i n g . No changes or a d d i t i o n s are necessary.", "You summarized e v e r y t h i n g b e a u t i f u l l y . " 2. (A) R a t i n g Sheet Record of Emotional S h i f t s -- F i r s t , each summary was broken down i n t o i t s c o n s t i t u e n t e x p e r i e n c e s . From t h e r e each experience was p l a c e d on an emotional r a t i n g sheet which was d i v i d e d i n t o f o u r c a t e g o r i e s : event/behaviour; coping s t r a t e g y ; f u t u r e e x p e c t a t i o n ; and job search s t r a t e g y . The category of time was not u t i l i z e d because i n most cases people's unemployment h i s t o r y encompasses such v a r i e d p e r i o d s o f time ranging from a few months t o s i x y e a r s . Given the wide ranges i t was thought the time element would not be a c c u r a t e . The other element of the i n t e r v i e w s which was noted by the r e s e a r c h e r was t h a t the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s o f t e n d i d not d e s c r i b e an accompanying emotion with an event or behaviour. I t was g e n e r a l l y found t h a t the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s had d i f f i c u l t y a r t i c u l a t i n g t h e i r emotions. The r e s e a r c h e r t h e r e f o r e p l a c e d 36 each expe r i e n c e from the summary under an a p p r o p r i a t e category on the r a t i n g sheet. In a l l cases the exact words of the co-r e s e a r c h e r s were used. When the event expressed by the co-r e s e a r c h e r was accompanied by an emotion i t was noted under the emotion category. Otherwise, the r e s e a r c h e r c a r e f u l l y read the experie n c e w i t h i n the c o n t e x t o f the i n t e r v i e w and s e l e c t e d an a p p r o p r i a t e emotion t o accompany the expe r i e n c e . Because emotions were used t o anchor ex p e r i e n c e s not d i r e c t l y expressed by the c o - r e s e a r c h e r , the r e s e a r c h e r added an a d d i t i o n a l v a l i d i t y check. (B) V a l i d i t y Check - Three summaries were s e l e c t e d a t random f o r t h i s v a l i d i t y check. The r e s e a r c h e r c o n t a c t e d each of the t h r e e c o - r e s e a r c h e r s and requested 20 - 30 minutes of t h e i r time t o review the r a t i n g s h e e t s . Two i n t e r v i e w s were done i n person and one i n t e r v i e w was conducted over the telephone. The r e s e a r c h e r used the o r i g i n a l content summary and the r a t i n g sheet f o r t h i s v a l i d i t y check. She e x p l a i n e d how i n f o r m a t i o n was pla c e d on the r a t i n g sheets and asked each c o - r e s e a r c h e r t o comment on whether the emotion which accompanied the experience was a c c u r a t e . The c o - r e s e a r c h e r s i n v o l v e d i n t h i s study g e n e r a l l y had d i f f i c u l t y e x p r e s s i n g t h e i r f e e l i n g s and tended t o be n o n - a s s e r t i v e . T h e r e f o r e , the i n t e r v i e w e r remained attuned throughout the i n t e r v i e w f o r cues which might i n d i c a t e t h a t the r e s e a r c h e r d i d not ca p t u r e the essence of the emotion. The v a l i d i t y s c o r e s f o r the th r e e emotional r a t i n g s heets checked by the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s are as f o l l o w s : 91&, 90* and 85*. These s c o r e s i n d i c a t e the percentage o f agreement. 37 <C) R e l i a b i l i t y Check - A c o l l e a g u e knowledgeable i n p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l / c r i t i c a l - i n c i d e n t methodology was t r a i n e d i n the technique o f completing r a t i n g s h e e t s . T h i s check was based on a random s e l e c t i o n o f one q u a r t e r o f the i n t e r v i e w s . Working with the i n t e r v i e w summaries, the c o l l e a g u e s e l e c t e d i n c i d e n t s from w i t h i n the summary and p l a c e d them under the a p p r o p r i a t e c a t e g o r i e s on the emotional r a t i n g sheet. She then u t i l i z e d e i t h e r the emotion expressed w i t h i n the summary or s e l e c t e d an a p p r o p r i a t e emotion g i v e n the con t e x t o f the i n c i d e n t . The c o l l e a g u e and r e s e a r c h e r then compared the s e l e c t i o n o f i n c i d e n t s and accompanying emotions. When the c o l l e a g u e and r e s e a r c h e r reviewed the i n c i d e n t s i t was d i s c o v e r e d t h a t they had s e l e c t e d the same i n c i d e n t s a c r o s s the t h r e e checked i n t e r v i e w s . In a few i n s t a n c e s the c o l l e a g u e and r e s e a r c h e r d i f f e r e d i n the emotion t h a t was seen t o accompany the event or behaviour. In some cases the c o l l e a g u e o f f e r e d a d i f f e r e n t word t o express the same primary emotion than the one chosen by the r e s e a r c h e r . In these cases the c o l l e a g u e and r e s e a r c h e r d i a l o g u e d and came t o an agreement. The d i a l o g u e l e a d t o a more s p e c i f i c , r e f i n e d emotion which we both viewed as an improvement t o the o r i g i n a l l y s e l e c t e d emotion. T h i s d i a l o g u i n g was o n l y necessary i n those s i t u a t i o n s where the i n i t i a l emotion expressed by the c o - r e s e a r c h e r was ambiguous. In a few i n s t a n c e s , the c o l l e a g u e and r e s e a r c h e r s e l e c t e d d i f f e r e n t primary emotions t o accompany an event or behaviour. I f the c o l l e a g u e and r e s e a r c h e r chose an emotion which i n d i c a t e d a d i f f e r e n c e i n primary emotion ( i . e . sadness vs. anger) then these were viewed as disagreements. These disagreements over the t o t a l number of i n c i d e n t s y i e l d e d the 38 r e l i a b i l i t y s c o r e s . The r e l i a b i l i t y s c o r e s are as f o l l o w s : 82.6%, 84.2% and 85.7%. These s c o r e s i n d i c a t e the percentage of agreement. When we d i d not agree about an emotion, we d i a l o g u e d u n t i l we came t o an agreement, hence the f i n a l d i s c u s s i o n y i e l d e d 100% agreement. 3. The r e s e a r c h e r c a r e f u l l y r e - r e a d a l l the r a t i n g s h e e t s , n o t i n g i n c i d e n t s w i t h i n the emotional s h i f t s . From t h i s p o i n t a c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t c a r d was developed f o r each i n c i d e n t . Each c a r d h e l d the exact quote d e s c r i b i n g the i n c i d e n t and the code number o f the c o - r e s e a r c h e r . A f t e r the c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t c a r d s were c r e a t e d they were s o r t e d i n t o two broad c a t e g o r i e s : f a c i l i t a t i n g and h i n d e r i n g c a t e g o r i e s . The f a c i l i t o r y c a t e g o r i e s were i n d i c a t e d by a green dot i n the upper r i g h t hand c o r n e r . H i n d e r i n g i n c i d e n t s were i n d i c a t e d with a red dot i n the upper r i g h t hand c o r n e r . At t h i s p o i n t the r e s e a r c h e r analyzed each p i l e s e p a r a t e l y and s o r t e d the i n c i d e n t s i n t o themes t o form c a t e g o r i e s . Each category was then t i t l e d . T h i s t i t l e was chosen t o capture the key c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the themes. <A> R e l i a b i l i t y Check - Once the r e s e a r c h e r e s t a b l i s h e d the c a t e g o r y system i t was checked by a c o l l e a g u e . . The c o l l e a g u e s o r t e d a l l p o s i t i v e and n e g a t i v e h i n d e r i n g i n c i d e n t s . P r i o r t o the c o l l e a g u e s o r t i n g the i n c i d e n t s , the r e s e a r c h e r e x p l a i n e d the process u t i l i z e d i n e s t a b l i s h i n g the category system i n d e t a i l . At t h i s p o i n t she e x p l a i n e d each category and answered a l l q u e s t i o n s posed by the c o l l e a g u e . The c o l l e a g u e then s o r t e d a l l c a r d s beginning with h i n d e r i n g i n c i d e n t s r e s u l t i n g i n a 39 r e l i a b i l i t y s c o r e of 8 1 . 8 J S . T h i s s c o r e i n d i c a t e s the percentage o f agreement. The c o l l e a g u e then proceeded t o s o r t the f a c i l i t o r y i n c i d e n t s . T h i s task took l e s s time than the s o r t i n g o f the h i n d e r i n g i n c i d e n t s . T h i s d i s c r e p a n c y may have o c c u r r e d because the h i n d e r i n g i n c i d e n t s expressed by the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s were l e s s c l e a r l y a r t i c u l a t e d because o f the p a i n a s s o c i a t e d with the t e l l i n g of the event. Once the c o l l e a g u e s o r t e d the f a c i l i t o r y i n c i d e n t s a r e l i a b i l i t y s c o r e was c a l c u l a t e d . The s c o r e f o r the s o r t i n g o f the f a c i l i t o r y i n c i d e n t s was 81.6&. T h i s s c o r e i n d i c a t e s the percentage of agreement. The most h e l p f u l aspect of t h i s r e l i a b i l i t y check ws the c l a r i f y i n g and refinement of the category system which took p l a c e . T h i s refinement was p o s s i b l e because of c a r e f u l q u e s t i o n i n g from the c o l l e a g u e . 4. U t i l i z i n g a l l measures, a h o l i s t i c d e s c r i p t i o n was developed. T h i s i s the f i n a l a spect of the data a n a l y s i s and s c o r e s t o summarize the o v e r a l l p s y c h o l o g i c a l experience of unemployment f o r l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s . 40 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION The r e s u l t s of the data a n a l y s i s are presented i n f i v e s e c t i o n s . These f i v e s e c t i o n s serve to d e s c r i b e the experience of unemployment f o r l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s . The i n f o r m a t i o n presented i n t h i s chapter r e s u l t s from the i n t e g r a t i o n of data c o l l e c t e d u t i l i z i n g the r a t i n g s h e e t s , i n d i v i d u a l i n t e r v i e w q u e s t i o n s , and the diagram s h e e t s . The f i v e s e c t i o n s comprise the f o l l o w i n g broad headings: s c h o o l e x p e r i e n c e s past and present, work h i s t o r y and job search s k i l l s u t i l i z e d , p o s i t i v e and n e g a t i v e c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t c a t e g o r i e s , f u t u r e e x p e c t a t i o n s , and a h o l i s t i c d e s c r i p t i o n of the unemployment e x p e r i e n c e . School Experiences Although t h e r e were on l y two q u e s t i o n s d i r e c t l y p e r t a i n i n g t o s c h o o l e x p e r i e n c e s w i t h i n the i n t e r v i e w , the i n t e r v i e w e r was s t r u c k by the c o - r e s e a r c h e r ' s need t o d i s c u s s t h e i r s c h o o l s e x p e r i e n c e s , sometimes going back as f a r as elementary s c h o o l . A l l c o - r e s e a r c h e r s had been away from secondary s c h o o l f o r a minimum of two y e a r s , y e t when they were asked t o d e s c r i b e t h e i r present employment s i t u a t i o n 69.2% <n=9) of the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s began t o d i s c u s s t h e i r academic p r e p a r a t i o n . The i n t e r v i e w e r d i d not a n t i c i p a t e t h i s t o be an area so p r e v a l e n t i n the minds of 41 the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s . Given the study's purpose, which i s t o examine the experience of unemployment from the vantage p o i n t o f the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t the i n t e r v i e w e r decided the co-r e s e a r c h e r s were making a statement t h a t past s c h o o l e x p e r i e n c e s s t r o n g l y i n f l u e n c e d t h e i r present l i f e s i t u a t i o n . One co-r e s e a r c h e r spoke o f her experi e n c e i n t h i s way, "You would be s u r p r i s e d how much the sch o o l system has to do with p s y c h o l o g i c a l problems and how much i t has t o do with problems experienced l a t e r i n l i f e . " For t h i s reason, the r e s e a r c h e r has chosen t o d e t a i l c o - r e s e a r c h e r s ' past s c h o o l e x p e r i e n c e s , any successes they a t t a i n e d and where a p p l i c a b l e , c o - r e s e a r c h e r s ' present school s i t u a t i o n . Past School E x p e r i e n c e s School grade completion can be d e s c r i b e d as f o l l o w s : two people completed Grade E i g h t , f o u r people completed Grade Ten, thr e e people completed Grade Eleven and f o u r people completed Grade Twelve. Of the people i n t e r v i e w e d 69.2* percent <n=9) s t a t e d t h e i r d i f f i c u l t i e s began i n elementary s c h o o l . See Table 2 f o r a f u l l d e s c r i p t i o n of people's s c h o o l i n g . The past s c h o o l e x p e r i e n c e s of the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s can be broken down i n t o t h r e e main c a t e g o r i e s : non-acceptance by t h e i r peers, being shamed through i n a p p r o p r i a t e programming and t e a c h e r s ' comments, and not being l i s t e n e d t o or understood by t e a c h e r s and a d m i n i s t r a t o r s . Table 2 Educational History Co-researcher Highest Grade Actual Present Willingness to P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n # Achieved i n Academic Level Accept Help While Adult Education Secondary School ( i f known) in Secondary School Program #25 Grade 12 (non- Yes No academic) #26 Grade 11 Yes No #27 Grade 12 Yes No #28 Grade 12 Grade 6 Yes Yes #29 Grade 11 No No #30 Grade 10 No Yes #31 Grade 8 Grade 11 No Yes #32 Grade 10 (pre- Yes Yes employment) #33 Grade 8 Yes No #34 Grade 12 Grade 10 Yes Yes #35 Grade 12 Yes No #36 Grade 10 Grade 6 Yes Yes #37 Grade 11 No Yes 43 The d e s c r i p t i o n o f c o - r e s e a r c h e r s ' s c h o o l experiences support the f i n d i n g s o f Meyers and Messener (1981) and Cox (1977) t h a t t r a u m a t i c s c h o o l e x p e r i e n c e s l a y the ground work f o r f u t u r e adjustment problems. People spoke a t l e n g t h about the way they were t r e a t e d by t h e i r peer group while i n elementary and secondary s c h o o l . Co-researchers o u t l i n e d t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e s i n the f o l l o w i n g ways: "I used t o get pi c k e d on q u i t e a l o t " , "They teased me q u i t e a l o t , c a l l e d me f o u r eyes, or c r i p p l e d , or crooked or clumsy. No one wanted t o make f r i e n d s with a clumsy, s t u p i d k i d . " , "People laughed a t me", " k i d s can be so c r u e l " . Many students e x p e r i e n c e t e a s i n g by t h e i r c l a s s m a t e s . The d i f f e r e n c e with t h i s group o f l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s i s t h a t i n a d d i t i o n t o the us u a l t e a s i n g , they were c o n f r o n t e d with i n s e n s i t i v e comments s p e c i f i c a l l y r e l a t e d t o t h e i r d i s a b i l i t y . T h i s v e r b a l abuse d i d not end with t h e i r c l a s s m a t e s . Teachers and a d m i n i s t r a t o r s were f r u s t r a t e d and a t a l o s s as t o how t o accommodate l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d students i n t o a sc h o o l system d i v i d e d i n t o two c a t e g o r i e s ; l a r g e classrooms with ' t y p i c a l ' c h i l d r e n and s p e c i a l c l a s s e s f o r those with p h y s i c a l and mental handicaps. N e i t h e r placement f u l l y meets the needs o f the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d p o p u l a t i o n . The c o - r e s e a r c h e r s d e t a i l e d shaming s i t u a t i o n s i n which they were misplaced or r i d i c u l e d by the t e a c h i n g f a c u l t y . One woman s t a t e d "I have an I.Q. of 140. In s c h o o l I was c o n s t a n t l y t o l d I was dumb, s t u p i d . I r e a l l y began t o b e l i e v e I was s t u p i d . " Another man s t a t e d , "I was i n a c l a s s with people who were funny i n the head". F u r t h e r , a man d e s c r i b e d how he coped with h i s c l a s s placement, "In sch o o l I 4,4 made sure no one knew I was i n the c l a s s . They c a l l e d i t the zoo c l a s s . My f r i e n d s would ask me what c l a s s I came out of and I would say I was i n the c a r p e n t r y room". In a d d i t i o n t o the shaming exper i e n c e o f being p l a c e d i n a c l a s s f o r mentally handicapped people, the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s were overwhelmed by t e a c h e r s who were not knowledgeable about what t e a c h i n g methods t o u t i l i z e with t h e i r l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d s t u d e n t s and who had an o v e r a l l l a c k o f understanding and b e l i e f t h a t t h e r e was such a t h i n g as a l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y . T h i s served t o f u r t h e r f r u s t r a t e the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s and leave them with a sense t h a t they c o u l d not expect t o be understood nor c o u l d they expect t o be deemed as worthwhile i n d i v i d u a l s worthy as c h i l d r e n of a d u l t s ' energy and guidance. One man s t a t e d "No one i n the scho o l system l i s t e n e d t o my i n t e r e s t s . They weren't r e a l l y i n t e r e s t e d i n why i t took me so lon g . They t r i e d t o he l p but I guess they j u s t d i d n ' t have the means. I t f r u s t r a t e d me. I j u s t wanted t o do something I was good a t . " Another man s t a t e d , "There were times I never r e a l l y got the help I needed because the t e a c h e r s d i d n ' t understand." Another woman s a i d , "I used t o f e e l bad i n my h e a r t t h a t I wasn't doing w e l l but they (teachers) d i d n ' t r e a l i z e i t . " To f u r t h e r c o m p l i c a t e matters when c o - r e s e a r c h e r s were asked whether they would have been open t o a s s i s t a n c e while i n secondary s c h o o l 41.6% <n=6) s a i d no. They s t a t e d they were e i t h e r not i n a p o s i t i o n t o l e a r n g i v e n p e r s o n a l problems or they would not have been a b l e t o accept the f a c t t h a t they needed / \ 45 s p e c i a l help t o l e a r n academic s u b j e c t s . In the author's o p i n i o n , t h i s s e r v e s t o i n t e r t w i n e the i s s u e s of pe r s o n a l c o u n s e l l i n g and academic a s s i s t a n c e , both o f which are necessary f o r t h i s p o p u l a t i o n . By the time the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s were i n high s c h o o l they had a l r e a d y developed a h i s t o r y o f minimal success and excess f r u s t r a t i o n . I t would seem c r u c i a l t o de a l with i s s u e s o f s e l f - e s t e e m and acceptance o f a d i s a b i l i t y i n c o n j u n c t i o n with e s t a b l i s h i n g an i n d i v i d u a l i z e d e d u c a t i o n a l programme. T h i s statement i s supported by Rogan and Hartman (1976), Johnson (1981) and Cox (1977), a l l of whom s t r e s s the importance o f p r o v i d i n g p s y c h o l o g i c a l s e r v i c e s t o l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s . A l l c o - r e s e a r c h e r s were asked t o d e s c r i b e what success they experienced while i n high s c h o o l . T h i s q u e s t i o n was met with s u r p r i s e as i f people had never thought o f t h e i r s c h o o l i n g as one t h a t ever met with s u c c e s s . N e v e r t h e l e s s , with the ex c e p t i o n o f 15.3* (n=2) of the sample, everyone r e c a l l e d some i n s t a n c e s o f su c c e s s . Of the sample, 38 .4* (n=5) s t a t e d they had had success i n academic s u b j e c t s such as math, r e a d i n g or s o c i a l s t u d i e s . When t h i s success was pursued f u r t h e r by the i n t e r v i e w e r i t waa found academic success was judged aa such when a c o - r e s e a r c h e r a t t a i n e d a mark of C or C+. F a f a r d and Haubrich (1981) a l s o found t h a t s u b j e c t s judged t h e i r success based on t h e i r own i n t e r n a l s e t of p e r c e p t i o n s . When asked t o d e s c r i b e her s c h o o l success, one woman s a i d , "None i n s c h o o l . I got good marks i n Sc i e n c e , H i s t o r y and Home E c , the h i g h e s t mark 46 I got i n s c h o o l was C+. That was p r e t t y good." I t appears from t h i s t h a t success i s measured by d i f f e r e n t c r i t e r i a than used by the n o n - l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d p o p u l a t i o n . I t was not uncommon f o r c o - r e s e a r c h e r s t o d e s c r i b e s c h o o l success as e x i s t i n g when a p a s s i n g mark was a t t a i n e d whereas f o r the t y p i c a l p o p u l a t i o n a mark of A would u s u a l l y be deemed an accomplishment. Other people d e s c r i b e d having success i n non-academic s u b j e c t s such as a r t , c a r p e n t r y , s p o r t s or t y p i n g . Comments such as these r e f l e c t e d people's success i n non-academic s u b j e c t s : "I d i d n ' t r e a l l y have any success i n s c h o o l . I l i k e d s p o r t s " , "Sports i s about i t " , "One A - t y p i n g " , "I d i d w e l l i n a r t " . When one examines the above statements c l o s e l y i t becomes q u e s t i o n a b l e whether the above statements would b e t t e r d e s c r i b e d as l i m i t e d s u c c e s s e s . People do not d e s c r i b e themselves as d i s c o v e r i n g an a b i l i t y o r area of s t r e n g t h w h i l e i n secondary s c h o o l . These statements appear t o be a d e s c r i p t i o n of what the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s viewed themselves as being l e a s t worst a t , r a t h e r than a t what they were s u c c e s s f u l . People summarized t h e i r s c h o o l e x p e r i e n c e s i n the f o l l o w i n g ways: "School was t e r r i b l e . I had two emotional breakdowns. I t was r e a l l y rough. I'm c l a s s i f i e d as a minor l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d person.", "School was a nightmare. Everyone knew I was d i f f e r e n t . " , "I t h i n k t h a t the best p a r t was the f i r s t and l a s t day." , T h i s d e t a i l e d d e s c r i p t i o n of the d i f f i c u l t i e s the co-47 r e s e a r c h e r s experienced i s not meant t o p o r t r a y the s c h o o l or te a c h e r s i n a ne g a t i v e l i g h t nor i s i t t o co n c e n t r a t e t o too gr e a t an extent on people's e a r l y l i f e . C o - r e s e a r c h e r s i n d i c a t e d s t r o n g l y , d u r i n g the i n t e r v i e w s , t h a t t h e i r s c h o o l e x p e r i e n c e s served as a backdrop from which they handle t h e i r present s i t u a t i o n . I t i s hard t o i g n o r e an e a r l y academic l i f e t h a t was overwhelmingly n e g a t i v e . A c o - r e s e a r c h e r put i n s u c c i n t l y , " I f I got the he l p I needed ( i n s c h o o l ) I'm sure t h a t I would not be i n t h i s s i t u a t i o n . " Present