Online Program

Triangle SST program: Safety and self-advocacy training for successful transitions from school to adult life

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Eileen Dryden, PhD, Institute for Community Health, Cambridge, MA
Brianna Mills, MA, Institute for Community Health, Cambridge Health Alliance, Cambridge, MA
Lisa Arsenault, PhD, Institute for Community Health, Institute for Community Health, Cambridge, MA
Elisa Friedman, MS, Institute for Community Health, Cambridge, MA
Kathy Passalacqua, Triangle Inc., Malden, MA
Sandra Copman, EdD, Triangle Inc, Malden, MA
Individuals with disabilities in the U.S. continue to have worse employment outcomes and experience a greater rate of poverty than the general population.1,2 Programs that focus on developing workforce skills and employment opportunities for young adults transitioning from school to career aim to address these issues. However, given that people with disabilities experience twice the level of violence as do people without disabilities,3 the period of transition brings with it increased vulnerability to abuse as individuals join the general workforce, travel to and from worksites, and move out of school and sheltered environments. To successfully engage this population in positive work experiences and prepare for safe futures as adults, transition programs need to focus on developing participants' safety and self-advocacy skills. In 2011, a collaboration of agencies developed ‘Safety and Self-Advocacy Training for Successful Transitions from School to Adult Life' (SST) as a demonstration project to teach participants safety and self-advocacy strategies and explore the feasibility of implementing interventions in an established school-to-career program. Three groups of school-to-career participants took part in 10 consecutive weeks of SST sessions. The study used a pre/post design with comparison group and mixed methods. Despite some limitations, e.g. a small sample size, this pilot study produced preliminary evidence of program effectiveness and feasibility. Analysis found statistically significant changes in participants around safety and self-advocacy knowledge, self determination, and confidence. A subpopulation of participants experienced statistically significant change in self-efficacy. Participants enjoyed the training and parents supported its inclusion in a school-to-career program.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Identify aspects of safety and self advocacy that can be incorporated into school-to- career program curricula. Describe characteristics of a safety and self advocacy training that participants most benefited from, enjoyed and that parents supported most. Describe the IMPACT:Ability Program

Keyword(s): Disability, Safety

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the evaluator for multiple federal, state, and foundation funded grants focusing on program implementaion and outcomes. I am currently the evaluator of a safety and self-advocacy intervention for students with disabilities in the Boston Public Schools. My scientfic interest is in the development and use of evaluation methods that are feasible and appropriate for diverse target populations.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.