ENABLE Scotland would like your help to understand more about the support young people with a learning disability, and their parents, need to help them find work after leaving school.

We are asking parents to complete a short online questionnaire and, if they wish, to take part in a group discussion or informal one-to-one conversation. All responses are strictly confidential and no individual family or young person will be identifiable when the findings are published.

The information with this letter explains more about the project and why we are doing this. If you are interested in taking part please read the information carefully, and if anything is unclear or you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

For more information please contact Marnie Watters07889 456 229 email marnie.watters@enable.org.uk

Who are ENABLE Scotland?

ENABLE Scotland is the largest charity in Scotland dedicated to creating an equal society for every person who has a learning disability.

ENABLE Works is the employment arm of ENABLE Scotland and is responsible for this project.

ENABLE Works is an experienced provider of employment services for people who have additional support needs. It runs a wide range of programmes including Stepping Up, a national transitions programme for young people with additional support needs in schools. Since 2009 Stepping Up has worked in more than 70 schools across 11 Local Authority areas, and supported more than 1600 young people.

What is the purpose of the study?

The study aims to identify issues that influence the guidance, choices, planning and support available to parents of young people with a learning disability related to moving into work after school.

Only 88.8% of young people who have a learning disability go on to further education, training or employment from school compared with 96.4% of mainstream young people, and the gap is widening. By the time a young person who has a learning disability reaches 25 they are four times more likely to be unemployed than their neurotypical peers.

Why have I been chosen?

You have been chosen as your young person is currently participating in ENABLE Scotland’s Stepping Up programme. ENABLE Scotland values the opinions of parents of children and young people with disabilities to shape future transitions support for children and young people with disabilities in Scotland.

We are also interested to hear from parents who have a learning disability themselves, to capture their experiences and opinions.

What will happen if I take part?

If you decide to take part you will be asked to complete an online questionnaire and if you wish, attend a further group discussion or one to one interview with one of our qualified Employment Coordinators. Due to COVID 19 restrictions group discussions and interviews will probably be held remotely via a platform such as Zoom, Skype or  MS Teams, or if you prefer ENABLE Scotland can call you directly on the phone. This discussion will be informal and will give you a chance to share your thoughts on a series of questions around transition support for young people in Scotland.

Will my taking part in this study be kept confidential?

We will anonymise all information we gather unless you give us permission to use your personal details. You will be required to sign permission forms at the start of the group, where you can say if you wish your opinions to be anonymised or not.

Your feedback will shape ENABLE Scotland’s research report, which will be sent to the Scottish Government, who are funding this work. As a result, we hope we will be able to influence the support available to parents of  young people with a learning disability making a transition into employment.