School E x p e r i e n c e s Of the t h i r t e e n c o - r e s e a r c h e r s , 53.8* (n = 7) have p a r t i c i p a t e d i n Adu l t Education Programmes. When they d e s c r i b e d t h e i r present s c h o o l i n g i t was i n sharp c o n t r a s t t o t h e i r elementary and high s c h o o l e x p e r i e n c e . S i m i l a r elements o f t h e i r present e x p e r i e n c e w i l l be d e s c r i b e d i n order t o f u l l y i l l u s t r a t e the d i f f e r e n c e between the past and prese n t . People's present s c h o o l e x p e r i e n c e s w i l l be broken down i n t o t h r e e c a t e g o r i e s : acceptance by peers, s u i t a b l e placement and e f f e c t i v e t e a c h i n g t e c h n i q u e s , and the support p r o v i d e d by t e a c h i n g s t a f f . Co-r e s e a r c h e r s ' summarizing statements w i l l a l s o be d e t a i l e d . When people e n r o l l e d i n A d u l t Education Programmes w i t h i n the community c o l l e g e system or i n A d u l t Education through the Co n t i n u i n g E d u c a t i o n P u b l i c School Board, they met with a sense of accomplishment. A woman s a i d , "I've f i n a l l y found a sc h o o l 'where I'm a t ease, where I'm accepted." The c o - r e s e a r c h e r s were 48 met with sympathetic t e a c h e r s who worked from a h o l i s t i c viewpoint c o n s i d e r i n g i n t e l l e c t u a l and emotional needs. Co-r e s e a r c h e r s commented on the i n s t r u c t o r ' s s u p p o r t i v e nature. They were given p o s i t i v e r e i n f o r c e m e n t i n areas i n which they demonstrated improvement. They were encouraged to t r y even when f e a r f u l of f a i l u r e . A c o - r e s e a r c h e r put i t t h i s way, "At t h a t time I had l i t t l e c o n f i d e n c e i n myself t h a t i f something was d i f f i c u l t I j u s t dropped i t i n s t a n t l y l i k e a hot p o t a t o , but she [teacher] made me keep going on." Co-researchers spoke of how they were understood by the A d u l t Education t e a c h e r s and how someone f i n a l l y had the time and p a t i e n c e t o d e a l with them. Such statements: "The t e a c h e r s understood. The t e a c h e r s have p a t i e n c e here. That's what I l i k e . " , "Here a t the c o l l e g e the t e a c h e r s g i v e me l o t s of feedback, f a r more than they d i d i n high s c h o o l . " , "The A d u l t Education Programme teacher t h e r e helped me a l o t . She understood me w e l l as she worked with other people l i k e me." F i n a l l y , c o - r e s e a r c h e r s s a i d they were meeting with s c h o l a s t i c s u c c e s s . A c o - r e s e a r c h e r s a i d , "Now t h a t I'm a t c o l l e g e I f e e l I'm f i n a l l y a c h i e v i n g something.", "I'm so proud of myself." Another i n d i v i d u a l s a i d , "At c o l l e g e I came here and I have a l o t more experi e n c e i n l e a r n i n g and r e a d i n g . I f e e l a l o t more happier now, a t l e a s t I know I can get somewhere." A c o - r e s e a r c h e r summed up her e x p e r i e n c e i n the A d u l t Education Programme t h i s way, " C o l l e g e I t h i n k i s the best t h i n g f o r me r i g h t now and a l s o s t i c k around a b i t longer because i t i s not 49 o n l y what I'm l e a r n i n g but a l s o g i v i n g me c o n f i d e n c e to f i n d a 30b and do more a c t i v i t i e s . " I t would appear from these statements t h a t l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d people who experience l i m i t e d success i n high s c h o o l enter i n t o a work f o r c e with minimal or no 30b s k i l l s . F u r t h e r l i m i t a t i o n s are low s e l f c o n f i d e n c e l e v e l s and minimal s e l f worth which does not s e r v e t o enable a l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t to compete s u c c e s s f u l l y f o r employment. The r e s u l t s suggest t h a t a secondary s c h o o l system unable t o meet the v o c a t i o n a l and academic needs of l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d students c o n t r i b u t e s to a l a t e r h i s t o r y of unemployment. The c o - r e s e a r c h e r s appear not to be a b l e to move forward, because they have not mastered the b a s i c academic and s o c i a l a k i l l a u s u a l l y accomplished by ' t y p i c a l ' high s c h o o l s t u d e n t s . L e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s have more o p p o r t u n i t y f o r f u t u r e 30b success i f e n r o l l e d i n A d u l t Education programmes. These programmes a l l o w f o r the a c q u i s i t i o n of academic s k i l l s not o b t a i n e d through p r e v i o u s s c h o o l i n g . I t i s as i f they are unable to move toward a s u i t a b l e c a r e e r without f i r s t a c h i e v i n g a sense of s c h o l a s t i c s u c c e s s . The f u r t h e r development of academic s k i l l s s e r v e s t o i n c r e a s e p r e v i o u s l y low l e v e l s of s e l f c o n f i d e n c e r e s u l t i n g from t h e i r secondary s c h o o l e x p e r i e n c e . In summary, i t i s important t o c a r e f u l l y c o n s i d e r the s c h o o l e x p e r i e n c e s o f l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s . T h i s i s needed t o d i s c o v e r whether the p s y c h o l o g i c a l process of 50 unemployment needs to be extended t o i n c l u d e s c h o o l f a i l u r e as a p o s s i b l e antecedent t o a f u t u r e h i s t o r y o f unemployment. 51 Work H i s t o r y and Job Search Table 3 r e f e r s t o the type o f work ex p e r i e n c e people have obt a i n e d up t o the time of the i n t e r v i e w . I t i s e v i d e n t from examining Table 3 t h a t the m a j o r i t y (69.2% n=9) of the co-r e s e a r c h e r s have work experience i n a v a r i e t y of low l e v e l t r a n s i e n t p o s i t i o n s . In a d d i t i o n , one c o - r e s e a r c h e r has had no work ex p e r i e n c e . The s k i l l s r e q u i r e d to complete most of the jobs are minimal. They f a l l w i t h i n L e v e l 1 or L e v e l 2 of S p e c i f i c V o c a t i o n a l P r e p a r a t i o n as o u t l i n e d i n the Canadian C l a s s i f i c a t i o n and D i c t i o n a r y o f Occupations (1978). T h i s means t h a t the work e n t a i l e d i s e i t h e r a s h o r t demonstration ( L e v e l 1) or a s h o r t demonstration of l e s s than 30 days ( L e v e l 2 ) . For example, b e r r y p i c k i n g , packing t o p s o i l , b a b y s i t t i n g and c h i c k e n c a t c h i n g r e q u i r e o n l y a s h o r t demonstration. These p o s i t i o n s have a S p e c i f i c V o c a t i o n a l P r e p a r a t i o n l e v e l of one. A mechanics a s s i s t a n t , p e r s o n a l care attendant and c l e r i c a l worker are a l l p o s i t i o n s r e q u i r i n g more than a s h o r t demonstration but l e s s than 30 days t r a i n i n g on the s i t e . These are c l a s s i f i e d as L e v e l 2 p o s i t i o n s . A l l the above mentioned jobs q u a l i f y as e n t r y l e v e l p o s i t i o n s . With the e x c e p t i o n o f the nurse's a i d e p o s i t i o n and the j a n i t o r i a l p o s i t i o n , c o - r e s e a r c h e r s obtained employment u t i l i z i n g s k i l l s a c q u i r e d o u t s i d e the s c h o o l system. One co-r e s e a r c h e r obtained marketable s k i l l s through a v o c a t i o n a l t r a i n i n g . T h i s c o - r e s e a r c h e r used h i s r e c r e a t i o n a l s k i l l s t o o b t a i n work as a s a i l i n g i n s t r u c t o r . As w e l l , a t the time of the i n t e r v i e w , one c o - r e s e a r c h e r was p a r t a k i n g i n an a p p r e n t i c e Table 3 Jobs Held Since Leaving Secondary School and Employment Goals Co-researcher # Job T i t l e Employment Goal #25 #26 #27 #28 #29 #30 #31 #32 #33 #34 #35 #36 #37 Clerk, sandwich maker Personal care attendant, cashier, nurse's aide S a i l i n g i n s t r u c t o r / y a r d ape, s k i salesperson, s a i l b o a t aaleperson, wheelmotor mechanic, cook Mechanic's a s s i s t a n t Berry picker Labourer Armed Forces Camp counsellor, babysitter Chicken catcher, kitchen helper, roofer, labourer Nurse's Aide Construction worker, j a n i t o r , owner of j a n i t o r business Septic tank i n s t a l l e r , labourer, carwasher Cashier, Nurses Aide Physiotherapist T.V. Production, w r i t i n g and/ or d i r e c t i n g Transmission mechanic Daycare worker Counselling/uncertain General/trade Childcare worker Carpenter Zoology/Animal care/uncertain Uncertain Owner of J a n i t o r business Uncertain 53 t r a i n i n g programme as a c a r p e n t e r . Another c o - r e s e a r c h e r had obtained but not u t i l i z e d s k i l l s t o work as a p e r s o n a l care attendant, through h i s broad v o l u n t e e r s e r v i c e background. No one had worked a t one job f o r longer than a year and a h a l f . S i x people <49.15e> had work experience comprised of on-c a l l , temporary, or t r a n s i e n t employment. T h i s i n c l u d e s such p o s i t i o n s as b a b y s i t t e r , washing c a r s , r o o f e r , or be r r y p i c k e r with the e x c e p t i o n of two people, no one had worked or was p r e s e n t l y working i n an employment f i e l d t h a t they f e l t matched t h e i r p e r s o n a l q u a l i t i e s and employment a s p i r a t i o n s . The people who expressed job s a t i s f a c t i o n were the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s , one of whom worked as a j a n i t o r and the other who worked as a per s o n a l c a r e attendant. Both o f these people were i n t e r e s t e d i n f u r t h e r i n g themselves i n these a r e a s . The o v e r a l l l e v e l o f work experience d i s p l a y e d by the co-r e s e a r c h e r s i s minimal. The work h i s t o r y of the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d people i n t e r v i e w e d i s sc a n t y . Only one c o - r e s e a r c h e r has advanced w i t h i n h i s chosen vocation./ The w r i t e r i s r e f e r r i n g to the c o - r e s e a r c h e r who i n i t i a l l y o b t ained employment as a j a n i t o r , but a t present he owns and operates h i s own j a n i t o r i a l b u s i n e s s . C o - r e s e a r c h e r s have not demonstrated themselves as p o s s e s s i n g s t r o n g d i r e c t e d work s k i l l s or h a b i t s . In summary, a v a r i e t y o f d i f f i c u l t i e s impede the co-r e s e a r c h e r ' s i n t h e i r quest f o r upward m o b i l i t y . F i v e of the co-54 r e s e a r c h e r s appear to be o r i e n t e d i n the d i r e c t i o n they d e s i r e . They are probably working as competently and e f f i c i e n t l y t o a s c e r t a i n t h e i r g o a l s as other young a d u l t s who are not l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d . The remaining f o u r appear to be having d i f f i c u l t i e s . The d i f f i c u l t y i s the i n a b i l i t y t o analyze t h e i r s t r e n g t h s and weaknesses. Once the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s c o u l d e s t a b l i s h i n what areas they are l a c k i n g s k i l l s they c o u l d then develop a programme t o enhance t h e i r s k i l l l e v e l . T h i s would i n c r e a s e t h e i r chance f o r steady employment. Of the t h i r t e e n c o - r e s e a r c h e r s , nine people (69.2*) have d e f i n i t e v o c a t i o n a l p l a n s . Yet when you examine the g e n e r a l work h i s t o r y and the d e s i r e d employment goal ( p l e a s e r e f e r t o Table 3 ) , one can see t h a t o n l y f i v e (38.4*) of the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s d i s p l a y a minimal d i s c r e p a n c y between t h e i r work ex p e r i e n c e and t h e i r d e s i r e d work g o a l . These f i v e people a l l have work experience r e l a t e d t o t h e i r f u t u r e c a r e e r o b j e c t i v e s . They a l s o have long-term p l a n s t o enhance t h e i r chance f o r goal attainment. Included i n t h i s group i s a c o - r e s e a r c h e r who i s p r e s e n t l y i n v o l v e d i n a work experi e n c e placement as a c a r p e n t e r ' s a p p r e n t i c e . T h i s means t h a t t h e r e are s t i l l f o u r c o - r e s e a r c h e r s (30.7*) remaining who know the type of job d u t i e s they would l i k e t o perform. U n f o r t u n a t e l y , they have as y e t been unable t o l o c a t e employment r e l a t e d t o t h e i r d e s i r e d f i e l d . These c o - r e s e a r c h e r s have a l s o been unable t o o b t a i n the academic or v o c a t i o n a l t r a i n i n g necessary t o achieve t h e i r employment g o a l . The 55 d i f f i c u l t y f o r t h i s group i s not so much the e s t a b l i s h m e n t of a r e a l i s t i c employment g o a l , but the i n a b i l i t y t o m o b i l i z e r e s o u r c e s so as t o move toward a t t a i n i n g the employment g o a l . these c o - r e s e a r c h e r s appear unable t o c h a r t a course of d i r e c t i o n although they know t h e i r u l t i m a t e g o a l . T h i s supports the f i n d i n g s o f Kronick (1978) t h a t l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s o f t e n have d i f f i c u l t y e s t a b l i s h i n g long-term g o a l s . The remaining f o u r c o - r e s e a r c h e r s (30.7%) do not have s p e c i f i c c a r e e r p l a n s . Three of these people are a t t e n d i n g A d u l t E d u c a t i o n courses; a necessary step t o render themselves employable. Three of the f o u r people from t h i s group have never worked on a r e g u l a r b a s i s . At l e a s t one of the f o u r a s p i r e s t o a c a r e e r t h a t may not be r e a l i s t i c . One c o - r e s e a r c h e r has, i n the course of the i n t e r v i e w , expressed a t e n t a t i v e d e s i r e t o work w i t h i n an academic s e t t i n g . The f i e l d o f her c h o i c e i s zoology. I t i s the w r i t e r ' s o p i n i o n t h a t her p e r s o n a l q u a l i t i e s are such t h a t she might be b e t t e r s u i t e d t o f r o n t l i n e employment i n the area of e q u e s t r i a n management or as a v e t e r i n a r y a s s i s t a n t . She expressed deep s a t i s f a c t i o n with her v o l u n t e e r work as a ranch hand and i s most i n v o l v e d i n the care of her own s m a l l p e t s . These a s p e c t s of her p e r s o n a l i t y combined with slow speed a t * a s s i m i l a t i n g academic i n f o r m a t i o n i n d i c a t e s t h a t she might p r e f e r to work d i r e c t l y with animals. Four people have no d e f i n i t e c a r e e r p l a n s . Three of these people are i n t h e i r mid t w e n t i e s a t t e n d i n g A d u l t Education 56 c o u r s e s . T h i s s t e p i s i n a l l l i k e l i h o o d e s s e n t i a l t o t h e i r f u t u r e . The a d u l t s c h o o l i n g experience i s p r o v i n g t o be a s a t i s f y i n g one. People are e x p e r i e n c i n g continuous success thus b e n e f i t i n g s c h o l a s t i c a l l y and p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y . Yet the t h r e e a d u l t students do not appear to be s e r i o u s l y c o n s i d e r i n g t h e i r c a r e e r p o s s i b i l i t i e s while they a t t e n d s c h o o l . I t would be more time and c o s t e f f i c i e n t i f t h i s were the case. T h i s group would probably b e n e f i t from v o c a t i o n a l c o u n s e l l i n g i n c o n j u n c t i o n with t h e i r s c h o o l i n g . The f o u r t h person i n t h i s group i s an a c t i v e v o l u n t e e r y e t he has a l s o not developed any s t r o n g committment to a s p e c i f i c employment f i e l d and h i s work experi e n c e i s l i m i t e d . He i s not p r e s e n t l y a t t e n d i n g s c h o o l . He would a l s o b e n e f i t from v o c a t i o n a l c o u n s e l l i n g so as to a c q u i r e a s s i s t a n c e i n s e l e c t e d -ing an employment a r e a . Cox (1977) suggests t h a t psychotherapy which i n c l u d e s v o c a t i o n a l and p e r s o n a l c o u n s e l l i n g i n c o n j u n c t i o n with r e m e d i a t i o n i s more h e l p f u l than remediation i n i s o l a t i o n . On a more p o s i t i v e note, many s t r e n g t h s are e x h i b i t e d by the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s . People have not found the t r a d i t i o n a l s c h o o l system u s e f u l i n p r e p a r i n g them f o r f u t u r e employment. Yet people have obtained marketable s k i l l s through a v o c a t i o n a l means, a p p r e n t i c e s h i p programmes and v o l u n t e e r work. T h i s i n d i c a t e s people have u t i l i z e d c r e a t i v e s k i l l s and are h i g h l y motivated t o o b t a i n secure employment. Job Search S k i l l s U t i l i z e d Table 4 r e f e r s t o the frequency of job search methods Table 4 Frequency of Job Search Methods U t i l i z e d n Job Search Method 7 C.E.C. 6 Newspaper want ads 4 S p e c i a l Needs C o u n s e l l o r 4 Family and/or f r i e n d s 4 Completed u n s o l i c i t e d job a p p l i c a t i o n s 2 Cold c a l l s 2 None 2 Job placement o r i e n t s S o c i a l S e r v i c e Agency 1 Personal agency 1 Career C o u n s e l l o r 1 Resume 58 u t i l i z e d by c o - r e s e a r c h e r s throughout t h e i r unemployment ex p e r i e n c e . With the e x c e p t i o n of two people, a l l c o - r e s e a r c h e r s engaged i n some 30b search method. Ten d i f f e r e n t p o s i t i v e methods of 30b search o c c u r r e d a c r o s s a l l c o - r e s e a r c h e r s . The maximum number of 30b search methods u t i l i z e d by any co-r e s e a r c h e r i s f o u r , the minimum i s zero and the average i s two m e t h o d s ^ u t i l i z e d per c o - r e s e a r c h e r . When t h i s f i g u r e i s compared to Hatch's <1985> study of unemployment e x p e r i e n c e s and u n i v e r s i t y graduates one can see t h a t the p o p u l a t i o n s t u d i e d by Hatch (1985) u t i l i z e d on average t h r e e more 30b search methods per c o - r e s e a r c h e r than d i d the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t w i t h i n t h i s study. T h i s would seem to i n d i c a t e t h a t the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s e i t h e r have l e s s knowledge of p o s i t i v e 30b search methods or l e s s m o t i v a t i o n t o use 30b search methods which e x i s t w i t h i n t h e i r r e p e t o i r e than do u n i v e r s i t y graduates. The r e s e a r c h e r would l i k e t o suggest the former as the most p l a u s i b l e e x p l a n a t i o n . Every c o - r e s e a r c h e r expressed a d e s i r e t o o b t a i n work and a number of c o - r e s e a r c h e r s expressed extreme f r u s t r a t i o n with the process of o b t a i n i n g work. T h i s would seem to i n d i c a t e t h a t c o - r e s e a r c h e r s have not been taught or have not le a r n e d e f f e c t i v e s k i l l s t o o b t a i n employment. Co-researchers a l s o seem to be i n d i c a t i n g an i n a b i l i t y t o m o b i l i z e r e s o u r c e s w i t h i n t h e i r realm. For example, no one searched the l i b r a r y f o r taped or w r i t t e n m a t e r i a l s on 30b search s k i l l s . Another i n t e r e s t i n g f e a t u r e of t h i s data i s t h a t co-59 r e s e a r c h e r s r e p o r t a number of i n s t a n c e s i n which they encountered unsupportive personnel as they conducted t h e i r job s e a r c h . Two c o - r e s e a r c h e r s a l s o r e p o r t e d f e e l i n g overwhelmed by newspaper advertisements. One man s t a t e d "I t r i e d l o o k i n g i n the paper but t h e r e i s so many t h i n g s i n the paper t h a t you need experi e n c e at and I d i d n ' t have the experience f o r h a r d l y a n y t h i n g . . . " The outcome of t h i s aspect of the r e s e a r c h study i s a p r a c t i c a l one. The l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s i n t e r v i e w e d indica te t h a t they do not have the necessary s k i l l s t o o b t a i n c o m p e t i t i v e employment. The methods u t i l i z e d are not comprehensive nor e n t e r p r i s i n g enough t o enable the co-r e s e a r c h e r s to l o c a t e employment. 60 P o s i t i v e and Negative C r i t i c a l I n c i d e n t C a t e g o r i e s Nine p o s i t i v e c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t c a t e g o r i e s were i d e n t i f i e d which a s s i s t e d the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s d u r i n g the time they were unemployed. The nine c a t e g o r i e s are t i t l e d as f o l l o w s : success/achievement i n A d u l t Education programme, p l e a s u r e i n having a 30b, r e a l i z a t i o n o f s e l f - w o r t h , support from s e r v i c e agency ( e x c l u d i n g C.E.C.), re-assessment of s e l f , support from f a m i l y , s u p p o r t i v e work environment, l a n d i n g a job, and support from f r i e n d s . Twelve i n c i d e n t s were pl a c e d i n t o c a t e g o r i e s which when t a l l i e d d i d not comprise 25% of the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s . These c a t e g o r i e s are t h e r e f o r e not i n c l u d e d . Examples of those c a t e g o r i e s which d i d not i n c l u d e 25% of the sample are r e c o g n i t i o n or acceptance of a l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y , s u p p o r t i v e C.E.C. c o u n s e l l o r and v o l u n t e e r work. Eleven i n c i d e n t s d i d not f i t i n t o any c a t e g o r i e s . Twelve n e g a t i v e i n c i d e n t c a t e g o r i e s were i d e n t i f i e d . The i n c i d e n t s p r e s e n t w i t h i n these c a t e g o r i e s d e t a i l those a s p e c t s which hindered the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s from o b t a i n i n g secure employment. The n e g a t i v e c a t e g o r i e s are t i t l e d as f o l l o w s : a n t i c i p a t i o n of job f a i l u r e / j o b f a i l u r e , discounted/devalued by support s e r v i c e s ( e x c l u d i n g C . E . C ) , f i n a n c i a l p r e s s u r e s , job r e j e c t i o n s / l a c k o f o p p o r t u n i t y from 'employers, di s c o u n t e d / d e v a l u a t e d by C.E.C. pe r s o n n e l , avoidance of job sea r c h , delayed c a r e e r p r o g r e s s , l o n g i n g f o r more e q u i t a b l e / s e c u r e employment o p p o r t u n i t i e s , stagnation/boredom. 