This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Employment Preparation for High School Students with Significant Intellectual Disabilities




Moon, Jennifer

Type of Degree



Rehabilitation and Special Education


Only eight percent of people with significant intellectual disabilities are employed, as compared to 81% of people without disabilities (Harris & Associates, 2000). A predictor of successful employment for students with significant intellectual disabilities is participation in employment preparation programs while in high school (Carter, Austin, & Trainor, 2011). This study’s purpose was to examine the role high school special education teachers in Alabama and Georgia public schools play in exposing students with significant intellectual disabilities to employment preparation experiences. A survey was developed and distributed to collect desired data. This study found that the majority of high school students are receiving work preparation experiences within the classroom, while the fewest are receiving their instruction in a paid work setting. The variables that increase the likelihood of student participation in these programs are: high levels of perceived support and increased years of teaching experience. Additionally, survey respondents provided open-ended question data that contained common barriers and solutions for other special education teachers wanting to implement similar employment preparation programs.