Opportunity to Transition with Dignity: Silos and Trialling in Aotearoa New Zealand

Keywords: significant disability, Aotearoa New Zealand, school leaving, ethnography, capability approach


Transition out of school is more than an administrative procedure, biological life stage, or public policy issue; transition is a human right. Yet, community participation in post-school life is challenging, particularly for those with significant disability. Findings from this 6-month ethnographic study confirm that two issues—silos, or breakdowns in collaboration, and trialling post-school options—were impediments to a transition with dignity. Deep examination into the experiences and perspectives of 3 young men demonstrated the challenges they faced in moving from schooling to a life in the community. Their experiences were analysed in a disability studies framework using the capability approach (Nussbaum, 2006; Sen, 1985) to prioritise opportunities to transition with dignity.


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