61 n e g a t i v e comparisons, i s o l a t i o n due t o unemployment, and f e a r of sc h o o l as an a d u l t student. Seven i n c i d e n t s were p l a c e d i n c a t e g o r i e s which d i d not comprise 25* of the sample. Examples of c a t e g o r i e s which are not i n c l u d e d among the h i n d e r i n g c a t e g o r i e s ar e : g u i l t r e l a t e d t o f a m i l y t e n s i o n s , not c o n t r i b u t i n g t o s o c i e t y / f a m i l y , and l a c k o f support from f a m i l y . Ten i n c i d e n t s d i d not f a l l i n t o any category. Table 5 p r e s e n t s the number of c o - r e s e a r c h e r s who experienced each p o s i t i v e c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t category and the t o t a l number of p o s i t i v e i n c i d e n t s a c r o s s a l l c o - r e s e a r c h e r s . Table & r e p r e s e n t s the number of c o - r e s e a r c h e r s who experienced each n e g a t i v e i n c i d e n t category, and the t o t a l number of p o s i t i v e i n c i d e n t s a c r o s s a l l c o - r e s e a r c h e r s . O v e r a l l 60 p o s i t i v e i n c i d e n t s and 77 n e g a t i v e i n c i d e n t s were i d e n t i f i e d . The d i s t i n g u i s h i n g f e a t u r e s o f each category w i l l be presented i n d e t a i l ( p l e a s e see Appendix H-l t o H-9 f o r chosen quotes from the p o s i t i v e c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t c a t e g o r i e s . See Appendix 1-1 to 1-12 f o r chosen quotes from the n e g a t i v e i n c i d e n t c a t e g o r i e s ) . TABLE 5 P o s i t i v e C r i t i c a l I n c i d e n t C a t e g o r i e s Category T* n*» Success/Achievement i n A d u l t 15 6 Education Programme Pl e a s u r e i n Having a Job 11 7 R e a l i z a t i o n o f S e l f - w o r t h 7 4 Sup p o r t i v e Work Environment 5 4 Support from S e r v i c e Agency ( e x c l u d i n g C.E.C.) 5 4 Support from Family 5 3 Re-assessment of S e l f 5 3 Landing a Job 4 3 Support from F r i e n d s 3 3 »T = t o t a l number o f i n c i d e n t s »*n = number of c o - r e s e a r c h e r s Negative TABLE 6 C r i t i c a l I n c i d e n t C a t e g o r i e s Category T* n*» A n t i c i p a t i o n o f Job F a i l u r e / Job f a i l u r e 14 Discounted/Devalued by Support S e r v i c e s ( e x c l u d i n g C.E.C.) 11 7 F i n a n c i a l P r e s s u r e s 8 6 Job R e j e c t i o n s / L a c k of Opportunity from Employers 8 5 Discounted/Devalued by C.E.C. Personnel 7 4 Avoidance of Job Search 6 S Delayed Career Progress 6 3 Longing f o r More E q u i t a b l e / S e c u r e Employment O p p o r t u n i t i e s 4 4 Stagnation/Boredom 4 3 Fear o f School as an Ad u l t Student 3 3 I s o l a t i o n Due t o Unemployment 3 3 Negative Comparisons 3 3 »T = t o t a l number of i n c i d e n t s *«n = number of c o - r e s e a r c h e r s 64 P o s i t i v e C r i t i c a l I n c i d e n t C a t e g o r i e s Success/Achievement i n Adu l t Education Programme T h i s category i n c l u d e s the p o s i t i v e a s p e c t s o f r e t u r n i n g t o s c h o o l . I t i n v o l v e s people who are e n r o l l e d i n an Adu l t E d u c a t i o n Programme on a p a r t - t i m e b a s i s a t t e n d i n g e i t h e r d u r i n g the day or evening. Returning t o sc h o o l as an a d u l t o f f e r e d many people a f i r s t o p p o r t u n i t y t o move about i n an e d u c a t i o n a l s e t t i n g where they are accepted u n c o n d i t i o n a l l y by t h e i r peers. I t becomes a p l a c e where one works with a teacher who f i n a l l y understands how they l e a r n . I t becomes a p l a c e where one exp e r i e n c e s s c h o o l success f o r the f i r s t time thus e n a b l i n g the i n d i v i d u a l an o p p o r t u n i t y t o take p r i d e i n h i m / h e r s e l f and hope f o r the f u t u r e . A person may f i n d an academic s u b j e c t t h a t he/she i s a b l e t o l e a r n e a s i l y . T h i s then progresses such t h a t the person now e n t e r t a i n s new c a r e e r a s p i r a t i o n s . The A d u l t Education Programme o f f e r e d the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s an o p p o r t u n i t y t o st r e n g t h e n b a s i c academic s k i l l s . T h i s enabled the person t o complete job a p p l i c a t i o n s and compete f o r jobs r e q u i r i n g w r i t t e n communication s k i l l s . P l e a s u r e i n Having a Job T h i s c a t e g o r y i n c l u d e s the i n i t i a l employment p e r i o d , p a r t -time work or work ex p e r i e n c e . During the i n i t i a l employment p e r i o d the c o - r e s e a r c h e r f o c u s e s a l l h i s / h e r a t t e n t i o n upon keeping the job. The person takes p r i d e i n working e f f i c i e n t l y 65 and enjoys the f i n a n c i a l rewards. T h i s category i n c l u d e s p a r t -time work or f u l l - t i m e temporary work which o f f e r s the i n d i v i d u a l an o p p o r t u n i t y t o make a c o n t r i b u t i o n t o h i s / h e r community. As w e l l t h i s category a l s o i n c l u d e s those people who are on work experie n c e as p a r t of a s e r v i c e agency v o c a t i o n a l programme. T h i s v o c a t i o n a l programme o f f e r s s u p p o r t i v e v o c a t i o n a l placements f o r minimum wage or supplements income a s s i s t a n c e . The primary f o c u s o f t h i s category i s t h a t the co-r e s e a r c h e r s experience emotional f u l f i l l m e n t which i s d e r i v e d from having a j ob. The other more p r a c t i c a l a spect of t h i s temporary employment s i t u a t i o n i s t h a t they are a b l e t o enjoy an ease i n f i n a n c i a l p r e s s u r e . ?§§ii?§ti°Q of §®l£zy2E£h T h i s category p e r t a i n s t o c o - r e s e a r c h e r s who expressed a change i n t h e i r view of themselves due to a s p e c i f i c event. For these people the s h i f t i n t h e i r p e r c e p t i o n of s e l f o c c u r r e d when they completed an a c t i v i t y s u c c e s s f u l l y . For the r e a l i z a t i o n o f s e l f - w o r t h category the person i s now a b l e t o a r t i c u l a t e a f i r m l y p l a n t e d p o s i t i v e s e l f - s t a t e m e n t u t i l i z i n g minimal q u a l i f i e r s . T h i s category i s comprised of statements such as "I'm on my way," "I t h i n k I have a l o t going f o r me," "I can get a j o b . " In t h i s category the c o - r e s e a r c h e r has been a b l e t o a s s i m i l a t e a r e c e n t s u c c e s s . A re-assessment of s e l f u s u a l l y takes p l a c e p r i o r t o an i n c i d e n t o f r e a l i z a t i o n o f s e l f - w o r t h . 66 Surjrjgrt from S o c i a l S e r v i c e Agency ^ e x c l u d i n g C^E_^C^2 T h i s category i n c l u d e s personnel c o - r e s e a r c h e r s c o n t a c t e d who presented themselves as empathic f i g u r e s a b l e t o encourage s t r e n g t h s and o f f e r c o n s t r u c t i v e s u g g e s t i o n s . The s u p p o r t i v e personnel had knowledge of e x i s t i n g a p p l i e d v o c a t i o n a l programmes. T h i s enabled them to d i r e c t c o - r e s e a r c h e r s i n t o meaningful a c t i v i t y o r i e n t e d toward f u t u r e employment. The s o c i a l s e r v i c e agency personnel deemed s u p p o r t i v e by the co-r e s e a r c h e r s e x h i b i t e d e x c e l l e n t communication s k i l l s and they d i d not shame the c o - r e s e a r c h e r f o r h i s / h e r l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y . 5®Z§§§®§§5J®Qt S e l f T h i s category p e r t a i n s t o those i n c i d e n t s which r e s u l t e d i n an a l t e r a t i o n of a present p e r s o n a l c o n s t r u c t . The events l i s t e d under t h i s category are i n f l u e n t i a l enough t h a t they r e s u l t e d i n a permanently a l t e r e d s e l f - s t a t e m e n t . The r e s u l t of these events was a more p o s i t i v e thought process which enabled the co-r e s e a r c h e r s to view themselves as one who c o u l d a l t e r a drug dependent l i f e s t y l e , develop a c l o s e f r i e n d s h i p , or view one s e l f as being a member of a valued group. The f i n a l outcome was one of m o t i v a t i n g p o s i t i v e energy and c o n f i d e n c e . The i n c i d e n t s i n t h i s category tend to be ones t h a t preceed the i n c i d e n t s found i n the r e a l i z a t i o n of s e l f - w o r t h c a t e g o r y . In the l a t t e r category the sense of s e l f - w o r t h i s more f i r m l y entrenched than i n the former c a t e g o r y . 67 Support from Family T h i s i n c l u d e s i n c i d e n t s where f a m i l y o f f e r e d housing. food and money to an unemployed son or daughter. I t a l s o i n c l u d e s those i n s t a n c e s where a f a m i l y member a s s i s t e d i n the job se a r c h . T h i s a s s i s t a n c e came i n the form of o u t l i n i n g g o a l s with the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d son or daughter, a s s i s t i n g i n the completion of a p p l i c a t i o n forms and the o f f e r i n g o f ongoing support d u r i n g t h i s s t r e s s f u l p e r i o d . ?up.B2Etive Work Environment The i n c i d e n t s i n t h i s category i n c l u d e moments when s u p e r v i s o r s complimented c o - r e s e a r c h e r s on t h e i r s t r o n g work h a b i t s or c h a r a c t e r . Co-researchers s u c c e s s f u l l y use compensating s k i l l s t o complete t h e i r job d u t i e s . The other p o s i t i v e aspect. o f the work experi e n c e i n c l u d e d w i t h i n t h i s category i s the a s s i s t a n c e o f f e r e d by f e l l o w workers. For i n c i d e n t s w i t h i n t h i s category c o - r e s e a r c h e r s commented on the sense t h a t the presen t job h e l d f u t u r e o p p o r t u n i t i e s . Landing a Job T h i s r e f e r s t o the immediate p r i d e one takes i n a c c e s s i n g a job. The c o - r e s e a r c h e r s were a b l e t o view themselves as a \ working member of the community. The employment o p p o r t u n i t y o f f e r s a s t r u c t u r e t o the day and a sense of purpose. 6 8 Support, from F r i e n d s The i n c i d e n t s i n t h i s category p e r t a i n t o the ongoing a s s i s t a n c e and support o f f e r e d by f r i e n d s o f the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s . The a s s i s t a n c e took a v a r i e t y o f forms from the t e a c h i n g of a new s k i l l and encouraging the c o - r e s e a r c h e r t o s o c i a l i z e or the constant f o c u s on a c o - r e s e a r c h e r ' s p o s i t i v e a t t r i b u t e s . Negative I n c i d e n t C a t e g o r i e s A n t i c i p a t i o n o f Job F a i l u r e / J o b F a i l u r e T h i s category comprises those i n c i d e n t s i n which the co-r e s e a r c h e r s obtained work but f e a r e d f o r t h e i r j o b s , as they l a c k e d a b a s i c s k i l l . T h i s c o u l d be the a b i l i t y t o read or r e c o r d w r i t t e n i n f o r m a t i o n c o r r e c t l y . While the person was s t i l l r e t a i n e d by t h e i r employer they d e s c r i b e d themselves as being i n a c o n s t a n t anxious s t a t e . The c o - r e s e a r c h e r s d e s c r i b e d f e a r t h a t t h e i r employer would soon r e a l i z e they were unable t o complete some aspect of the job d e s c r i p t i o n . The i n c i d e n t s i n t h i s category a l s o p e r t a i n t o those s i t u a t i o n s i n which the person f e a r e d f u t u r e employment due t o past f a i l u r e s . These f a i l u r e s had o c c u r r e d i n e i t h e r an e d u c a t i o n a l or employment s i t u a t i o n yet the r e s u l t was f e a r a t the thought of f u t u r e employment. Co-researchers experienced almost a l l work s i t u a t i o n s as ones where they c o u l d a t best a d j u s t t o f a i l u r e . 69 Discounted/Devalued by Support S e r v i c e s ^ e x c l u d i n g C ^ E i C ^ The i s s u e s d i s c u s s e d w i t h i n t h i s category r e l a t e i n p a r t t o a l a c k o f adequate funding f o r Adu l t Education s t u d e n t s . Co-r e s e a r c h e r s experienced a sense o f d e v a l u a t i o n as a r e s u l t o f p a r t a k i n g i n Adu l t Education c l a s s e s w i t h i n o l d run down s t r u c t u r e s such as an o l d church. To f u r t h e r exacerbate the problem, c o - r e s e a r c h e r s were provided with u n d e r s t a f f e d , i n s e c u r e programmes. They found themselves unable t o a t t e n d s c h o o l f u l l time because of the l a c k o f t r a i n e d t e a c h e r s a v a i l a b l e and y e t not employable. Co-researchers were d i s h e a r t e n e d by having t o conduct t h e i r a d u l t s c h o o l i n g w i t h i n such a minimally s u p p o r t i v e environment. T h i s category a l s o i n c l u d e s personnel who discouraged f u r t h e r e d u c a t i o n , swept c o - r e s e a r c h e r s i n t o a b u r e a u c r a t i c s n a r l and o f f e r e d no p o s i t i v e encouragement. S o c i a l s e r v i c e personnel were a l s o known to a d m i n i s t e r t e s t s and t e s t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n accompanied by no fo l l o w - u p s e r v i c e s . C o - r e searchers were given r e p o r t s s t a t i n g t h e i r need f o r c o u n s e l l i n g s e r v i c e s and from t h a t p o i n t on heard n o t h i n g f u r t h e r from the agency. The r e s u l t of t h i s treatment was a sense o f being devalued and d i s c o u n t e d by support s e r v i c e s . F i n a n c i a l P r e s s u r e s T h i s i n c l u d e s inadequate government support. Co-researchers on income a s s i s t a n c e were l e f t without the necessary funds t o e at 70 and s h e l t e r themselves. Co-researchers found i t necessary t o search out temporary, non-taxable employment <in some cases co-r e s e a r c h e r s o b t a i n e d i l l e g a l monies) t o meet t h e i r b a s i c needs from month t o month. T h i s p l a c e d an a d d i t i o n a l s t r a i n upon the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s r e n d e r i n g them t e m p o r a r i l y unable t o seek out f u l l - t i m e employment. One c o - r e s e a r c h e r caught between c h i l d and a d u l t s e r v i c e s found h i m s e l f e x p e l l e d from s c h o o l f o r t a k i n g the day o f f to work so he c o u l d buy food. People a l s o spoke of t h e i r l i m i t e d a b i l i t y t o s o c i a l i z e , date or make b a s i c payments such as r e n t . The c o - r e s e a r c h e r s experienced an i n a b i l i t y t o move onward developmentally due t o l i m i t e d funds. People found i t necessary to postpone independence from parents and found themselves unable t o a t t e n d s c h o o l without monetary support. Job R e j e c t i o n s T h i s i n c l u d e s n e g a t i v e i n t e r v i e w s or j u s t m i s s i n g a job o f f e r . I t a l s o i n c l u d e s those i n s t a n c e s where a c o - r e s e a r c h e r spoke of h i s / h e r i n a b i l i t y t o read or w r i t e and hence e l i m i n a t e d from the employment c o m p e t i t i o n . People experienced job d e s c r i p t i o n s which d i d not match with the a c t u a l job s k i l l s r e q u i r e d t o perform the job. For example, c o - r e s e a r c h e r s expressed f r u s t r a t i o n when r e f u s e d a job because they c o u l d not read or w r i t e . T h i s s i t u a t i o n f r e q u e n t l y o c c u r r e d when co-r e s e a r c h e r s a p p l i e d f o r u n s k i l l e d labour jobs f o r which on the 71 job w r i t i n g or r e a d i n g s k i l l s were not necessary. The job d e s c r i p t i o n exceeded the a c t u a l q u a l i f i c a t i o n s needed t o complete the job adequately. F e e l i n g s of f r u s t r a t i o n were expressed when a c o - r e s e a r c h e r was r e f u s e d a p o s i t i o n based on the l a c k of s k i l l not a c t u a l l y needed t o complete the job d u t i e s . Co-researchers viewed t h i s as an unnecessary l a c k of employment o p p o r t u n i t y . Ql§92yD£edZQeyalued by C^E^C^ Personnel T h i s i n c l u d e s those i n s t a n c e s where c o - r e s e a r c h e r s came i n t o c o n t a c t with S p e c i a l Needs C o u n s e l l o r s who were not knowledgeable r e g a r d i n g the t h e o r e t i c a l and p r a c t i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s of a l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y . I t i n c l u d e s d i s c o u r a g i n g c o n v e r s a t i o n s with C.E.C. c o u n s e l l o r s . C o u n s e l l o r s t o l d some c o - r e s e a r c h e r s they would not succeed i n c e r t a i n types of employment or t r a i n i n g programmes. T h i s d i d n ' t always f i t with the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s p e r c e p t i o n of t h e i r a b i l i t i e s and hence r e s u l t e d i n the co-r e s e a r c h e r s f e e l i n g devalued. I t a l s o i n c l u d e s the o v e r a l l impression c o - r e s e a r c h e r s expressed t h a t C.E.C. had l i t t l e t o o f f e r i n the way o f employment s e r v i c e s . Avoidance of Job Search T h i s i n c l u d e s those p e r i o d s of time where people d i d not a c t i v e l y search f o r work. They may have taken a v a c a t i o n or postponed an a c t i v e job s e a r c h . People may have avoided a job se a r c h , because they f e a r e d r e j e c t i o n or because they l a c k e d adequate job search s k i l l s . C o -researchers a l s o avoided job 72 search because they d i d not have the w r i t i n g or r e a d i n g s k i l l s necessary to complete an a p p l i c a t i o n form. T h i s category p e r t a i n s t o the l a c k of energy and the i n a b i l i t y of co-r e s e a r c h e r s t o m o b i l i z e r e s o u r c e s so as t o a c t i v e l y partake i n a f r u i t f u l l job s e a r c h . 9S=1§Z®2[ Career Progress These i n c i d e n t s d e s c r i b e s i t u a t i o n s where c o - r e s e a r c h e r s d e s c r i b e a l o n g i n g f o r a c a r e e r r a t h e r than a s e r i e s o f u n r e l a t e d p o s i t i o n s . I t a l s o i n c l u d e s the d e s i r e f o r an o p p o r t u n i t y to complete high s c h o o l c o u r s e s . Co-researchers r e a l i z e d a d i s c r e p a n c y between t h e i r age and t h e i r developmental l e v e l . For example, some c o - r e s e a r c h e r s were i n t h e i r e a r l y t w e n t i e s y e t they were j u s t f i n i s h i n g Grade 11 coursework. T h i s category a l s o i n c l u d e s the tendency f o r c o - r e s e a r c h e r s t o p r e d i c t n e g a t i v e outcomes f o r the f u t u r e . They expect t h a t the f u t u r e w i l l h o l d disappointment f u r t h e r r e n d e r i n g them i n c a p a b l e o f e s t a b l i s h i n g competencies i n keeping with t h e i r c h r o n o l o g i c a l age. Longing f o r More E g u i t a b l e / S e c u r e Employment O p p o r t u n i t i e s A d e s i r e f o r c o - r e s e a r c h e r s to see a mesh between employment q u a l i f i c a t i o n s and t h e i r p r e s e n t or a t t a i n a b l e job s k i l l s . T h i s c a t e g o r y a l s o r e f l e c t s the i n s e c u r i t y f e l t by c o - r e s e a r c h e r s as they s t r u g g l e t o maintain a job f o r which they have minimal q u a l i f i c a t i o n s . I t speaks of the d e s i r e f o r c o - r e s e a r c h e r s t o 7 3 openly d i s c u s s t h e i r l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y with t h e i r employer. T h i s category d i f f e r s from the f e a r o f job f a i l u r e category i n t h a t the i n c i d e n t s i n t h i s category p e r t a i n t o f u t u r e hopes and a d e s i r e f o r secure employment. The main f e a t u r e o f the job f a i l u r e category i s the element o f f e a r surrounding the event. Stagnation/Boredom These i n c i d e n t s d e s c r i b e the i n a b i l i t y t o inform f r i e n d s or f a m i l y o f a s u c c e s s f u l job se a r c h . T h i s category p e r t a i n s t o the v o i d s o f time where c o - r e s e a r c h e r s were i n v o l v e d i n no s o c i a l , r e c r e a t i o n a l or job search a c t i v i t i e s . Negative Comparisons Watching former classmates begin work and enjoy f i n a n c i a l s u ccess were h i n d e r i n g i n c i d e n t s expressed by c o - r e s e a r c h e r s . When comparing themselves t o o t h e r s t h e i r own age, they c o n t i n u o u s l y viewed themselves as l e s s f i n a n c i a l l y secure and with l e s s c a r e e r o p p o r t u n i t i e s . I s o l a t i o n Due t o Unemployment T h i s r e f e r s t o the decrease i n t e r r i t o r y covered. Without f i n a n c i a l r e s o u r c e s and a u s u a l l y poor support system, co-r e s e a r c h e r s found themselves f r e q u e n t l y a t home watching T.V. or l i s t e n i n g t o the s t e r e o . T h i s category d e s c r i b e s the deep d e p r e s s i o n expressed by c o - r e s e a r c h e r s as they viewed themselves 74 as the o n l y ones moving through the unemployment exp e r i e n c e . Fear of School as an A d u l t Student T h i s category r e f e r s t o c o - r e s e a r c h e r s ' knowledge t h a t t h e i r academic s k i l l s are not of a high enough c a l i b r e t o o b t a i n the employment they d e s i r e . C o - r e searchers know they need to upgrade t h e i r s k i l l s , but they express extreme f e a r a t the thought of r e -e n t e r i n g a s c h o o l system. 