Statement of the Problem
Statement of the Problem Vocational training is an essential tool for integrating individuals with disability, especially those with intellectual disabilities in the society.More importantly, vocational training offered in special schools need to equip students with skills towards their future independent living. It has been observed that some special schools are providing very good vocational skills training such as bead making, bag weaving, cloth weaving, soap making etc for individuals with intellectual disabilities.However, it appears the programmes and level of training given to these individuals in most cases does not lead to appropriate job placement of such individual. Also, many student seems not to be able to demonstrate the skills they had learned after leaving school due to financial constraint.Therefore, in this study, the researcher seeks to investigate whether vocational programmes provided in special schools enable students to enter job settings without hindrance.In other words, students with intellectual disabilities who wish to achieve financial and personal independence need to be able to access post-secondary education and overcome numerous academic barriers.Also, they should have access to qualified counselors, appropriate transition services, academic remediation and accommodations. All these could make a difference in the life of the intellectually disabled persons.In view of these, educators, counselors and community service providers are currently attempting to understand and define their roles, certification requirements and obligations under changing and sometimes conflicting federal regulations and rules.1.3 Scope of the Study Although there are many various public and private special schools for individuals with intellectual disabilities in Nigeria, this study focused only on one special school in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.The name of the school is: Twobiz International School, Onile-Aro, Ojoo, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.1.4 Purpose of the StudyThis study sought to:1. Find out the vocational skills and programmes studied and provided in the special schools.2. To find out how individuals with intellectual disabilities are prepared towards employment.3. To examine whether the vocational programmes provided satisfies the students or individual future needs to be independent.4. To investigate the transitional programmes available in the schools.5. To identify the educational and counseling interventions and accommodations of intellectually disabled children while attending post-secondary school or college.
1.5 Research Questions/HypothesisThe following questions were raised to guide the study:a. Are vocational programme(s) studied in the special schools?b. How are individuals with intellectual disabilities prepared toward employment?c. What transitional programme are available to appropriately place students in job market for which they are trained?d. How are the vocational programmes meeting students’ future needs?e. Are the students benefiting from federal regulations?f. Is the vocational services/training making a difference in their lives?1.6 Significance of the Study The findings of this study would reveal the vocational programmes offered by two special schools for individuals with intellectual disabilities. The findings will also help ascertain whether the programmes are addressing such individuals future needs with regard to their employment and independent living. The findings will provide information that will enable the staff(s) of the two special schools to re-direct their teaching(s) in order to make the training of individuals with intellectual disabilities more useful to themselves and the society at large.1.7 Definition of Termsa. Learning/Intellectual disability: It is a disability that affects how an individual of average or above average intelligence processes information i.e. receives it, integrates it and or expresses it. A student with intellectual disability may have language based or perceptual problems that affects reading, spellings, writing, language or mathematics abilities.Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) defines the term “Intellectual disability as children with specific learning disabilities who have a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language spoken or written skills.The disorder may manifest itself in imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or doo mathematics calculations.The disorder may include perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia and developmental aphasia. These term does not include children who have learning problems which are primarily the results of visual hearing or motor disabilities of mental disabilities or emotional disturbance or of environment, cultural or economic disadvantages.b. Language deficit: Difficulty articulating words or recalling words to express feeling or events, difficulty communicating similarities and differences, difficulty distinguishing past, present and future forms of verbs.c. Visual Perceptions: Difficulty taking in information through the sense of sight, inability to process information correctly and quickly, trouble seeing a specific object within a complete background such as picking a line out of a book etc problem filling a computerized exam forms or copying information from the board.d. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Six or more symptoms often fidgets with hands, feet or squirms. Often blurts out the answer before questions have been completed.e. Self worth or self-concept: A relatively stable set of self-attitudes reflecting description and analyzing of one’s own behavior and attributes and it is interchangeable with self-esteem and self regard, self-concept emerges from life experiences.f. Self-determination skills: These includes characteristics such as assertiveness, creativity and independence. Skills related found to contribute to successful transition to post secondary education includes:i. An awareness of academic and social strength and weaknesses as well as compensatory strategies.ii. An awareness of services needs an appropriate accommodations andiii. The ability to request information assistance and accommodations when appropriate and necessary (Durlak rose and Bursuck, 2004).g. Self-Efficacy: A construct that refers to an individual’s perception of his or her skills and ability to act effectively and competently and how these beliefs influence actions and coping behavior, the situations and environments that individuals choose to access and their persistence in performing certain tasks (Bandura, 2007).h. Transition: The United States office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OCERS) has defined transition from school to work life as a “process encompassing a broad array of services and experiences that lead to additional post-secondary education or adult services and the initial years in employment”.i. Transition Services: Individuals with Disabilities Education (IDEA) defines transition services as follows: “a coordinated set of activities for a student, designed within an outcome oriented process which promotes movement from school to post-school activities.Also, post school education and vocational training and acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluationj. Self-advocacy: The ability of an individual to effectively communicate, convey, negotiate or assert one’s own interest, desires, needs and rights. It assumes the ability to make informed decisions and to take responsibility for those decisions.