75 Future P l a n s and E x p e c t a t i o n s As the i n t e r v i e w with c o - r e s e a r c h e r s came t o a c l o s e , the r e s e a r c h e r requested i n f o r m a t i o n on the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s f u t u r e p l a n s . T h i s q u e s t i o n was broken down i n t o t h r e e main p a r t s : p e r s o n a l , e d u c a t i o n a l , and c a r e e r < see Table 7 ) . Given t h a t the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s are overwhelmingly <92.3% n=12) i n t h e i r e a r l y t w e n t i e s the r e s e a r c h e r d i d not expect thorough and r e f i n e d responses t o t h i s q u e s t i o n . Many of the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s expressed a d e s i r e t o get married <53.8% n=7), buy a house <23% n=3), t r a v e l <30.7% n=4), and become parents (23% n=3). These d e s i r e s were expressed i n g e n e r a l terms such as " I ' d l i k e t o get married." "Buy a house" "Have a c h i l d " and "See the world". The r e s e a r c h e r , even when us i n g probing i n t e r v i e w techniques, was not abl e t o e l i c i t f u r t h e r , more d e t a i l e d i n f o r m a t i o n on pe r s o n a l g o a l s with the e x c e p t i o n o f one man. One c o - r e s e a r c h e r expressed a concern r e g a r d i n g h i s a b i l i t y t o f a t h e r a c h i l d who had a l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y . N e v e r t h e l e s s the i n t e r v i e w e r was s t r u c k by the t h o u g h t f u l n e s s o f the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s ' response t o t h e i r f u t u r e e d u c a t i o n a l and c a r e e r g o a l s . In a d d i t i o n , f o u r c o - r e s e a r c h e r s (30.7%) expressed a d e s i r e t o work or v o l u n t e e r i n a f i e l d t h a t allowed them t o c o n t r i b u t e t o the community. One man s t a t e d , "I want t o do anything I can do t o he l p the Vancouver A s s o c i a t i o n f o r C h i l d r e n and A d u l t s with L e a r n i n g D i s a b i l i t i e s . I'd l i k e t o Table 7 D e s c r i p t i o n o f Co-researchers Long-term Plans n» Category 9 Education 8 E s t a b l i s h e d long-term employment g o a l s 7 Marriage 4 Doubts f o r the f u t u r e 4 Community r e s p o n s i b i l i t y 4 T r a v e l 3 Home owner 3 C h i l d r e n * number of c o - r e s e a r c h e r s 77 put down p a r t o f my s t o r y i n t o p l a y s or s k i t s f o r oth e r people who have l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t i e s . " Another woman s t a t e d t h a t she wanted t o work with the "handicapped, maybe i n r e c r e a t i o n " . The c o - r e s e a r c h e r s responses i n d i c a t e d t h a t they viewed a st r o n g e r e d u c a t i o n a l background as a p r e r e q u i s i t e t o secure long term employment. Nine (69.2%) c o - r e s e a r c h e r s expressed a d e s i r e t o e i t h e r c o n t i n u e with t h e i r e d u c a t i o n or s t a t e d they p l a n t o att e n d an e d u c a t i o n a l i n s t i t u t i o n i n the near f u t u r e . As one man s t a t e d , " I f I c o u l d get my edu c a t i o n t h a t would r e a l l y h elp my f u t u r e . " Another man a l s o viewed h i s e d u c a t i o n a l l e v e l as e f f e c t i n g h i s f u t u r e employment o p p o r t u n i t i e s . He s t a t e d , " I ' d l i k e t o go back t o sc h o o l t o improve my r e a d i n g and see i f I c o u l d get a b e t t e r job or a b e t t e r paying j o b . " Another co-re s e a r c h e r s t a t e d , " I ' d l i k e t o go back t o s c h o o l . I must go back t o sc h o o l t o achieve my dreams." A f t e r e d u c a t i o n a l g o a l s the next area which g r e a t l y concerned c o - r e s e a r c h e r s was long term c a r e e r p l a n s . E i g h t (61.5%) c o - r e s e a r c h e r s d e s c r i b e d t h e i r long term c a r e e r g o a l s . One woman a s p i r e s t o have, "My own daycare. F i r s t t a k i n g a course, then g e t t i n g a job i n a daycare and going from t h e r e . " Again as she expressed her c a r e e r g o a l s she i n d i c a t e d an awareness o f the l i n k a g e between ed u c a t i o n and employment o p p o r t u n i t i e s . People expressed t h e i r c a r e e r g o a l s by i n d i c a t i n g t h a t they r e a l i z e d t h e i r l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y would i n f l u e n c e the ki n d o f work they a re a b l e t o do. A co - r e s e a r c h e r s a i d , " I f I can get my re a d i n g down pat and my math down pat I wouldn't mind 78 g e t t i n g i n t o computers even i f I j u s t r e p a i r them." Another woman s t a t e d , "In the f u t u r e I'd l i k e t o get a job i n what I want t o do. In Nursing maybe I'm beginning t o wonder i f I ' l l ever get ahead." When people were asked t o d e s c r i b e t h e i r long term p l a n s f o u r people (30.7*) expressed doubt as t o whether they would achieve t h e i r dreams. A c o - r e s e a r c h e r s t a t e d , " I ' d l i k e t o achi e v e my dreams t h a t I have. There are t h i n g s on my mind t h a t I want t o do, but I don't seem a b l e t o do them." In c o n c l u s i o n , the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s were a b l e t o d e s c r i b e i n more d e t a i l t h e i r e d u c a t i o n a l and c a r e e r p l a n s than t h e i r p e r s o n a l g o a l s . Although the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s ' d e s c r i p t i o n s o f t h e i r f u t u r e p l a n s were f r e q u e n t l y cushioned i n a g e n e r a l i z e d vagueness the r e s e a r c h e r was impressed by the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s ' r e a l i s t i c understanding on how t h e i r l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y would impact t h e i r l i v e s as working a d u l t s . H o i i s t i c D e s c r i p t i o n The framework t o be used f o r the h o l i s t i c d e s c r i p t i o n i s F i g u r e 1 t i t l e d the P s y c h o l o g i c a l Process o f Unemployment f o r Lear n i n g D i s a b l e d A d u l t s . T y p i c a l l y , the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d person begins t o r e a l i z e they have a l e a r n i n g problem i n elementary s c h o o l . During t h i s Figure 1 A - secondary school low academic s k i l l s poor job search s k i l l s n i n i n a l marketable s k i l l s B i n i a a l opportunity to attend post secondary school low self-esteem B - unsuccessful job search feeling s of i s o l a t i o n , f r u s t r a t i o n , and anger C - pleasure in obtaining work supportive work environment apprehension due to knowledge of s k i l l d e f i c i t s E - person not able to access employment fe e l i n g s of i s o l a t i o n , f r u s t r a t i o n and anger i n t e n s i f y F - person attends Adult Education Programme acceptance by peers strengthens academic s k i l l s increase in s e l f esteem development of p o s i t i v e i d e n t i t y hope for the future G - sporadic work history continues r e a l i z a t i o n of delayed career progress obtain work continued insecurity fear of f a i l u r e r e a l i z a t i o n of s k i l l d e f i c i t s Negative Psychological Process of Unemployment for Learning Disabled Young Adults vo 80 time they may r e a l i z e they are not a b l e t o l e a r n m a t e r i a l a t the same pace as other c h i l d r e n , although they are of average o r above average i n t e l l i g e n c e . D i f f i c u l t i e s i n language and mathematics may f u r t h e r i n f l u e n c e t h e i r classroom behaviour, r e l a t i o n s with peers, and f a m i l y dynamics. The l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d c h i l d i s a t a p a r t i c u l a r disadvantage because of the "hidden" nature o f the handicap. During the time the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s attended s c h o o l , none r e c e i v e d a c c u r a t e i n f o r m a t i o n or remediation i n response t o t h e i r l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y . Although the s i t u a t i o n f o r s c h o o l c h i l d r e n with l e a r n i n g problems has s i n c e changed, i t i s important t o note t h a t s t u d e n t s who proceeded through the sc h o o l system i n the s e v e n t i e s and b e f o r e d i d not r e c e i v e adequate academic s e r v i c e s . F r e q u e n t l y people were p l a c e d i n segregated classrooms with mentally handicapped or e m o t i o n a l l y d i s t u r b e d c h i l d r e n . C o - r e searchers expressed f e e l i n g s o f shame f o r t h e i r i n a p p r o p r i a t e placements. Because te a c h e r s d i d not take the time t o understand the l e a r n i n g problem and p r o v i d e a d d i t i o n a l a s s i s t a n c e , c o - r e s e a r c h e r s were passed t o the subsequent grade without a c q u i r i n g the necessary academic s k i l l s . On r e f l e c t i o n , c o - r e s e a r c h e r s s t a t e d they would have p r e f e r r e d t o be kept back and expressed f e e l i n g s o f anger and f r u s t r a t i o n . The c o - r e s e a r c h e r s s t a t e d they were c o g n i z a n t o f the ever widening gap between t h e i r c h r o n o l o g i c a l age and t h e i r academic s k i l l s . Being "pushed through" served t o decrease t h e i r sense o f s e l f - w o r t h and f o s t e r a sense o f i n v i s i b i l i t y . The l e a r n i n g 81 d i s a b l e d students were a t a p a r t i c u l a r disadvantage, as g e n e r a l l y , they were not a b l e to b e n e f i t from e x i s t i n g c u r r i c u l u m s . the academic coursework o f t e n proved unmanageable and f r u s t r a t i n g . As w e l l , the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s were not f i r m l y ensconsed i n the s p e c i a l e d u c a t i o n programme t o b e n e f i t from v o c a t i o n a l t r a i n i n g and work experience placements. Hence the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d students were d i s c h a r g e d from a s c h o o l system which p r o v i d e d them with n e i t h e r academic nor v o c a t i o n a l s k i l l s . Many l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d students were unable t o e s t a b l i s h a secure support network while i n s c h o o l . Some people became the s c h o o l " o u t c a s t s " while o t h e r s s o c i a l i z e d with the "wrong crowd". S t i l l o t h e r s completed t h e i r s c h o o l i n g i n s o c i a l i s o l a t i o n . T h i s l a c k of e xperience i n p o s i t i v e s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n s s e r v e s t o f o s t e r f u r t h e r adjustment problems i n adulthood. The l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d student now must f a c e the world of work with d e f i c i t s i n mathematics and language s k i l l s , minimal success e x p e r i e n c e s , a u s u a l l y poor s o c i a l sphere, minimal to n o n - e x i s t a n t job search s k i l l s , vague c a r e e r p l a n s , and no p o s s i b i l i e s t o e n r o l l i n f u r t h e r e d u c a t i o n with r e m e d i a t i o n . To add t o an a l r e a d y low sense o f s e l f esteem and n e g a t i v e f e e l i n g s o f s e l f worth, the i n d i v i d u a l must secure employment. The l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d person i s t y p i c a l l y h i g h l y motivated t o work, may have numerous t a l e n t s i n a d d i t i o n t o a l l the dreams and a s p i r a t i o n s of youth. However, onl y two c l e a r o p t i o n s g r e e t the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d a d u l t : he/she may o b t a i n employment, or permanent long-term 82 employment remains e l u s i v e . For those who o b t a i n employment, l i t i s u s u a l l y i n a l o w - l e v e l job and the l i k e l i h o o d of work s k i l l s and work h a b i t s i n t e r f e r i n g with s u s t a i n e d employment i s g r e a t . The l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t i s l i k e l y t o begin t o c h a r t a course o f s p o r a d i c work h i s t o r y . The other group i s even l e s s f o r t u n a t e : they o b t a i n no work. During t h i s time the f e e l i n g s o f anger, f r u s t r a t i o n , and i s o l a t i o n i n t e n s i f y . F r u s t r a t i o n develops from the knowledge t h a t one r e a l i z e s they are i l l - p r e p a r e d t o l o c a t e work. Anger i s o f t e n d i r e c t e d a t "the system", which i s u n w i l l i n g t o r e c o g n i z e the unique s i t u a t i o n o f l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d people. L e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s come i n c o n t a c t with employers who s e t u n r e a l i s t i c entrance q u a l i f i c a t i o n s , and C.E.C. personnel who may not be knowledgeable about l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t i e s . A f t e r years of f i n d i n g n e i t h e r an a p p r o p r i a t e e d u c a t i o n a l or employment n i c h e , i s o l a t i o n becomes a f a m i l i a r f e e l i n g . The c o - r e s e a r c h e r s i n t e r v i e w e d d i d have a l i m i t e d work h i s t o r y . They presented a p s y c h o l o g i c a l process unique t o l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d people i n t h a t the joy f e l t i n o b t a i n i n g work was f l e e t i n g . Fear o f f a i l u r e r a p i d l y s u r f a c e s having f a c e d years of f a i l u r e i n s c h o o l and l i m i t e d success o u t s i d e the s c h o o l system. The l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t i s t e r r i f i e d a t the thought o f l o s i n g t h e i r employment. Questions t h a t c o n t i n u a l l y haunt the young a d u l t are those such as: should they inform t h e i r employer about t h e i r d i s a b i l i t y ; i s the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d person knowledgeable r e g a r d i n g compensating s k i l l s ; and can these 83 s k i l l s be r e a d i l y implemented? I t i s important to note t h a t many asp e c t s of the unemployment experience as expressed by the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s are s i m i l a r t o the f i n d i n g of Borgen and Amundson <1984). The highs and lows experienced by the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d people as they search f o r employment i s very s i m i l a r t o Borgen and Amundson's 1984 f i n d i n g s . The l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s experience while unemployed i s unique only i n t h a t i t appears t o be a more i n t e n s e e x p e r i e n c e . The f e e l i n g s expressed w h i l e unemployed are s i m i l a r a c r o s s both p o p u l a t i o n s . The p a t t e r n t h a t f o l l o w s i s f r e q u e n t l y one o f s p o r a d i c work h i s t o r y . Employment i s obtained o n l y f o r s h o r t p e r i o d s of time. As the e x p e c t a t i o n t o produce w r i t t e n work or c a l c u l a t i o n s develops, or the employer d i s c o v e r s some aspect o f the job has been l e f t undone, or i s being completed by another employee, the employer i s no longer w i l l i n g t o make e x c e p t i o n s . S t r e s s i n c r e a s e s f o r the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d person and they are always on guard. The o t h e r element of the employment experi e n c e i s t h a t once one l o c a t e s a s a t i s f a c t o r y job the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d person becomes i n c r e a s i n g l y aware o f the d i s c r e p a n c y between t h e i r e x i s t i n g p o s i t i o n and the d e s i r e d o c c u p a t i o n . As a c l e a r example, one woman's d e s i r e i s t o become a p h y s i o t h e r a p i s t . Although she enjoyed her p r e v i o u s job as a c a r e g i v e r t o a p h y s i c a l l y handicapped i n d i v i d u a l , she longed f o r f u r t h e r v o c a t i o n a l and e d u c a t i o n o p p o r t u n i t i e s . The other p o s s i b i l i t y i s t h a t the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d person 84 i s not a b l e t o secure f u l l - t i m e employment. A f t e r repeated attempts to o b t a i n work the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d i n d i v i d u a l s u r r e n d e r s . The f e e l i n g experienced d u r i n g the i n i t i a l job search e s c a l a t e s . I t can be a broad assumption t h a t some o f these people become l o s t w i t h i n the "system". They may become r e c i p i e n t s of income a s s i s t a n c e or p o s s i b l y become engaged i n c r i m i n a l a c t i v i t i e s . Although some c o - r e s e a r c h e r s d i d have p o l i c e r e c o r d s f o r minor o f f e n s e s and were on income a s s i s t a n c e , the people i n t e r v i e w e d had not y e t become l o s t w i t h i n the "system". What d i d happen i s t h a t over f i f t y percent o f the co-r e s e a r c h e r s r e t u r n e d to an a d u l t b a s i c e d u c a t i o n programme when they c o u l d not secure employment. Once i n an a d u l t b a s i c e d u c a t i o n programme the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t encountered knowledgeable, s u p p o r t i v e i n s t r u c t o r s . For the f i r s t time they acknowledged p o s i t i v e i n t e r a c t i o n s with t h e i r s c h o o l peers. They r e c o g n i z e d t h e i r own l e a r n i n g s t y l e and observed t h e i r academic s k i l l s s t e a d i l y i n c r e a s e . For the f i r s t time c o - r e s e a r c h e r s saw a f u t u r e with p o s s i b i l i t i e s . People stopped denying they had a l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y . Some s a i d out loud f o r the f i r s t time t h a t they c o u l d not read. The a d u l t e d u c a t i o n a l programmes proved extremely b e n e f i c i a l f o r the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s . One might wonder i f i t i s necessary f o r l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s t o r e t u r n t o s c h o o l . I s the s c h o o l e x p e r i e n c e so n e g a t i v e t h a t i t must be repeated b e f o r e the person i s a b l e to move forward? The o t h e r element important to r e t u r n i n g to s c h o o l i s p u r e l y a p r a c t i c a l one. The i n d i v i d u a l has more t o o f f e r t o the 85 employer once t h e i r mathematics and language s k i l l s are upgraded. The o v e r a l l p r e s e n t a t i o n of the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s was one o f depressed a f f e c t . Hence, the h o l i s t i c d e s c r i p t i o n i s o r i e n t e d towards a condensed d e s c r i p t i o n of a d e s c r i b e d e x p e r i e n c e . In c o n c l u s i o n the unique elements of the experience o f unemployment f o r l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s i s t h r e e - f o l d . The f i r s t f e a t u r e i s t h a t an unsupportive s c h o o l system c o n t r i b u t e s t o l a t e r unemployment. The unemployment experience does not end once a l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d person o b t a i n s work. There e x i s t s a f e a r o f f a i l u r e which i s o f t e n r e a l i z e d as the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d person makes f r e q u e n t l o w - l e v e l l a t e r a l v o c a t i o n a l moves, e s t a b l i s h i n g an uneven work h i s t o r y . 86 Coping versus Non-Coping Technigues During the i n t e r v i e w process i t became apparent to the r e s e a r c h e r t h a t a m a j o r i t y of the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s d i d not demonstrate competencies i n the area o f d e v e l o p i n g and u s i n g coping s k i l l s . The non-use of coping s k i l l s was p a r t i c u l a r l y pronounced d u r i n g the p e r i o d of unemployment. There was one co-r e s e a r c h e r who d i d d i s c u s s i n depth h i s use o f coping s k i l l s . T h i s w i l l now be c o n t r a s t e d with another c o - r e s e a r c h e r of the same age and s i m i l a r l i f e h i s t o r y who developed b a r r i e r s i n h i s t h i n k i n g and a c t i o n s which i n f l u e n c e d h i s a b i l i t y t o l o c a t e work. One c o - r e s e a r c h e r spoke on ongoing f a m i l y support. Support t h a t l e a d to p o s i t i v e coping s k i l l s i n c l u d e d parents who r e c o g n i z e d the l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y , but they s t i l l maintained e x p e c t a t i o n s f o r t h a t son equal t o what was expected of the other c h i l d r e n w i t h i n the f a m i l y . T h i s f a m i l y d i d not p r o v i d e the a d u l t son, l i v i n g a t home, with money u n l e s s the money was earned through the completion of household chores. T h i s i s i n c o n t r a s t to the other f a m i l y who allowed t h e i r a d u l t l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d son t o remain a t home, r e n t f r e e , without the e x p e c t a t i o n t h a t he attend s c h o o l or work. Hi s b r o t h e r s a l s o l i v e d a t home but one b r o t h e r worked and the other b r o t h e r attended u n i v e r s i t y . The c o - r e s e a r c h e r commented t h a t t h i s d i s c r e p a n c y i n e x p e c t a t i o n s d i d r e s u l t i n s t r i f e between the b r o t h e r s . As he s a i d , "I have two o l d e r b r o t h e r s and one of them i s working and the other i s going t o s c h o o l and sometimes they bug me t h a t I'm not r e a l l y doing 87 a n y t h i n g . " Another important area of support i s the development of c l o s e f r i e n d s . One c o - r e s e a r c h e r spoke of h i s c l o s e f r i e n d s h i p with another l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t . The two had s i m i l a r l i f e e x p e r i e n c e s . Through the f r i e n d s h i p they l e a r n e d t o be more open about t e l l i n g o t h e r s of t h e i r d i s a b i l i t y . In a d d i t i o n , the two shared i d e a s r e g a r d i n g how to o b t a i n q u a l i t y l i f e s t y l e s . T h i s c o n t r a s t s with the other c o - r e s e a r c h e r who met h i s needs f o r f r i e n d s h i p p r i m a r i l y through v o l u n t e e r i n g . He o f f e r e d ongoing support t o those i n need, yet what was m i s s i n g from t h i s was t h a t h i s need f o r f r i e n d s h i p c o u l d not be met through v o l u n t e e r work alone. He would b e n e f i t from peers with whom he c o u l d develop an equal r e l a t i o n s h i p with. Another area i n which a c o - r e s e a r c h e r expressed coping s k i l l s was i n r e l a t i o n t o r e a l i s t i c s e l f a p p r a i s a l . He r e c o g n i z e s t h a t i t takes him a long time to l e a r n , but he can l e a r n . He says, "as I get o l d e r i t doesn't bother me as much t h a t w r i t i n g i s d i f f i c u l t . I s t i l l go t o s c h o o l . I'm s t i l l l e a r n i n g . I t ' s going t o take l o n g e r . I have more p a t i e n c e now." T h i s i s c o n t r a s t e d with the b a r r i e r of denying the problem. The d e n i a l took shape i n the i n a b i l i t y t o r e c o g n i z e s t r e n g t h s and weaknesses t h a t d i r e c t l y r e s u l t from the l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y . I t a l s o i n c l u d e s the i n a b i l i t y t o f a c e d i r e c t l y how the d i s a b i l i t y impacts on ones l i f e . That i s , how the search f o r employment and unemployment i t s e l f becomes more d i f f i c u l t a t times because of 88 the d i s a b i l i t y . One c o - r e s e a r c h e r d e s c r i b e d how he l e a r n e d t o advocate f o r h i m s e l f . I n i t i a l l y he allowed an employer t o take advantage of him. He knew how d i f f i c u l t i t would be t o o b t a i n a new p o s i t i o n , so he accepted a wage c u t . He d i d f i n a l l y reach a p o i n t where he demanded t o be p a i d p r o p e r l y . As he says, "I stood up to him. I y e l l e d a t him and screamed a t him. L a t e r , he p a i d me back a l l the money he owned." T h i s c o - r e s e a r c h e r l e a r n e d t h a t he d i d not have to accept poor c o n d i t i o n s w i t h i n the workforce. He c o u l d s e l f - a d v o c a t e s u c c e s s f u l l y . T h i s i s i n c o n t r a s t t o the co-r e s e a r c h e r who c o u l d not i n i t i a t e a s s e r t i v e n e s s . H i s outlook i s one of p a s s i v i t y . He r e a l i z e s employment i s hard to f i n d and summarizes h i s unemployment experi e n c e by s a y i n g , "I guess I'm j u s t one o f those people who don't have any work r i g h t now." T h i s l e a r n e d h e l p l e s s n e s s i s perpetuated through i n e f f e c t i v e problem s o l v i n g and job search s t r a t e g i e s . The c o - r e s e a r c h e r who used i n e f f e c t i v e coping s k i l l s was unable t o m o b i l i z e h i m s e l f t o conduct a p e r s i s t e n t job s e a r c h . He d e s c r i b e d h i s job search as a s k i n g h i s f a t h e r i f he c o u l d get him a job, making a t r i p t o C.E.C. and examining the c l a s s i f i e d s e c t i o n of the newspaper. He says, "I t r i e d l o o k i n g i n the paper b u t . . . . t h e r e was h a r d l y anything i n t h e r e t h a t I c o u l d do or wanted t o do r e a l l y . " T h i s d i r e c t l y c o n t r a s t s with a c o - r e s e a r c h e r who i n i t i a t e d an a g g r e s s i v e and methodical job search with f a m i l y a s s i s t a n c e , i n p a r t i c u l a r from h i s p a r e n t s . He a p p l i e d throughout v a r i o u s i n d u s t r i a l parks. He obtained a p p l i c a t i o n s from i n d u s t r i e s t h a t 89 both were and were not h i r i n g openly a t the time. A f t e r p i c k i n g up an a p p l i c a t i o n he brought i t home and h i s parents helped him f i l l i t out. L a t e r he and h i s parents developed a mock a p p l i c a t i o n form which i n c l u d e d most of the i n f o r m a t i o n needed t o complete any a p p l i c a t i o n form. He continued t o v i g o u r o u s l y apply f o r work. I f he came a c r o s s something he d i d not understand, h i s mother was always a v a i l a b l e by phone. He and h i s parents e s t a b l i s h e d s h o r t and long term g o a l s as he conducted h i s job sea r c h . He had a goal- t o submit a c e r t a i n number of a p p l i c a t i o n s each week f o r s e v e r a l months. Each week he submitted two t o thr e e a d d i t i o n a l a p p l i c a t i o n s . A f t e r t h r e e t o f o u r months he l o c a t e d employment. T h i s man's parents o f f e r r e d c o n c r e t e a s s i s t a n c e and a s u s t a i n e d b e l i e f t h a t t h e i r son c o u l d o b t a i n work. T h i s d e s c r i b e s a few o f the coping methods one c o - r e s e a r c h e r u t i l i z e d w h i le unemployed. The main f e a t u r e o f h i s coping s k i l l s were an a b i l i t y t o r e c o g n i z e h i s l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y and work with i t . He c o n t i n u a l l y focussed on the present and demonstrated s e c u r i t y and an a b i l i t y t o take r i s k s . 90 CHAPTER 5 SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS T h i s s e c t i o n i s d i v i d e d i n t o t h r e e main headings. The recommendations from t h i s study i n c l u d e the need f o r comprehensive s e r v i c e s f o r l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s have s i m i l a r l i f e e x p e r i e n c e s t h e i r v o c a t i o n a l needs vary as some people have more i n v o l v e d and severe l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t i e s . Some people a s p i r e t o v o c a t i o n a l t r a d e s , while o t h e r s are i n t e r e s t e d i n p r o f e s s i o n a l c a r e e r s . These nuances must be accounted f o r i n the development of a s e r v i c e p l a n . The primary s e r v i c e s t o be d i s c u s s e d i n c l u d e the i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r e d u c a t i o n a l programming, v o c a t i o n a l programming and c o u n s e l l i n g s e r v i c e s . The l a s t s e c t i o n o f t h i s chapter i s devoted t o d i s c u s s i n g the p o s s i b i l t i e s f o r f u t u r e r e s e a r c h . During the course o f i n t e r v i e w i n g , the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s c o n s i s t e n t l y r e f e r r e d to t h e i r n e g a t i v e s c h o o l e x p e r i e n c e s . Hence, recommendations f o r f u t u r e programming i n c l u d e s u g g e s t i o n s which can be i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o the s c h o o l system. I t i s important t o note t h a t people spoke o f r e c o g n i z i n g , i n a vague sense, t h a t they stood a p a r t from t h e i r peers as e a r l y as elementary s c h o o l . Students r e q u i r e e a r l y a s s i s t a n c e through the use o f assessment techniques adminstered by knowledgeable e d u c a t i o n a l p e r s o n n e l . For some st u d e n t s , p s y c h o l o g i c a l support i s warrented d u r i n g s c h o o l years t o a s s i s t them i n r e c o g n i z i n g 91 and a c c e p t i n g t h e i r d i s a b i l i t y . The assessment procedure must i n c l u d e a component so as to d i s c o v e r the student's l e a r n i n g s t y l e . Teachers must i n c r e a s e t h e i r acceptance of compensating s k i l l s w i t h i n the classroom s e t t i n g . Based on s t u d e n t ' s l e a r n i n g s t y l e , e d u c a t i o n personnel can teach compensating s k i l l s t o l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d s t u d e n t s . The next s t e p i s f o r the s c h o o l system t o adopt more f l e x i b l e a t t i t u d e s r e g a r d i n g how l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d students a s s i m i l a t e and demonstrate knowledge. T h i s i n c l u d e s more f l e x i b i l i t y i n t e s t t a k i n g procedures. For example, i t must become l e g i t i m a t e f o r students t o take t e s t s o r a l l y and f o r people t o l e a r n from taped i n f o r m a t i o n . Graduation standards are not to be decreased f o r l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d s t u d e n t s , i t i s simply t h a t the standards f o r g r a d u a t i o n need t o be broadened t o ensure r e c o g n i t i o n of a v a r i e t y o f l e a r n i n g s t y l e s . Students need more o p p o r t u n i t i e s d u r i n g secondary s c h o o l t o e x p l o r e v a r i o u s c a r e e r o p t i o n s and u n i v e r s i t y s e t t i n g s . The l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y i s a permanent f e a t u r e , but i t i s c o n c e i v a b l e to a l t e r the environment so as to i n c r e a s e the p o s s i b i l i t y f o r l e a r n i n g and acceptance t o take p l a c e w i t h i n the s c h o o l system. An i n c r e a s e i n the f l e x i b i l i t y of the s c h o o l would have a p o s i t i v e impact f o r a l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d person. A number of s e r v i c e s e x i s t which are a l r e a d y s u c c e s s f u l . They i n c l u d e A d u l t Support Groups and A d u l t E d u c a t i o n Programmes. Both Osman <1982> and Geib, G u z z a r d i , and Genova (1981) noted t h a t the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d people they came i n c o n t a c t with found the a d u l t support groups extremely b e n e f i c i a l . I t became an o p p o r t u n i t y to share l i f e e x p e r i e n c e s , problem s o l v e , t r a d e 92 compensating s k i l l s , and most i m p o r t a n t l y , r e a l i z e one i s no longer l i v i n g i n i s o l a t i o n . The A d u l t B a s i c Education Programmes p r e s e n t l y i n e x i s t e n c e are d e s c r i b e d as h e l p f u l . People work with q u a l i f i e d t e a c h e r s on a one to one b a s i s . There are weaknesses which i n c l u d e the sparseness o f the i n s t r u c t o r s and the f a c t t h a t the fund i n g i s tenuous. There e x i s t s long waits f o r assessments, and although the time spent with i n s t r u c t o r s i s q u a l i t y time, c o - r e s e a r c h e r s s t a t e d the i n d i v i d u a l i n s t r u c t i o n time was not enough. With more i n s t r u c t i o n time, the students c o u l d work a t a f a s t e r pace. The e x i s t i n g d e f i c i t s i n the A d u l t Education Programme i n c l u d e the need f o r more i n t e n s i v e v o c a t i o n a l c o u n s e l l i n g while e n r o l l e d . T h i s would a l l o w students to develop r e a l i s t i c long-term v o c a t i o n a l g o a l s which i n t u r n would a s s i s t i n st u d e n t s p l a n n i n g t h e i r coursework. Many p o s s i b i l i t i e s e x i s t f o r f u t u r e v o c a t i o n a l programming and can be developed and modelled a f t e r those used with mentally handicapped people. These programmes can be adapted t o meet the needs of l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s . T h i s i n c l u d e s s e t t i n g up a programme s i m i l a r t o Work S t a t i o n s i n Ind u s t r y . T h i s programme i s p r e s e n t l y i n p l a c e i n the United S t a t e s and p a r t s o f Canada <0. Nonan, pe r s o n a l communication, November 1985). T h i s programme operates by p l a c i n g s e v e r a l mentally handicapped people w i t h i n an e x i s t i n g company i n i n d u s t r y . S t a f f who are knowledgeable r e g a r d i n g the mentally handicapped, task a n a l y s i s , and v o c a t i o n a l e x p e c t a t i o n s work with a group o f mentally handicapped people. S t a f f f o r Work S t a t i o n s i n Industry s u p e r v i s e and t r a i n the 93 mentally handicapped people u n t i l a high q u a l i t y of performance i s a c hieved. The s u p e r v i s o r s remove themselves from the work s i t e and the mentally handicapped people c o n t i n u e t o work with minimal s u p e r v i s i o n . T h i s type of programme works e f f e c t i v e l y because the employer i s not r e q u i r e d t o do any a d d i t i o n a l t r a i n i n g due t o the handicapping c o n d i t i o n . The mentally handicapped person works unaided o n l y when h i s / h e r s k i l l s are on par with those of other employees. T h i s type of programme would a l s o work w e l l with l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s . The young a d u l t s would have a s s i s t a n c e i n s e c u r i n g a p o s i t i o n and ongoing support while i n the workplace u n t i l they f e l t c o m fortable working a l o n e . T h i s would a l l e v i a t e the problem o f o b t a i n i n g work and more i m p o r t a n t l y o f f e r guidance while the person l e a r n s the job. The l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t c o u l d l e a r n compensating s k i l l s , and have a s s i s t a n c e t o implement them. The chances f o r success g r e a t l y i n c r e a s e i f the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d person r e c e i v e s s u p p o r t i v e s e r v i c e s d u r i n g the i n i t i a l phase o f the job placement. Ongoing f o l l o w - u p s e r v i c e s c o u l d be p r o v i d e d as the person's job d e s c r i p t i o n or job l e v e l changes. In a d d i t i o n , the s u p e r v i s o r of a support s e r v i c e f o r l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d c o u l d teach s e l f advocacy s k i l l s . T h i s would ensure t h a t over the long-term the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d person c o u l d a c t on h i s / h e r own b e h a l f . Another p o s s i b i l i t y i s to a l t e r the e x i s t i n g job c l u b model CAzrin & B e s a l e l , 1980). The Job Club i s a t h r e e week i n t e n s i v e programme aimed at a s s i s t i n g people to secure employment. P a r t i c i p a n t s spend the i n i t i a l p e r i o d of time l e a r n i n g how to w r i t e resumes and c o v e r i n g l e t t e r s . They l e a r n i n t e r v i e w s k i l l s . 94 w r i t e resumes and c o v e r i n g l e t t e r s . They l e a r n i n t e r v i e w s k i l l s , telephone s c r i p t s , p o i n t s on grooming and d r e s s , and t i p s on how to keep a job. The second p a r t of the programme i s spent a c t u a l l y a r r a n g i n g i n t e r v i e w s , dropping o f f resumes and networking. I t i s p o s s i b l e t o expand t h i s e x i s t i n g model t o meet the needs of l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d people. The time p a r t i c i p a n t s spend i n Job Club c o u l d be lengthened and a d d i t i o n a l l y , i s i t p o s s i b l e to present the i n s t r u c t i o n a l m a t e r i a l u t i l i z i n g a m u l t i -sensory approach. In t h i s manner people who l e a r n v i s u a l l y or a u d i t o r i a l l y c o u l d be accommodated. E x t r a time c o u l d a l s o be s e t a s i d e f o r i n d i v i d u a l i z e d i n s t r u c t i o n . L e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s would then have an o p p o r t u n i t y t o l e a r n e f f e c t i v e job search techniques i n an atmosphere o r i e n t e d to t h e i r l e a r n i n g s t y l e . A l l of these programme p o s s i b i l i t i e s are drawn from e x i s t i n g s e r v i c e s known t o be e f f e c t i v e f o r other p o p u l a t i o n s and with some r e v i s i o n s , s p e c i a l i z e d s e r v i c e s can be developed f o r l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s . S p e c i a l i z e d p e r s o n a l c o u n s e l l i n g f o r l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d people i s another needed s e r v i c e . One aspect of t h i s s e r v i c e i s p r e v e n t i o n which i s a l r e a d y happening i n many s c h o o l s . L e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t i e s are g a i n i n g r e c o g n i t i o n as a l e g i t i m a t e problem fa c e d by s c h o o l c h i l d r e n . A d o l e s c e n t s now i n the e x i s t i n g s c h o o l system have had more i n d i v i d u a l a t t e n t i o n . T h i s c o n t i n u e s to be necessary s t e p , yet we need t o make a v a i l a b l e s p e c i a l i z e d c o u n s e l l i n g s e r v i c e s t o a d u l t s as w e l l . S p e c i f i c p o i n t s need to t o be kept i n mind when o f f e r i n g 95 c o u n s e l l i n g s e r v i c e s t o l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d a d u l t s . The f i r s t i s t h a t t h i s group of people g e n e r a l l y have a d i s t r u s t o f a u t h o r i t y f i g u r e s and government age n c i e s . The l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d a d u l t has minimal o p p o r t u n i t y t o experi e n c e support from any of the above groups. They have experienced inadequate assessments and placement and anger abounds a t having had minimal access t o re s o u r c e s as they were pushed through the system. In a d d i t i o n , as the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d person ages, i n c r e a s e d f r u s t r a t i o n and anger emerge, because of the r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t they have few marketable s k i l l s and l i t t l e o p p o r t u n i t y t o make informed v o c a t i o n a l c h o i c e s . A l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y can sometimes a l s o render a person immobile and d i s o r g a n i z e d . A l l o f t h i s i n t e r f e r e with the a b i l i t y t o conduct a comprehensive job s e a r c h . When one i s c onducting c o u n s e l l i n g s e s s i o n s with a l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d a d u l t i t i s a l s o v i t a l t o remember the i n d i v i d u a l i s l i k e l y f e a r f u l a t the thought o f r e t u r n i n g t o s c h o o l , even though the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d a d u l t knows f u t u r e job s a t i s f a c t i o n i s dependent on improved academic s k i l l s . In a d d i t i o n , the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d a d u l t w o r r i e s t h a t once they o b t a i n work the employer may only r e t a i n them f o r a s h o r t p e r i o d o f time due t o s k i l l d e f i c i t s . I t i s c r u c i a l f o r the c o u n s e l l o r t o be prepared t o take the time t o b u i l d t r u s t , r a p p o r t and to be knowledgeable about the impact o f a l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y on someone's l i f e . The c o u n s e l l o r must be w i l l i n g t o l i s t e n c a r e f u l l y and allow people time t o t e l l t h e i r own s t o r y . Strong emotions are l i k e l y t o be e l i c i t e d d u r i n g t h i s p r o c e s s . I t may be necessary f o r the 96 c o u n s e l l o r to assume the r o l e of advocate a t some p o i n t i n time. A c o u n s e l l i n g p s y c h o l o g i s t who i s knowledgeable r e g a r d i n g community r e s o u r c e s , such as competent p r o f e s s i o n a l s i n the f i e l d of assessments and t u t o r i n g can be a tremendous a s s e t . The c o u n s e l l o r must be prepared to take a d i r e c t a c t i o n o r i e n t e d stance. F i n a l l y , the c o u n s e l l i n g p s y c h o l o g i s t must have co n c r e t e knowledge and understanding i n the area o f d i s a b i l i t y t heory. One needs to be a b l e to d i s c u s s i s s u e s p e r t a i n i n g to the d i s a b i l i t y openly, r e a d i l y and comfortably i f t h i s i s the c l i e n t ' s l e a d . As l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t i e s have not o f t e n been spoken of f r e e l y i n the past, i t i s necessary f o r the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t t o have an o p p o r t u n i t y to d i s c u s s h i s / h e r d i s a b i l i t y i n a s a f e , s u p p o r t i v e atmosphere. The s e r v i c e s f o r the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d need t o be comprehensive and a l l encompassing, i n c l u d i n g a l l a s p e c t s o f the i n d i v i d u a l , with a much more h o l i s t i c view. I d e a l l y , one should s t a r t while the c h i l d i s of s c h o o l age, working towards p e r s o n a l and c a r e e r g o a l s . However, as t h i s was g e n e r a l l y not the case f o r the young a d u l t s p r e s e n t l y w i t h i n s o c i e t y , i t i s e s s e n t i a l t h a t p r o f e s s i o n a l s make every e f f o r t t o l e a r n and develop t h e i r s k i l l s which would r e s u l t i n a much s t r o n g e r , s u p p o r t i v e and comprehensive d e l i v e r y p l a n . 97 J:!SEli99ti2Q§ f o r F u r t h e r Research The e x i s t i n g r e s e a r c h on l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d young a d u l t s ' s o c i a l and v o c a t i o n a l adjustment i s not comprehensive enough at t h i s time t o draw a c c u r a t e c o n c l u s i o n s . I t i s necessary t h a t more r e s e a r c h time be a l l o t t e d t o the study o f t h i s p o p u l a t i o n . Suggestions f o l l o w on areas f o r f u t u r e r e s e a r c h i n the study of l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d a d u l t s . Many o f the s t u d i e s being conducted up to the present time do not u t i l i z e c o n t r o l groups. I t i s important t o conduct f u t u r e s t u d i e s with l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d and n o n - l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d people from s i m i l a r age groups. I t would be h e l p f u l t o conduct r e s e a r c h i n the f i e l d o f l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t i e s u t i l i z i n g people from every age group i n c l u d i n g elementary s c h o o l and above. T h i s would a s s i s t r e s e a r c h e r s t o compare and c o n t r a s t the two groups. I t i s j u s t as r e l e v a n t t o i n d i c a t e the s i m i l a r i t i e s between t y p i c a l p o p u l a t i o n s and l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d p o p u l a t i o n s as i t i s t o i n d i c a t e the unique f e a t u r e s of the l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y . Most of the s t u d i e s on l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d a d u l t s o n l y d e a l with unemployment. Much can be l e a r n e d i n t e r v i e w i n g l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d people who are working. Le a r n i n g d i s a b l e d people with s t r o n g work h i s t o r i e s have a g r e a t d e a l t o o f f e r p r o f e s s i o n a l s as w e l l as other l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d people. They c o u l d d e s c r i b e t h e i r s c h o o l e x p e r i e n c e s , a s s i s t a n c e r e c e i v e d from s e r v i c e agencies, development and use of compensating s k i l l s , whether t h e i r 98 employer i s aware of the l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y , and job search t e c h n i q u e s . The r e s e a r c h e r stands t o ga i n much u s e f u l i n f o r m a t i o n by i n t e r v i e w i n g l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d people who have demonstrated competencies. At the esta b l i s h m e n t o f a s e r v i c e area unique t o l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d a d u l t s , i t i s r e l e v a n t t o independently t e s t the h e l p f u l n e s s o f the s e r v i c e . In a d d i t i o n , i t would be i n s i g h t f u l t o i s o l a t e c e r t a i n a s p e c t s o f the experience o f having a l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y . For example, some s p e c i f i c areas seem p a r t i c u l a r l y r e l e v a n t when thoroughly s t u d y i n g the area of l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t i e s . One c o u l d examine the i s s u e s r e l a t e d t o s e l f esteem, l o c u s o f c o n t r o l , coping s k i l l s , s t r e s s , and l e a r n e d h e l p l e s s n e s s . The l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d person l i v e s w i t h i n a f a m i l y system. Parents, grandparents, s i b l i n g s , i n a d d i t i o n t o the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d person themself must a d j u s t t o the d i s a b i l i t y . U s e f u l r e s e a r c h i n f o r m a t i o n c o u l d be e l i c i t e d by e x p l o r i n g how each f a m i l y member l e a r n s t o accept the d i s a b i l i t y . D e t a i l e d i n f o r m a t i o n o f the methods f a m i l i e s use t o p r o v i d e support, and maintain the f a m i l y when under s t r e s s would be i n v a l u a b l e . As the s c h o o l system r e c o g n i z e s the l e g i t i m a c y o f a l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y and implements new c u r r i c u l u m s , c o u n s e l l i n g s e r v i c e s , and v o c a t i o n a l p r e p a r a t i o n , i t i s impe r a t i v e t h a t independent i n f o r m a t i o n be gathered as t o the e f f e c t i v e n e s s of those changes. 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Career a t t i t u d e s o f the l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d adolescents Research i m p l i c a t i o n s o f i s s u e s and practices,. D a l l a s , Texas: The C o u n c i l f o r E x c e p t i o n a l C h i l d r e n . ERIC Document Reproduction S e r v i c e , No. Ed. 213 - 245. K r o l l , L.G. (1984). L.D.'s what happens when they are no longer c h i l d r e n ? Academic Therapy, 20 (2), 133 - 148. Kronick, D. (1978). An examination o f p s y c h o s o c i a l a s p e c t s o f l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d a d o l e s c e n t s . L e a r n i n g D i s a b i l i t y Q u a r t e r l y , 4 (1), 86 - 93. Le t n e r , J . (1981). L e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t i e s - T h e o r i e s ^ d i a g n o s i s and t e a c h i n g s t r a t e g i e s ^ Boston: Houghton M i f f i n . Meyers, G.S. & Messerer, J . ( adjustment o f l e a r n i n g a d o l e s c e n t s a f t e r hj .6.,1 D.C.: N a t i o n a l I n s t i t u t e Reproduction S e r v i c e No. ED '81). The s o c i a l and v o c a t i o n a l di§abled/behayiour d i s o r d e r e d A p i l o t survey^ Washington, o f Ed u c a t i o n . (ERIC Document 213 245 Osman, B. (1982). No one t o play, with - The s o c i a l s l i d e o f l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t i e s . New York: Random House. Patton, J.R. & Polloway, E.A. (1982). The l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d : The a d u l t y e a r s . T o p i c s i n Lea r n i n g and Lea r n i n g D i s a b i l i t i e s ^ 2 (2), 79 - 88. S i e g e l , E. (1975). The e x c e p t i o n a l c h i d grows u p i G u i d e l i n e s f o r understanding and h e l p i n g the b r a i n y i n j u r e d a d o l e s c e n t §"d young a d u l t . New York: Dutton. S i e g e l , E. (no d a t e ) . The l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d c h i l d grows up^. & » C ) « > A a C f » L i » D a • White, W.J., A l l e y , G.R., & D e s c h l e r , D.D., Schumaker, J.B., Warner, M.M., C l a r k , F.L. (1982). Are t h e r e l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t i e s a f t e r high s c h o o l ? E x c e p t i o n a l C h i l d r e n , 49 (3) , 273 - 274. White, W.J., Schumaker, J.B., Warner, M.M., A l l e y , G.R., & Des c h l e r , D.D. (1981). The c u r r e n t s t a t u s o f young a d u l t s i d e n t i f i e d as l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d d u r i n g t h e i r s c h o o l c a r e e r . Kansas U n i v e r s i t y , I n s t i t u t e f o r Research i n Lea r n i n g D i s a b i l i t i e s . (ERIC Document Reproduction S e r v i c e No. 217 643. Appendix A Referee L e t t e r 103 Referee L e t t e r J u l y 11th, 1985 Dear Thank you f o r your i n t e r e s t i n the r e s e a r c h study on the "Experience of Unemployment f o r L e a r n i n g D i s a b l e d Young A d u l t s . " I would a p p r e c i a t e i t i f you c o u l d r e f e r f i v e t o ten s u b j e c t s . The c r i t e r i a i s as f o l l o w s : A l l s u b j e c t s must be a t l e a s t 20 years of age, up t o and i n c l u d i n g age 30. A l l s u b j e c t s must be l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d as d e f i n e d by the Canadian A s s o c i a t i o n f o r C h i l d r e n & A d u l t s with Learning D i s a b i l i t i e s . A l l s u b j e c t s must be unemployed or newly employable or have a h i s t o r y of unemployment. S u b j e c t s may be i n v o l v e d i n s c h o o l or v o l u n t e e r work as long as the time committment does not exceed twenty hours per week, or t h e i r s t a t u s i s " p a r t - t i m e s t u d e n t . " S u b j e c t s w i l l be i n t e r v i e w e d f o r approximately f o r t y - f i v e (45) minutes t o one hour. The primary q u e s t i o n o f the i n t e r v i e w i s t o d e s c r i b e i n as much d e t a i l as p o s s i b l e , the e x p e r i e n c e o f unemployment. S u b j e c t s w i l l be c o n t a c t e d a second time by phone. T h i s c o n t a c t w i l l take p l a c e one t o two weeks a f t e r the i n t e r v i e w . The purpose o f the phone c a l l i s t o review a summary of the i n t e r v i e w t o ensure t h a t the r e s e a r c h e r has f u l l y understood the s u b j e c t . A l l s u b j e c t s w i l l be asked t o s i g n a consent form and a l l i n t e r v i e w s w i l l be audio-taped. A l l tapes w i l l be destroyed a t the completion of the r e s e a r c h e r ' s study. T h i s r e s e a r c h study has been approved by the E t h i c s Committee a t U.B.C. The r e s e a r c h i s being conducted as p a r t i a l f u l f i l l m e n t o f the requirements f o r a M.A, i n C o u n s e l l i n g Psychology. I f you have any q u e s t i o n s or s u b j e c t s t o r e f e r , I can be reached a t : L i s a Hansen 224 - 1698 or 4040 West 17th Avenue 263 - 1931 Vancouver Thank you f o r your time. 104 Appendix B S u b j e c t Consent Form 105 Subject Consent Form I agree t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n a r e s e a r c h p r o j e c t about being unemployed. I a l s o understand t h a t p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h i s study i s v o l u n t a r y , t h a t I am f r e e t o withdraw a t any time or r e f u s e t o answer any q u e s t i o n . As w e l l , a l l q u e s t i o n s t h a t I may have r e g a r d i n g t h i s study w i l l be answered by the i n t e r v i e w e r . I understand t h a t t h i s p r o j e c t w i l l r e q u i r e me t o t a l k with an i n t e r v i e w e r f o r about f o r t y - f i v e minutes about the experience of being unemployed. In a d d i t i o n , I understand t h a t t h e r e w i l l be one f o l l o w - u p s e s s i o n approximately twenty minutes i n l e n g t h . I a l s o g i v e my p e r m i s s i o n f o r the i n t e r v i e w t o be audio-taped with the understanding t h a t the c o n t e n t s o f the i n t e r v i e w w i l l be kept c o n f i d e n t i a l and used f o r r e s e a r c h purposes o n l y . T h i s taped i n t e r v i e w i s to be l a b e l l e d with a randomly s e l e c t e d number and i t i s t o be wiped out upon completion of the r e s e a r c h e r ' s H.A. T h e s i s . F i n a l l y , I w i l l complete a s h o r t q u e s t i o n n a i r e . S i g n a t u r e of S u b j e c t - Telephone Number I Consent S i g n a t u r e of S u b j e c t - Date I acknowledge r e c e i p t o f consent form L i s a Hansen Researcher and Interviewer T h e s i s T i t l e : The Experience of Unemployment f o r L e a r n i n g D i s a b l e d Young A d u l t s T h e s i s Committee: Dr. Norman Amundson, C o u n s e l l i n g Psychology Dept., U.B.C. Dr. W i l l i a m Borgen, C o u n s e l l i n g Psychology Dept., U.B.C. Dr. Ron Neufeld, S p e c i a l E d u c a t i o n Dept., U.B.C. 106 Appendix C P i l o t I nterview Questions 107 P i l o t I nterview Questions 1. P l e a s e d e s c r i b e i n as much d e t a i l as p o s s i b l e , your experience o f being unemployed or newly employable, i n c l u d i n g how you came t o be unemployed, what you thought about when i t happened and your thoughts s i n c e ; any f e e l i n g s you have had d u r i n g the unemployment p e r i o d , and job search a c t i v i t i e s t h a t you have t r i e d . 2. T h i n k i n g back over your unemployment ex p e r i e n c e , p l e a s e d e s c r i b e what you c o n s i d e r t o be your lowest p o i n t s d u r i n g t h i s time. Begin with the f i r s t low p o i n t , and t e l l me why i t was so d i f f i c u l t f o r you a t the time. 3. Now l e t ' s t u r n t o the high p o i n t s you experienced while unemployed. Begin with the f i r s t h i g h p o i n t , and t e l l me e x a c t l y why i t was so h e l p f u l f o r you a t the time. 4. What h e l p have you had? 5. What help would you have l i k e d t o have had? 6. What s e r v i c e s would you l i k e t o have i n p l a c e f o r the f u t u r e ? 7. What was your e d u c a t i o n a l experience l i k e ? 108 8. What success d i d you experi e n c e while i n schoo l ? 9. What are your f u t u r e e d u c a t i o n a l p l a n s , i f any? 10. What are your f u t u r e c a r e e r g o a l s ? 11. How about other f u t u r e plans? 12. Could you p l e a s e draw a diagram of your unemployment experience from when i t began t o the present? Appendix D - r e s e a r c h e r Diagram Sheet Since Leaving Secondary School Present Time Appendix E Background Information Sheet 112 Thank you f o r agreeing t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h i s r e s e a r c h p r o j e c t on the experience o£ unemployment. Pl e a s e complete the f o l l o w i n g form with your i n t e r v i e w e r . T h i s i n f o r m a t i o n w i l l be kept c o n f i d e n t i a l and used f o r r e s e a r c h purposes o n l y . Age: Sex: M a r i t a l S t a t u s : P r e v i o u s Occupation: Background Information P r e v i o u s Schooling:< ) Check h i g h e s t l e v e l completed Grade 10 Grade 11 Grade 12 C o l l e g e ( s p e c i f y year) U n i v e r s i t y ( s p e c i f y year) Income L e v e l o f Pr e v i o u s Occupations Hourly Wage Monthly S a l a r y 05,000 - 010,000 y e a r l y $10,000 - 015,000 y e a r l y 015,000 - 020,000 y e a r l y 020,000 - 025,000 y e a r l y 025,000 - 030,000 y e a r l y Over 030,000 y e a r l y Income L e v e l of Present Occupation^ Hourly Wage Monthly S a l a r y Under 05,000 y e a r l y 05,000 - 010,000 y e a r l y 010,000 - 015,000 y e a r l y 015,000 - 020,000 y e a r l y Over 020,000 y e a r l y Length o f Employment: (months) Telephone Number: Appendix F Rating Sheets Appendix F - l Rating Sheet Form Nuaber: Date: _. Accoapaning Events/Behaviours Esotiona Tise Including Thoaa (poa/neg) Coping Strategies Future Job Search (Month*) Leading to a Change in Eaotion (Moat effective) Expectations Strategies Appendix F-2 Completed Rati n g Sheet Exampl Co-researcher #25 Accoapanylng Events/Behaviour Eaotlons Tlae(H) Including Those (poa/neg) Coping Strategies Future Job Search Leading to a Change ln Eaotion (aost e f f e c t i v e ) Expectations Strategies very depressed "I used to go to Manpower once ln a "I used to go to discouraged •- while and I have s Special Needs Manpower once Counsellor there. She wasn't In a while." doing such for ae at a l l . " "wish" (hope) "I've been working o f f and on but longing a l o t of tis e s I just wish I had a career." "bored" unhappy "I was feeling bored aalnly when I wasn't working. A l o t of tlaes I said to ayself I wish I had a career." "I was going to the l i b -rary quite a b i t and I would Beet ay boyfriend alaost everyday and go for a coffee j u s t before dinner." "Right now I'a permanent r e l i e f I sight be getting a peraanent job." "I B a d e sure I got up at a certain t l a e each aornlng. I didn't want to get into a r u t . " "Froa t l a e to t l a e I'd go to see ay g i r l f r i e n d . " "I Bade sure I didn't depend on welfare." "I worked ln a few places a s a babysitter and l i g h t housekeeper and the pay wasn't very good but just the Idea of getting out and doing soaethlng." Accompanying Events/Behaviour Emotions Time(N) Including Those (pos/neg) Coping Strategies Future Job Search Leading to a Change in Emotion (aost e f f e c t i v e ) Expectations Strategies frustrated "She sent Me on 3 interviews. One place I went to they wanted to have someone who was mute. I didn't know that. The sepond one wanted someone who could catch on right away. The th i r d was a factory and I never heard from the guy, neither did my Special Needs Counsellor." discouraged disappointed frustrated "There were about f i v e d i f f e r e n t t e s t s . From doing that test I found out according to him that a i far as getting a job I was limited to my a b i l i t y . Ky best bet was to look for a job which was routine. I was thinking of taking a Nurses Aides course which I wanted to take for a long time but he thought i t would be too d i f f i c u l t for me.** "And that's why I went to see about getting a Special Needs Counsellor." "upset" "I did go see another Special Ne ids "I mentioned that to the hurt Counsellor. She thinks a l l I'd be support group and they said able to do i s f i l i n g for the rest not to l i s t e n to her." of my l i f e . That r e a l l y upset me badly." "hurt" "I'm s t i l l very hurt and upset that "upset" I don't have myself a career at my ashamed age. Especially when my family Is misunderstood always pushing me and t e l l i n g me to go back to school. Especially when I know I have the motivation." fortunate understood "I was very fortunate. I've got this counsellor through a personnel agency. I heard that she Is not working as a temporary counsellor anymore, but at the time she was very concerned about people." "I went down to ta l k to her about my d i s a b i l i t y and she said you shouldn't feel ashamed of i t . " "She used to phone me and get me to do work here and there." Accompanying Events/Behaviour Emotions . Time<H) Including Those (pos/neg) Coping Strategies Future Job Search Leading to a Change in Eaotion (aoat effective) Expectations Strategies discouraged "The other agencies when I would c a l l would say your s k i l l s are very H a l t e d . You should upgrade your s k i l l s because you won't be able to get a job very easily snd the market l a very competitive." appreciated "The supportive counsellor used understood to teach a g i r l with a learning d i s a b i l i t y and ehe knew how I f e l t and a l l t h i s . And she told me I was very r e l i a b l e . Whenever she sent me on a job I arrived on t l a e . " g u i l t y " "I used to fee l g u i l t y when I went "1 used to look out for coffee even though I used for a job during to look for a job during the day. the day." I didn't look for work everyday." Important "I did some volunteer work. It was rewarded at Friendship Kettle Society and -I good was there for three months." pleasure at feeling "Working at Friendship Kettle useful Society was nice. I used to f e e l good because those people had rewarded emotional problems and I wasn't important having those problems. I f e l t , I was Important at the time, special." "I made a point to do soae volunteer work to get me out of the house." "I would s t i l l say "I used to go ln I would love work and do the ln a clothing typing." store on the cash r e g i s t e r . " hurt ashamed "embarrassed" "I've discussed with my b o 6 S my learning d i s a b i l i t y . There have been a lot of times I've made mistakes, raised her voice at me but I try to Ignore i t . There was one time I was working and I used the wrong stamp and the lady came up to me and said. 'Do you have a learning problem?' and I was really embarrassed because there was quite a few of us in the lunch r'>om. That day they let me go." The g i r l who Is training me has Accompanying Events/Behaviour Emotions Tlme(H> Including Those (pos/neg) Coping Strategies Future Job Search Leading to a Change In Emotion (most eff e c t i v e ) Expectations Strategies disapproved humiliated embarrassed "At a government agency I was there about a year and a half. She sent three of us on a word processing week and on the f i f t h day I couldn't remember how to program the computer and I didn't get a c e r t i f i c a t e . " course. The course was for one frustrated "When I wasn't working It was boredom. "I'm going to talk about "Now I know I'm "bored" I used to think I wanted to go back It i n the auppport group." going back but I to school and I couldn't afford i t . " don't know what area." " f e l t good" "I haven't really gotten anywhere to understood be In the support group but just belonging the idea of knowing I'm not the only one makes me feel good. I used to think I was the only one In the world." eager dedicated valued appreciated "According to my supervisor I always make a point to cose in on time." "I t e l l myself I'm not lazing around. If someone t e l l s me o f f about something I did wrong I say to myself I'm t r y i n g . " "I to l d my supervisor about my learning d i s a b i l i t y and that I'd l i k e her to be able to understand me and that I'm w i l l i n g to try my very best." appreciated validated "I've been told I'm a very good worker, very conscientious." Emotions Accompanying Events/Behaviour Time(H) Including Those (pos/neg) Leading to a Chanoe ln Emotion Coping Strategies (most eff e c t i v e ) Future Expectations Job Search Strategies angry discounted resentful "The l a s t letdown was with the counsellor here. I was taking some courses and changing ay career and the whole b i t and she said If you're going to do that. It might take two years on the waiting alot a money If we know you're not going to succeed." "I don't know t i l l I t r y . C . E . J . C . l i s t and then It's going to cost us "And she said, 'we put out 61,000 on your tests.' She said, 'from whst I can t e l l you we don't have any answers for you and the best bet Is to carry on with your f i l i n g because If you can't do anything else that's a l l we can say.' I was very'depressed afterward." "That's not true. I was t o l d i t cost 9300.00 for the t e s t s . " "Then she said "After you're finished with your job come back to me." "I don't need more of that."t uneasy "Fortunately I have this job. You "Insecure" never know what's going to happen. I feel very Insecure since yesterday." (Her boss was fired) discourged "I hope I can get hopeless special training and patients — ln nursing may-be I'm beginning to wonder i f I ' l l ever get ahead." "hurt" "One thing I ' l l say i s that I've f e l t discouraged by l i k e crying a lot of times. People ln my lack of progress age group are nurses or teachers or whatever. It really makes me feel rotten. It hurts. It really does. N) Accompanying Events/Behaviour Emotions Timed!) Including Those (pos/neg) Coping Strategies Future Job Search Leading to a Change In Emotion (most e f f e c t i v e ) Expectations Strategies apprehensive "For the future I've uncertain thought of alot of things. Whether I can do I t Is the sain thing. Accord-ing to the counsellor the courses I picked are too d i f f i c u l t . " "I'd l i k e to get married one day and have a c h i l d . " Appendix F-3 Completed R a t i n g Sheet Exampl Co-researcher #26 Enot. i o n s Timed!) n c c o » D a n y l n q Eventa/Bohavloiir Including Those ( p o s / n e g ) Lending t o a Change In Emotion Coplnq Strategies (anst e f f e c t i v e ) Future Expectations Job Search S t r a t e i i e s " f r u s t r a t e d " "But b e i n a unenployed i s f r u s t r a t i n g . " " I t Is f r u s t r a t i n g for everybody." "depressed" "I get refflly depressed, not going out and seeing people." • " d e p r e s s e d " s u i c i d a l "Quite often walking across the Burrard Street Bridge I would think of throwing myself o f f It ... B a s l c i l l y depressed a l o t . " " a f r a i d " "I was scared to be employed again for fear of f a i l u r e . I'm r e a l l y a f r a i d of f a i l u r e because of school and s t u f f . They just put you down and It r e a l l y s t i c k s with you for a long time." " r e a l l y depressed" "discouraged "In terms of looking for work I didn't even look for work. I didn't even look for work u n t i l the f i r s t two months I was having a vacation because I hadn't had one in a long time. I didn't even look for work for the f i r s t few months and then I half-heartedly looked. I got r e a l l y depressed when I got turned down a whole bunch of times." "very fr u s t r a t e d " "A lot times people w i l l phone back and t e l l me there were so many people beina considered for the job and I was one of the f i v e people being considered but I wasn't old enough or something. I was very f r u s t r o t e d . " disappointed "Physiotherapy would be jreat for me. "Unschooled anyway. I'm That's what I wanted to lo but when b a s i c a l l y self-taught." f lmtked into It It wasn't f e a s i b l e i t thr timp. I'm s t i l l dumb." Accompany 1 no Events/Behaviour _ Emotions Ttme(N) Including Those (pos/neq) Coping Strategies Future Job Search Leading to a Change in Emotion (most effective) Expectations Strategies "Hy job search strategies basically Included look-ing ln the paper, seeing what meets my c r i t e r i a , looking on the boards ... setting up appointments, interviews, going out." "I used word of south. Hum — relatives would get back to me." angry, "frustration" "Anger. Frustration. Sometimes I was mad at myself, sometimes I was mad at the world. Really fruetrated." depressed, apathetic "I had a lot of probleaa retting myself out of bed ln the morning. After a few months It got to the point I have nothing to look forward to. I dug myself Into a b i t of a hole. Ho motivation." very discouraged "I bought a car and I moved Into this place and I lost ay job." angry frustrated "I dir e c t a lot of anger at ay-s e l f . But I was really angry at the system a lot. The system doesn't do much to help you out of your hole." useful, worthwhile "A positive thing was getting a babysitting job for a week." humlllated. shocked "A negative thing was making my second month car payment. I couldn't. I hate being ln debt. I alw.iyi prided myaelf on that. When I realized 1 couldn't It wan a real blow to *•? - rude l w f l k o n i i i ' . i . " Eaotions Tlae(N) Accompanying Events/Behaviour Including Those (pos/neg) Leading to a Change in Emotion Coping Strategies (most effective) Future Expectations Job Search Strategies hopeful, relleved "Right now I'm working as a nanny for two kids and at night, from 10 - 12 I put a quadrapeliglc to bed on weekdays so i t i s varied. With the two jobs I'm making about 31,000 a month. I'm going to try to save for a t r i p and save for work to be done on ay car. But now at least I can save." Note: 427 had been work-ing for one week at the time of the Interview. uneasy, Insecure "It just seems everytime I get settled In a job end start accumulat-ing savings something happens and there goes the job end ay savings." helpless " I t Is r e a l l y l i k e a vicious cycle. There i s nothing to help you out." humiliated, not supported, angry "As far as I'm concerned the Employment Centre Is a complete farce In the respect of job opportunities. They've got Special Needs Counsellors who don't even know what learning d i s a b i l i t i e s are and that's no help at a l l . I'd be t e l l i n g them things. The Social Needs Counsellors were more of a hlnderance end there Is the stigma of going to a Special Needs Counsellor." "supported" encouraged "I had a lot of help and support from ay parents. Hy friends were real l y good. They would phone ae up and bug ae to have coffee with them. That was just what I needed at the time." discouraged exploited, angry "The system gives you enough money to be poor. Hy unemployment worker told me I was l i v i n g below the poverty l e v e l . Boy did that ever help my s p i r i t s . " "Welfare helped ae out." Accompanying Events/Behaviour Emotions Time(H) Including Those (pos/neq) Coping Strategies Future Job Search Leading to a Change ln Eaotion (aost effective) Expectations Strategies "frustrated" "It i s really frustrating working Isolated with aoaeone who Is supposed to be helping you and know what you're going through and doesn't know where their nose Is. It Is rea l l y hard to buck the systea on your own." longing. "I'd l i k e to be straight with ay regret eaployers and on a couple of tlaes I've made mention of the fact to my employers that I have trouble ln this area and to be patient or sometimes It takes a l o t of repetition or write down Instruc-tions but people don't understand learning d i s a b i l i t i e s and their f i r s t thought i s mental retar-dation so I've kept i t secret and by keeping It a secret I t has caused problems. If I could have been straight It could have been smoothed over." a f r a i d . "I have a real stlgaa when It coaes "In the future longing to school. I've gone so far as to I'd l i k e to go wait ln li n e to register and then back to school." backed out at the l a s t moment. I have a real phobia. I want to learn. "I'd l i k e to go I'a r e a l l y interested In learning. to night school." desperation "I know I have a l o t to "I don't foresee . . . contribute." myself getting anywhere near ay goal in the near or even later future. I aay never achieve what I want with-out going to school and that's not feasible ri g h t now." Emotions Accompanying Events/Behaviour Tlme(M) Including Those (pos/neq) Leading to a Change ln Eaotion Coping Strategies (most effective) Future Expectations Job Search Strategies gri e f , loss, unprotected "I've lost four friends to suicide. So once we leave the school system It doesn't end there. Then you're thrown out into the world and told to fend for yourself." "I've t r i e d to keep in touch with the people I hung out with ln high school. We were a l l out-casts." strong "I know I'a not stupid, I have an I.Q. of 140." g r i e f , angry "I have aany dreams but I don't foresee getting to my dresas ln the near future. I must go back to school to achieve ay dreams. I would l i k e to become a licensed physlo-theraplat. I w i l l become a licensed physio-therapist one of these days. I w i l l go back..." determined "I know that I w i l l achieve what I want." Tenacity keeps you going." Appendix F-4 Completed Rating Sheet Exampl Co-reeearcher #27 Emotions Tlme(N) accompanying Events/Behaviour Including Those (pos/neg) Coping Strategies Leading to a Change In Emotion (most effective) Future Expectations Job Search Strategies e f f l c e n t , productive "After grad I got a job as a wheel motor mechanic. Hy job waa to put brake pads on. It would take half an hour If I waa e f f i c i e n t , but the guy I was working for told me not to be so e f f i c i e n t . We were doing in 3 days what usually took a week. He got r e a l l y s t i l l so they gave ae broom and I kept place r e a l l y clean. They couldn't keep jobs for me to do because I kept doing them so quickly. pissed o f f at me. I couldn't keep despondent "I went to the o i l rigs and they told ae I was too skinny to work there. I weighed 135 lbs at 6'1". I lived on the streets in parka." "upset", crushed I got a job working as a cook. They "To undspreaa myself realized I couldn't read. They realized I ended up going s k i i n g I was doing everything by voice when a to burn o f f steaa." big order came up I couldn't keep up. I was f i r e d in week. I was r e a l l y upset." "o.k." pleased I met a guy who owned a ski shop...I explained about ay work. He asked If I'd l i k e to be a salesman. So I worked for him for a while from February to Apr i l and things worked out o.k., but that was the owner, not the manager." -embarrassed "The manager wanted ae to use the t i l l . I kept giving i t to the g i r l to ring up and she would get the commission. I was too eabarrassed to work the t i l l so I waa getting ay hourly wage and just skimming by in a boarding house." -t e r r i f i c proud "The store owner lent me a Laser to go racing end I met a gentleman and he asked me i f I needed a job so he said I could be a yard ape. I said sure I was a s a i l i n g instructor as well." EmotIons Accompanying Events/Behaviour Time(H) Including Those (pos/neq) Leading to a Change ln Emotion Coping Strategies (most effective) Future Expectations" Job Search Strategies "Isolated" "depressed" despair "When not working there Is no worda that I can express to explain not knowing what you're going to do ln l i f e -- a deep depression. When you go through days when you don't want to get out of bed and you don't. And you just don't. And your stomach hurts and you get up and you don't -feel l i k e eating cause you're hungry becauae you haven't done any exercises and you He on your stomach so your stomach stops hurt-"Vou try to break It with some action." "My job aearch strategies conalated of reading the paper and phoning and that frustrated me. I wasn't getting the klnda of jobs I was useful at ao I tried walking around. I'd go into a place and see what the ataoaphere was snd i f there was someone I could rely on. I also went to the work boards at U.I.C." Hopeless lng. And you wake up the next morning and you feel more t i r e d . And you try to break It with some action or someone comes to v i s i t . A physical depression very much iso l a t i o n . Total Isolation. You don't want to get up because you have nothing to do." "Then you try to get work and meet people who are to t a l l y competent and have degrees and they can't find work so what are you going to be -- a dishwasher for the rest of your l i f e ? " "I had no resume." "I went through the Yellow Pages sometimes." Demeaned, deprived "Host of ay l i f e I was told what I can't do. I can't take typing. I have trouble with ay smsll motor coordination. Can't do public speaking because I can't read. I love public speaking but I'd have to apeak off the top of ay head." "I t r i e d to look for a job. I was going down to see people who worked on tha docks. I chose jobs I knew I could handle." "Degraded" "It Is r e a l l y degrading doing joba you can't handle." "I chose jobs I knew I could handle." "I t r i e d to look for a job. I waa going to see people who worked on the docks." Triumphant "A positive thing Was going into a aallboat race aqalnat the boas and beating him. The feeling was I proved to him I waa tust as good as him P » I > H though I couldn't do the mil h. " Emotions Accompanying Events/Behaviour Tiae(M) Including Those (pos/neg) Leading to a Change in Emotion Coping Strategies (most effective) Future Expectations Job Search Strstegles Despondent, "I started as a yard ape. I wasn't a hard salesman but I ended up s e l l i n g more boats than he. So he wanted me to become manager and handle their accounts. When he realized I couldn't do It he brought In someone else." "I r ealized that I had no future with the store.** Frustrated, "I worked there for a month and then he realized I couldn't work the t i l l . Then he realized tfiere was money missing and he thought I waa taking the money but I "'ust couldn't work the t i l l . I was l a i d o f f just when I was sfvlng money for a sailboat." Humiliated "A negative incident was going to s ski place and not remembering what I had learned about skis. When I was explaining to the manager why he should hire ae and I got embarrassed because I confused a l l the s k i s . That was r e a l l y negative. I walked out of the store crying." Humiliated/ embarrassed "One thing that bothered ae was phoning hoae and finding out how things were going after ay mum and dad separated and they'd ask ae what I was doing. And I wouldn't be able to t e l l thea anything except that I was s t i l l looking for work." Confldent. strong "When I think of the T.V. Industry being creative, being able to c a l l ay own shots. I know I can handle i t . I'm not f e a r f u l . I feel good about myself. More spunk more se l f esteem. I have to have something Intellectual." ncconpanyinq Events/Behaviour Eiiot tons Time(N) Including Those (pos/neq) Coping Strategies Future Job Search Leading to a Change in Eaotion (aost ef active) Expectatlona Strateglea Cast aside. "I waa assessed. I saw part of the "I f i n a l l y Bade the nnqry. assessment but It waa like aore bad decision to go back to frustrated news. After t had the asaessaent done there was no follow up. UIC transferred ae to welfare. The asaessaent aald I should go Into therapy. Nothing. two years, nothing." school. That was ay therapy. I couldn't go work because no one would take aa." Guilty "I couldn't liv e with ay folks. Ny father haa had fiv e years of sobriety. The day I moved out he becaae sober. That's a bad reainder. My brother and slater are perfect." "I s t i l l feel I caused ay parents' separation. Ny father's an alcoholic. Old I aake hia an alcoholic? After I aoved away ay parents got back together." "Fearful" "I'a fearful of school and not being able to absorb It quickly enough." "I want to do anything I can do to help the VACALO whether It's an Interview or what, coaaercial, one-to-one work. I'd l i k e to work ln a T.V. station directing or working. I'd l i k e to put down part of ay l i f e story Into plays or s k i t s and other people who have L.O." "I'a s t i l l trying to figure out If I can be a good enough father to a kid who has a learning d i s a b i l i t y . I r e a l l y want kids." Appendix G Summary Example Co-researcher #25 135 #25 "I was f e e l i n g very depressed. I used to go t o Manpower once i n a w hile and I have a S p e c i a l Needs C o u n s e l l o r t h e r e . She wasn't doing much f o r me a t a l l . I was r e g i s t e r e d with a few personnel a g e n c i e s . I'd c a l l them once i n a w h i l e . That's how I got the job I have now. I got a job almost r i g h t a f t e r I f i n i s h e d high s c h o o l . Then I l e f t home. I've been working o f f and on. But a l o t of times I j u s t wish I had a c a r e e r — c l e r i c a l . R ight now I'm r e l i e f . I might be g e t t i n g a permanent job f o r t h i s g i r l who i s e x p e c t i n g . Before workng f o r her, I was working as a f l o a t e r . Do a l o t o f f l o a t i n g . Whatever needed t o be done. "I was f e e l i n g bored mainly when I wasn't working. A l o t of the time, I s a i d t o myself, I wish I had a c a r e e r . "The S p e c i a l Needs C o u n s e l l o r used t o g i v e me hope t h a t she was going t o get me a j o b . She sent me on t h r e e i n t e r v i e w s . One p l a c e I went t o they wanted t o have someone who was mute. I d i d n ' t know t h a t . The second one they wanted someone who c o u l d c a t c h on r i g h t away. The t h i r d was a f a c t o r y , and I never heard from the guy. N e i t h e r d i d my S p e c i a l Needs C o u n s e l l o r . When I went t o the Women's Employment Centre I s a i d I wanted to do an a p t i t u d e t e s t . My c o u n s e l l o r t h e r e asked me why. I t o l d her about my s i t u a t i o n . She s a i d , 'I don't t h i n k i t ' s a good i d e a t o do the a p t i t u d e t e s t . You need to do more t e s t i n g . You need t o know what your I.Q. i s . ' She sent me t o a d o c t o r . I t was a t e s t which took 2 days. I t was more than one t e s t . There were about 136 5 d i f f e r e n t , t e s t s . From doing t h a t t e s t I found out, a c c o r d i n g t o him, t h a t as f a r as g e t t i n g a job I was l i m i t e d t o my a b i l i t y . My best bet was t o look f o r a job which was r o u t i n e . And t o t r y t o f i n d myself a s u p e r v i s o r who would be understanding t o my s i t u a t i o n . That's when I went t o see about g e t t i n g myself a S p e c i a l Needs C o u n s e l l o r . "I was t h i n k i n g o f t a k i n g a Nurse's Aide course which I had wanted t o take f o r a long w h i l e . But he [doctor] thought i t would be too d i f f i c u l t f o r me. Even i n high s c h o o l I d i d n ' t do w e l l . He s a i d going t o sch o o l t o take n u r s i n g , I wouldn't be ab l e t o f o l l o w up on i t . I t s o r t o f gave me a p s y c h o l o g i c a l e f f e c t . I t made me go back one s t e p . I t h i n k what he s a i d was t r u e . The jobs I've had i n the past I haven't been a b l e t o s t i c k t o them very l o n g . I always knew I was slow. I used t o go t o a s p e c i a l s c h o o l a t one time. And i n high s c h o o l I d i d very p o o r l y . In a way I used t o t h i n k maybe I was l a z y . My f a m i l y even today t h i n k s I'm l a z y . And r e a l l y t h a t i s not t r u e . I l i k e t o go out and work. "I d i d see another S p e c i a l Needs C o u n s e l l o r and a c c o r d i n g t o her she t h i n k s a l l I'd be a b l e t o do i s f i l i n g f o r the r e s t o f my l i f e . That r e a l l y upset me bad l y . I mentioned t h a t a t the support group and they s a i d not t o l i s t e n t o her. [Back t o the d o c t o r ' s r e p o r t . ] "Because I have a d i s a b i l i t y t h e r e i s no sense i n t r y i n g any harder. I t ' s hard t o remember. 137 I t ' s about, two years ago. I'm s t i l l very h u r t and upset t h a t I don't have myself a c a r e e r a t my age. E s p e c i a l l y when my f a m i l y i s always pushing me and t e l l i n g me t o go back t o s c h o o l , e s p e c i a l l y when I know I have the m o t i v a t i o n . "I was going t o the l i b r a r y q u i t e a b i t , and I would meet my b o y f r i e n d almost everyday and going f o r c o f f e e j u s t b e f o r e d i n n e r . "The Manpower I was going t o b e f o r e was on East 10th. Why I got t h i s present job, I was very f o r t u n a t e I've got t h i s c o u n s e l l o r through a personnel agency. I heard she's not working as a temporary c o u n s e l l o r anymore, but a t the time she was very concerned about people. I went down t o t a l k t o her about my d i s a b i l i t y and she s a i d you shouldn't f e e l ashamed a t i t and t h i s and t h a t . So she used t o phone me and get me to do work here and t h e r e . I s t a r t e d working f o r a government agency. I t was onl y supposed t o be f o r two weeks, but then i t went on f o r two months. Then they l e t me go f o r a month, and I've been t h e r e ever s i n c e . When I got c a l l e d back i t was on an i n d i v i d u a l b a s i s , not through the agency anymore. "The other agencies when I would c a l l would say your s k i l l s are very l i m i t e d . You should upgrade your s k i l l s , because otherwise you won't be a b l e t o get a job very e a s i l y and the market i s very c o m p e t i t i v e . 138 "The s u p p o r t i v e c o u n s e l l o r used t o teach a g i r l with a l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y , and she knew how I f e l t and a l l t h i s . She t o l d me I was very r e l i a b l e . Whenever she sent me on a 30b, I a r r i v e d on time. "When I was not working I made sure I got up a t a c e r t a i n time each morning. I d i d n ' t want t o get i n t o a r u t . Even when I wasn't going t o look f o r a 30b I got up, because I r e a l l y needed to get up. From time t o time I'd go and see my g i r l f r i e n d . I made sure t h a t I d i d n ' t depend on Welfare. I l i k e t o f e e l independent. I worked i n a few p l a c e s as a b a b y s i t t e r and l i g h t housekeeper. The pay wasn't very good, but 3ust the i d e a of g e t t i n g out and doing something. "I used t o f e e l g u i l t y when I went out f o r c o f f e e , even though I used t o look f o r a 30b d u r i n g the day. I d i d n ' t look f o r work everyday. "There were times I would go t o the mall and 3ust browse around. That was a neg a t i v e t h i n g . When I would get l a z y t o look f o r work, I would go t o the m a l l . And I a l s o d i d some v o l u n t e e r work. I t was a t the F r i e n d s h i p K e t t l e S o c i e t y , and I was t h e r e f o r f i v e months. I made a p o i n t t o do some v o l u n t e e r work t o get me out o f the house. I went twice a week. Once the bus s t r i k e happened, then I d i d n ' t go back anymore. Now i t ' s a l l coming back t o me. I was a v o l u n t e e r a t V.G.H. i n the g i f t shop 139 once a week. At V.G.H. I enjoyed i t even though i t i s not c h a l l e n g i n g work but I would s t i l l say I would l o v e work i n a c l o t h i n g s t o r e on the cash r e g i s t e r anyplace. I get nervous and t h e r e ^ i s a l o t o f jobs I'm not a b l e t o do. For one, i f I work with the p u b l i c I get very nervous. I g i g g l e . One job I d i d have a t Honey's making sandwiches over the counter. When the customer would o r d e r , I would s t a r t g i g g l i n g , I was t h e r e two months and f i n a l l y they l e t me go. "Working a t K.F.S. was n i c e . I used t o f e e l good because those people t h e r e had emotional problems and I wasn't having those problems. I f e l t I was important a t the time -- s p e c i a l — or whatever you want to c a l l i t . I used to go and do the t y p i n g and they were very n i c e . A few times I went on t r i p s with them. Once we went t o Riverview H o s p i t a l and another time we went t o a wine f a c t o r y . "In the o f f i c e when I have t o l e a r n something new I can't c a t c h on r i g h t away. I t might take me t h r e e or f o u r times t o remember what I've been t o l d . That's why sometimes they have t o l e t me go, because I haven't been a b l e t o c a t c h on r i g h t away. "I've d i s c u s s e d with my boss my l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y . There have been a l o t of times I've made mistakes. The g i r l who i s t r a i n i n g me has r a i s e d her v o i c e a t me, but I t r y and i g n o r e i t . I'm g e t t i n g used t o t h a t i d e a . There was one time I was working and I used the wrong stamp and the lady came up t o me and asked, "Do you have a l e a r n i n g problem?". I was r e a l l y embarrassed. 140 because t h e r e was q u i t e a few o f us i n the lunch room. I d i d n ' t say a n y t h i n g . That day they l e t me go. At a government o f f i c e I was t h e r e about a year and a h a l f . She sent t h r e e of us on a word p r o c e s s i n g course. The course was f o r one week and on the f i f t h day I c o u l d n ' t remember how t o program the computer or whatever, and I d i d n ' t get a c e r t i f i c a t e and the o f f i c e p a i d f o r my course. The o f f i c e d i d n ' t say anything, because I had a l r e a d y been t o l d I would get l a i d o f f . They, gave me a month's n o t i c e and my s u p e r v i s o r was t o l d by the i n s t r u c t o r t h a t I had problems remembering. My s u p e r v i s o r came up to me and s a i d , " I d i d n ' t know you have a problem remembering." "When I came t o Canada they put me back two y e a r s , but they wanted t o put me back t h r e e y e a r s . But I would be too o l d . They sent me to a s p e c i a l c l a s s , because a f t e r being put back two years I s t i l l had problems. Then we moved to Surrey, and then I s t a r t e d going to a r e g u l a r s c h o o l . I d i d very bad. I was g e t t i n g E or D's. A f t e r Grade 7 I moved a g a i n . We moved to North Vancouver. '"My s c h o o l e x p e r i e n c e s were bad, very bad. They a l l used to know I was very bad i n s c h o o l . I used t o be ashamed o f myself i n not doing w e l l . I used t o f e e l bad i n my h e a r t t h a t I wasn't doing w e l l , but they d i d n ' t r e a l i z e i t . "I always knew I was slow because of how I d i d i n s c h o o l and my j o b s . I t was very obvious. 141 "I want.ed t o q u i t high s c h o o l . I guess everyone wants t o q u i t high s c h o o l . "When I wasn't working i t was boredom. I used t o t h i n k I wanted t o go back t o sch o o l and I c o u l d n ' t a f f o r d i t . Now I'm pla n n i n g t o go back but I haven't decided what a r e a . I'm going t o t a l k about i t i n the support group. I haven't r e a l l y g otten anywhere t o be i n the support group, but j u s t the i d e a of knowing I'm not the onl y one makes me f e e l good. I used t o t h i n k I was the o n l y one i n the world. S t i l l I f e e l the other people a re so smart compared t o me. A l o t o f them j u s t have a problem i n w r i t i n g and r e a d i n g and t h a t ' s i t . L i k e they've got d y s l e x i a . I don't have d y s l e x i a . According t o my i n s t r u c t o r t h e r e a re a l o t of l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t i e s . There are a couple o f guys I ran i n t o who have the same problem as I do. Always g e t t i n g f i r e d from h i s jobs. When I was a t the government agency I was t h e r e f o r nine months u n t i l I got a promotion. When I worked as a r e c e p t i o n i s t I had problems copying messages. I had t r o u b l e w r i t i n g i t f a s t enough. L i k e I'm slow w r i t i n g . They would sound l i k e t h e y ' r e mad [person at oth e r end of phone3 because I can ' t w r i t e f a s t enough. So t h e r e are a l o t o f t h i n g s t h a t h o l d me back. I t i s always one t h i n g or another. "According t o my s u p e r v i s o r I always make a p o i n t t o come i n on time. I t r y my best t o do e v e r y t h i n g . I'm t o l d I make mistakes. In my mind I t e l l myself I'm not l a z y i n g around. I f someone t e l l s me o f f about something I d i d wrong I say t o myself 142 I t r i e d , I'm t r y i n g . At one p o i n t I was s a y i n g t o myself I have a l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y , but I t o l d my i n s t r u c t o r a t the support group and she says t h a t ' s making excuses f o r y o u r s e l f . You shouldn't be s a y i n g t h a t because i t i s not a l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y because you're dumb, i t ' s f o r o t h e r reasons. She f e l t i t ' s because I have a problem with my memory and t h a t ' s her problem too. The i n s t r u c t o r h e r s e l f has a d i s a b i l i t y . I'm beginning t o j u s t t h i n k I was s t u p i d . There are times too I don't understand what I'm doing. "My s u p e r v i s o r i s very understanding. I t o l d my s u p e r v i s o r about my l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y . That I have a l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y and I'd l i k e her t o be a b l e t o understand me and t h a t I'd be w i l l i n g t o t r y my very b e s t . She s a i d t h a t ' s f i n e . A week l a t e r we had a meeting and we were t a l k i n g about the work and a t t h a t time I was l e a r n i n g the computer and how I'm going t o need time t o be a b l e t o c a t c h on and f i n a l l y I'm doing r e a l l y q u i t e w e l l on i t . "She t o l d me you want t o show y o u r s e l f you can do i t and t h a t i s e x a c t l y i t . I t o l d her with my other jobs I've been t o l d I'm a very good worker; very c o n s c i e n t i o u s . She s a i d yes I see t h a t . You're a l o t more r e l i a b l e and c o n s c i e n t i o u s than a l o t of my employees. U n f o r t u n a t e l y , they f i r e d her yesterday because she wasn't c a t c h i n g up to her work l o a d . She was with the company 25 y e a r s . I f e e l very s o r r y f o r her. Thanks t o her they kept me on. She c o u l d have s a i d i f you can't p i c k i t up we w i l l have t o 143 get someone e l s e . The job market i s so bad. So t h i s has given me a chance o£ g e t t i n g UIC too. "In terms o f help t h a t I've had, I saw a c o u n s e l l o r from U.B.C. a t the Women's Employment O f f i c e f o r about t h r e e months, but I d i d n ' t r e a l l y get anywhere. She was only coming t h e r e f o r so l o n g . I don't f e e l I've had much h e l p . The l a s t letdown was with the c o u n s e l l o r here. I was t a l k i n g about t a k i n g some courses and changing my c a r e e r and the whole b i t and she s a i d i f you're going t o do t h a t i t might take you two years on the w a i t i n g l i s t and then i t ' s going t o c o s t us a l o t o f money i f we know you're not going t o succeed. I don't know t i l l I t r y . And she s a i d we put out $1000.00 on your t e s t s . That's not t r u e I was t o l d i t c o s t €300.00 f o r the t e s t . She s a i d from what I can t e l l you we don't have any more answers f o r you, and the best bet i s t o c a r r y on with your f i l i n g because i f you can't do anything e l s e t h a t ' s a l l we can say. I was very depressed a f t e r w a r d . Then she s a i d , " A f t e r you're f i n i s h e d with your job come back t o me." I don't need more of t h a t . "The h e l p I would have l i k e d t o have had was when I saw the Women's Employment c o u n s e l l o r . I wanted her t o put i n a word f o r me when I went f o r a job i n t e r v i e w and t e l l them I have a l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y and they can be understanding o f my s i t u a t i o n , but she wouldn't do t h a t . I'm not s a y i n g I want someone t o look f o r a job f o r me. I can do t h a t f o r myself. But when I do go f o r an i n t e r v i e w l e t ' s say i f somebody who i a a p r o f e s s i o n a l can say t h i s person i s t h i s way and she i s very 144 c o n s c i e n t i o u s . That's the help I've been l o o k i n g f o r . F o r t u n a t e l y I've got t h i s j o b . You never know what's going t o happen. I f e e l very i n s e c u r e s i n c e yesterday. " I ' d l i k e a job where I can l e a r n . They w i l l t r a i n me. Success. Not much. I can read or w r i t e . That's i t . I took S o c i a l s and E n g l i s h , but I d i d n ' t l e a r n anything from i t . I'm a dreamer. I f I f i n d something b o r i n g I dream. One t h i n g I ' l l admit i s t h a t I was l a z y . I wouldn't study f o r the t e s t . The one success i s l e a r n i n g t o type. That has been h e l p f u l as f a r as g e t t i n g work. "In the f u t u r e I'd l i k e t o get a job i n what I want t o do. I would be very c o n t e n t . I hope I can get s p e c i a l t r a i n i n g and p a t i e n t s , i n n u r s i n g maybe. I'm beginning t o wonder i f I ' l l ever get ahead. "One t h i n g I ' l l say i s t h a t I've f e l t l i k e c r y i n g a l o t of times. People i n my age group are nurses or t e a c h e r s or whatever. I t r e a l l y makes me f e e l r o t t e n . I t h u r t s . I t r e a l l y does. "For the f u t u r e I've thought of a l o t of t h i n g s . Whether I can do i t i s the main t h i n g . According to the c o u n s e l l o r s the courses I p i c k e d are too d i f f i c u l t . Other g o a l s I'd l i k e t o get married one day and have a c h i l d . " Appendix H S e l e c t e d Quotes i n P o s i t i v e C r i t i c a l I n c i d e n t C a t e g o r i e s Appendix H - 1 Success/Achievement i n A d u l t Education Progra 147 Sucess/Achievement i n A d u l t Education Programme "When I l e a r n more I f e e l b e t t e r . I t i s the s c h o o l . The t e a c h e r s understand. The t e a c h e r s have p a t i e n c e here. That's what I l i k e . " "I'm going t o be i n Grade 12 E n g l i s h i n September and I f e e l t h a t i s a b i g step...I'm so proud of myself." "I f e e l l i k e I'm a c h i e v i n g i n my s c h o o l work. I a c t u a l l y l i k e coming .to s c h o o l now." "I got a B. That r e a l l y s t uck i n my mind...Everyone was t e l l i n g me I would never, never make i t . That r e a l l y boosted my c o n f i d e n c e and made me take a st e p towards g e t t i n g my b i o l o g y and c h e m i s t r y . " "I know when I went back t o c o l l e g e t o l e a r n these courses I f e l t r e a l l y , r e a l l y good with myself doing something i n s t e a d of s i t t i n g on the s i d e l i n e s being e n v i o u s . " " C o l l e g e I t h i n k i s the best t h i n g f o r me r i g h t now and a l s o s t i c k around a b i t longer because i t i s not on l y what I'm l e a r n i n g but a l s o i t ' s g i v i n g me c o n f i d e n c e t o f i n d a job and do more a c t i v i t i e s . J u s t t o be a b e t t e r person, so I'm a l i v e i n s i d e and not dead." 148 "Adult Education Programme te a c h e r t h e r e helped me a l o t . She understood me w e l l as she worked with o t h e r people l i k e me and...she r e a l l y understood." "At King Edward. I came here and I have a l o t more experience i n l e a r n i n g and r e a d i n g . I f e e l a l o t more o happier now. At l e a s t I'm g e t t i n g somewhere now." "They've [ c o l l e g e ] g i v e n me q u i t e a l o t of h e l p with my E n g l i s h . I've gained q u i t e a l o t o f c o n f i d e n c e and support t h a t was r e a l l y good." 149 Appendix H - 2 P l e a s u r e i n Having a Job 150 P l e a s u r e i n Having a Job [Recently began own business] "I'm r e a l l y lucky with the job I have now. The people are r e a l l y f r i e n d l y and n i c e and g i v e me a l o t of b e n e f i t s . Right now I f e e l I have a l o t o f o p p o r t u n i t y . " [Has been working f o r one week] "Right now I'm working as a nanny f o r two k i d s and a t n i g h t I put a q u a d r a p a l e g i c t o bed...I'm going t o t r y t o save f o r a t r i p and save f o r work t o be done on my c a r . But now a t l e a s t I can save." [On work experience] "Woodworking and k i t c h e n c a b i n e t s i s what I'm doing r i g h t now. I t ' s going p r e t t y good. I'm p i c k i n g up p r e t t y q u i c k . I enjoy doing what I'm doing r i g h t now." ( [Work ex p e r i e n c e ] ' "At the ranch I l e a r n e d how t o wean horses, e x e r c i s e horses, f e e d horses, c l e a n t h e i r s t a b l e s , how much g r a i n s they should eat and what s o r t o f hay...I l i k e d t h i s work a l o t . " "I f e e l happy when I'm working." 151 "I've been b a b y s i t t i n g s i n c e I was 15. I l o v e k i d s . . . I t makes me f e e l good because I'm c o n t r i b u t i n g . I'm h e l p i n g out a f a m i l y . " Appendix H - 3 R e a l i z a t i o n o f S e l f - w o r t h 153 R e a l i z a t i o n of S e l f - w o r t h "The l a s t couple o f years I'm a b l e t o achieve grades, have a b a b y s i t t i n g j ob, h o l d my head h i g h . " "Three or f o u r pay cheques l a t e r he wanted t o make another c u t . I stood up to him. I y e l l e d a t him and screamed a t him. L a t e r he p a i d me back a l l the money he owed me." "A p o s i t i v e t h i n g was going i n t o a s a i l b o a t r a c e a g a i n s t the boss and b e a t i n g him. The f e e l i n g was I proved t o him I was j u s t as good as him even though I c o u l d n ' t do the math." "Now I'm on my way. I t h i n k I have a l o t going f o r me. I s t i l l have a few t h i n g s t o work out. Time w i l l h e a l i t s e l f . " "Hy t h i n k i n g i s more p o s i t i v e now. I used t o put myself down and say I'm not good...I've begun to f e e l more p o s i t i v e about one week a f t e r I began a t Community S e r v i c e s . " 154 Appendix H - 4 Support from S e r v i c e Agency ( e x c l u d i n g C.E.C.) 155 Support from S e r v i c e Agency ( e x c l u d i n g C.E.C.> "Community S e r v i c e s hae been h e l p f u l by g e t t i n g me i n t o the programme. The people a t Community S e r v i c e s are n i c e . They t a l k t o you." "When I was on Welfare my worker kept h e l p i n g me out. She kept s u g g e s t i n g p l a c e s t o go t o s t r a i g h t e n myself out. She kept g i v i n g me breaks." [Reference t o Community S e r v i c e s ] "The onl y t h i n g t h a t has gone p o s i t i v e i n the l a s t w h i l e i s t h i s programme." "I was very f o r t u n a t e . I've got t h i s c o u n s e l l o r through a personnel agency. I went down to t a l k t o her about my d i s a b i l i t y and she s a i d you shouldn't f e e l ashamed about i t . " Appendix H - 5 -assessment o f S e l f 157 Re-assessment, o f S e l f "I Knew I needed t o smarten up, and I knew I c o u l d . " "When I was a t an A l c o h o l i c Treatment Centre I j u s t s t a r t e d t o r e a l i z e i f I kept on c a r r y i n g on l i k e I hod been i t was going t o be a l o t harder l a t e r on." "The experience with the handicapped and how they f e e l about t h i n g s . I t h i n k t h a t changed me a b i t . I look a t t h i n g s from a d i f f e r e n t p o i n t o f view. I guess my a t t i t u d e has changed. I'm not so n e g a t i v e about c e r t a i n t h i n g s . " "I d i d n ' t r e a l l y s t a r t t o g a i n c o n f i d e n c e u n t i l I saw t h a t g i r l E s t h e r a t the ran c h . " 158 Appendix H - 6 Support from Family 159 Support from Family "My parents have gi v e n me a l o t of support. They've t r i e d . My mum has done a l o t t o help me f i n d something." "I had a l o t o f help and support from my p a r e n t s . " "Ever s i n c e I moved i n with my b r o t h e r - i n - l a w ' s parents t h i n g s have been b e t t e r . They s t a r t e d t a l k i n g t o me about going back t o s c h o o l and I f i n a l l y made up my mind t o go and ask Welfare about i t . They're l i k e the parents I d i d n ' t have." "They [ f a m i l y ] help me out a l o t . I f I need h e l p with money or my work they help me out. They g i v e me a l o t o f h e l p . " Appendix H - 7 S u p p o r t i v e Work Environment 161 S u p p o r t i v e Work Environment "I've been t o l d I'm a very good worker, very c o n s c i e n t i o u s . " "According t o my s u p e r v i s o r I always make a p o i n t t o come i n on time." "I'm p i c k i n g up p r e t t y q u i c k . Everybody e x p l a i n s i t t o you r i g h t . I t makes i t much e a s i e r . " "I'm r e a l l y l u c k y with the job I have now. The people are r e a l l y f r i e n d l y and n i c e and g i v e me a l o t o f b e n e f i t s . Right now I f e e l I have a l o t of o p p o r t u n i t y . " Appendix H - 8 Landing a Job 163 Landing a Job "A p o s i t i v e t h i n g was g e t t i n g a b a b y s i t t i n g job f o r a w h i l e . " "I t h i n k I ' l l do dry c l e a n i n g on Monday. I got an i n t e r v i e w l a s t week. And they [Community S e r v i c e s ] t o l d me my f i r s t job placement was ready. I t h i n k I ' l l do good. I t looks e x c i t i n g . " Appendix H - 9 Support from F r i e n d s 165 Support from F r i e n d s "My f r i e n d s were r e a l l y good. They would phone me up and beg me t o have c o f f e e with them. That was j u s t what I needed a t the time." "Once t h i s guy [ f e l l o w worker] was s a y i n g i f I ever need help with r e a d i n g or mathematics he would g i v e me a hand on i t . " 166 Appendix I S e l e c t e d Quote© i n Negative C r i t i c a l I n c i d e n t C a t e g o r i e s 167 Appendix I - 1 A n t i c i p a t i o n of Job F a i l u r e / J o b F a i l u r e 168 A n t i c i p a t i o n of Job F a i l u r e / J o b F a i l u r e o "She eent t h r e e o f us on a word p r o c e s s i n g course. The course was f o r one week and on the f i f t h day I c o u l d n ' t remember how t o programme the computer and I d i d n ' t get a c e r t i f i c a t e . " "There was one time I was working and I used the wrong stamp and the lady came up t o me and she s a i d "Do you have a l e a r n i n g problem?" and I was r e a l l y embarrassed because t h e r e was q u i t e a few o f us i n the lunch room." " I f I had something t o read on the 30b I would get a l l worried and paranoid and g i v e up." "I was embarrassed because they [employer] would t e l l me t o go drop o f f a c a r and I c o u l d n ' t make out the address and I'd get l o s t . I'd be embarrassed and u p t i g h t and he'd [boss] always have t o e x p l a i n how t o get t h e r e . I found t h a t r e a l l y f r u s t r a t i n g , tough." "I was s c a r e d t o be employed again f o r f e a r o f f a i l u r e . I'm r e a l l y a f r a i d o f f a i l u r e because of s c h o o l and s t u f f . They j u s t put you down and i t r e a l l y s t i c k s with you f o r a long time." "I f e e l f e a r a t the thought o f working cause I've never been 169 i n the employment f i e l d except f o r once and they d i d n ' t h i r e me. I t h i n k they k i n d of hated me cause I s t i c k e d out l i k e a sore thumb." "I got a 30b working as a cook. They r e a l i z e d I c o u l d n ' t read. They r e a l i z e d I was doing e v e r y t h i n g by v o i c e . When a b i g order came up I c o u l d n ' t keep up. I was f i r e d i n a week. I was r e a l l y upset." "The manager wanted me t o use the t i l l . I kept g i v i n g i t to the g i r l t o r i n g up and she would get the commission. I was too embarrassed to work the t i l l . " 170 Appendix 1 - 2 Discounted/Devalued by Support S e r v i c e s ( e x c l u d i n g C.E.C.) 171 Discounted/Devalued by Support S e r v i c e s ( e x c l u d i n g C.E.C.> "The other agencies when I would c a l l would say "your s k i l l s a r e very l i m i t e d . You should upgrade your s k i l l s because otherwise you won't be a b l e t o get a job very e a s i l y and the market i s very c o m p e t i t i v e . " "The s c h o o l s ' c l o s i n g out has been bad. The cutbacks. You're t r y i n g t o get help from the government and a l l they're doing i s backstabbing you. They're not t r y i n g t o h e l p your problem out." "The l a s t f o u r years I mean s h i t i t ' s not even worth i t to look l n the newspaper f o r a j o b . " "I went t o a c a r e e r c o u n s e l l o r . I went t h e r e a couple of times but i t d i d n ' t r e a l l y work out." "I was r e a l l y angry a t the system a l o t . The system doesn't do much t o help you out of your h o l e . " "I was assessed. I saw p a r t of the assessment but i t was l i k e more bad news. A f t e r I had the assessment done [done by a d o c t o r through C.E.C. funding] t h e r e was no f o l l o w up. UIC t r a n s f e r r e d me t o Welfare. The assessment s a i d I should go i n t o therapy. Nothing. Two y e a r s . Nothing." t 172 "The system g i v e s you enough money t o be poor. My unemployment worker t o l d me I was l i v i n g below the poverty l e v e l . Boy d i d t h a t ever help my s p i r i t s . " 0 Appendix 1 - 3 F i n a n c i a l P r e s s u r e s 174 F i n a n c i a l P r e ssures "I l i v e d on the s t r e e t s i n parks." "A n e g a t i v e t h i n g was making my second month c a r payment. I I hate being i n debt. I always p r i d e d myself on t h a t . When I r e a l i z e d I c o u l d n ' t , i t was a r e a l blow t o me. A rude awakening." "I bought a c a r and moved i n t o t h i s p l a c e and I l o s t my j o b . " "When I'm not working I f e e l the s h i t s . When I'm working I can go out. I can take whoever I want out. Do what I want. Now I s i t a t home watching T.V. E a t . Can't go anywhere. Can't take someone on the bus. Want t o take a g i r l out. Can't. J u s t can't a f f o r d i t . Now I j u s t s i t around." Appendix 1 - 4 Job R e j e c t i o n s / L a c k of Opportunity from Employers 176 Job R e i e c t i o n e / L a c k o f Opportunity from Employers "I t r i e d doing f o r moving companies, c a r p e n t e r work. I put i n s e p t i c tank p i p e s . I t ' s when they don't g i v e you a chance, r i g h t . L i k e i f you can't read, t h a t ' s i t , they don't want you. Most of the job I can do, j u s t as much as they can. I j u s t need a chance, but they don't g i v e you a chance out t h e r e . " "She CSpecial Needs C o u n s e l l o r ] sent me on t h r e e i n t e r v i e w s . One p l a c e I went t o they wanted t o have someone who was mute. The second one wanted someone who c o u l d c a t c h on r i g h t away. The t h i r d was a f a c t o r y and I never heard from the guy." "A n e g a t i v e i n c i d e n t was going t o a s k i p l a c e and not remembering what I had l e a r n e d about s k i s . When I was e x p l a i n i n g t o the manager why he should h i r e me I got embarrassed because I confused a l l the s k i s . I walked out of the s t o r e c r y i n g . " "They t r y t o make you f e e l g u i l t y or something. J u s t when I went t o put an a p p l i c a t i o n i n a t the f i s h cannery. You t e l l them you c a n ' t read and s o r r y , I c a n ' t help you. Do you need t o read t o d r i v e a f o r k l i f t ? " " A f t e r s c h o o l I thought I had enough t o be employed by the 177 l i b r a r y but when I went t o them they s a i d t h a t we can't h i r e you r i g h t now -- work on your E n g l i s h . I s a i d f i n e . I worked on my E n g l i s h f o r a l i t t l e w h i l e a t home and then I d i d some v o l u n t e e r work i n the l i b r a r y . Then I went back s e v e r a l times i n the year and they s t i l l wouldn't h i r e me and by t h a t time the l i b r a r i e s were p u t t i n g i n computers and I needed computer s c i e n c e so I j u s t gave up." Appendix 1 - 5 Avoidance of Job Search 179 Avoidance o f Job Search "Because of my l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t y i t was d i f f i c u l t t o w r i t e or s p e l l , so I j u s t stuck with the job I had, but I d i d n ' t r e a l l y l i k e i t . " "I t r i e d l o o k i n g i n the paper but t h e r e i s so many t h i n g s i n the paper t h a t you need experience a t and I d i d n ' t have the experience f o r h a r d l y a n y t h i n g . There was h a r d l y anything i n t h e r e t h a t I c o u l d do or wanted t o do, s t u f f t h a t I have a l o t o f t r o u b l e doing anyway -- mechanical s t u f f mainly." "I f o o l e d around. not r e a l l y l o o k i n g f o r work. I went through a p e r i o d of about s i x years not working, j u s t r e l y i n g on whatever money I had not r e a l l y c a r i n g about too much. There was no r e a l d e s i r e f o r me t o work." "I found I get l a z y and s c a r e d t o l o o k . " Appendix 1 - 6 scounted/Oevalued by C.E.C. Personnel 181 Discounted/Devalued by C.E.C. Personnel "As f a r as I'm concerned the Employment Centre i s a complete f a r c e i n r e s p e c t o f job o p p o r t u n i t i e s . They've got some S p e c i a l Needs C o u n s e l l o r s who don't even know what l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t i e s a r e . " "The l a s t letdown was with the c o u n s e l l o r here [C.E.C.]. I was t a l k i n g about t a k i n g some courses and changing my ca r e e r and the whole b i t and she s a i d i f you're going t o do t h a t i t might take two years on the w a i t i n g l i s t and then i t ' s going t o c o s t us a l o t o f money i f we know you're not going t o succeed." She s a i d from what I can t e l l you we don't have any answers f o r you and the bes t t h i n g i s t o c a r r y on with your f i l i n g because you can't do anything e l s e . I was very depressed a f t e r w a r d . " "I have gone t o Manpower, but not f o r a while now. When I d i d go I d i d n ' t seem t o get much he l p t h e r e . I was wasting my time going t h e r e . " Appendix 1 - 7 Delayed Career Progress 183 Delayed Career Progress " I t depresses me. I'm 23 and I should be working and I'm s t i l l a t s c h o o l and i t c o u l d be ages because i t ' s a very slow programme." "One t h i n g I ' l l say i s t h a t I've f e l t l i k e c r y i n g a l o t of times. People i n my age group are nurses or t e a c h e r s or whatever. I t r e a l l y makes me f e e l r o t t e n . I t h u r t s . I t r e a l l y does." " I t j u s t seems everytime I get s e t t l e d i n a job and s t a r t accumulating s a v i n g s something happens and t h e r e goes my job and my s a v i n g s . " 184 Appendix 1 - 8 Longing f o r More E q u i t a b l e / S e c u r e Employment O p p o r t u n i t i e s 185 Longing f o r More E q u i t a b l e / S e c u r e Employment, Opport.unit.iee "You're l i m i t e d so much when you have a problem l i k e t h i s . There i s not r e a l l y c h o i c e s i n the type of work I can do. I'd l i k e t o get a job doing anything, but t h e r e i s a l i m i t to what I can do. I'd l i k e t o be a normal person." " F o r t u n a t e l y , I have t h i s j o b . You never know what's going to happen. I f e e l very i n s e c u r e s i n c e yesterday [boss f i r e d 3 "I wish i t requirements o p p o r t u n i t y . " was e a s i e r t o f i n d work and t h a t the job were e a s i e r t o get. I wish t h e r e was more Appendix 1 - 9 Stagnation/Boredom 187 Stagnation/Boredom "One t h i n g t h a t bothered me was phoning home and f i n d i n g out how t h i n g s were going a f t e r my mum and dad separated and they'd ask me how I was doing and I wouldn't be a b l e t o t e l l them anything except t h a t I was s t i l l l o o k i n g f o r work." "When I wasn't working i t was boredom." Appendix I - 10 Fear of School as an A d u l t Student 189 Fear of School as an Ad u l t Student "I'm f e a r f u l o f s c h o o l and not being a b l e t o absorb i t q u i c k l y enough." "I have a r e a l stigma when i t comes t o s c h o o l . I've gone so f a r as t o wait i n l i n e t o r e g i s t e r and then backed out a t the l a s t moment. I have a r e a l phobia. I want t o l e a r n . I'm r e a l l y i n t e r e s t e d i n l e a r n i n g . " 190 Appendix I - 11 I s o l a t i o n Due t o Unemployment 191 I s o l a t i o n Due t o Unemployment "When not working t h e r e i s no words t h a t I can express t o e x p l a i n not knowing what you're going t o do i n l i f e . A deep d e p r e s s i o n when you go through days when you don't want t o get out of bed and you don't. You j u s t don't. Your stomach h u r t s and you get up and you don't f e e l l i k e e a t i n g cause you're hungry because you haven't done any e x e r c i s e ... you wake up ... and you f e e l more t i r e d and you t r y t o break i t with some a c t i o n or someone comes t o v i s i t . A p h y s i c a l d e p r e s s i o n , very much i s o l a t i o n . T o t a l i s o l a t i o n . You don't want t o get up because you have nothing t o do." "I wasn't very happy with how t h i n g s had been going. I was very depressed f o r q u i t e a w h i l e . . I thought as f a r as 1984 was concerned i t was a complete w r i t e - o f f . I c o u l d n ' t seem to do anything r i g h t or n o t h i n g seemed t o go r i g h t f o r me. I just, go very low and I c o u l d n ' t seem t o r e a l l y get along with people a l l t h a t w e l l and t h e r e d i d n ' t seem t o be much t o l i v e f o r ... I never went anywhere. I was even a f r a i d t o l e a v e the house. I stayed i n the house a l l the time. I never went anywhere on my b i k e ... I j u s t d i d n ' t seem t o want t o be a s s o c i a t e d with anyone. I more or l e s s want t o s t a y by myself." Appendix 1 - 1 2 Negative Comparisons 193 Negative Comparisons "Then you t r y to get work and meet people who are t o t a l l y competent and have degrees and they can't f i n d work so what are you going t o do f o r the r e s t o f your l i f e ? " "When I was unemployed I missed a l o t of t h i n g s other people seemed t o have a l o t more going to them." 

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