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Project Update: April 2023


What have we been up to?

  • We are hard at work finishing up the final touches on our Youth Survey Report. This report analyzes survey responses collected from youth across BC who are ages 15-30 and self-identify as having a disability (including mental health and substance use challenges). Over three months (May-August 2022), we have collected 463 survey responses. In the ensuing months, we coded and analyzed this data. See the Learning Spotlight for a sneak peek of our findings!

  • We have also just published two interactive data maps showcasing our youth survey data! Explore these on our Publications + Reports page.

  • We’re well underway on phase 1 of our Environmental Scan Report. This report is a review of what the existing information says about the gaps, barriers, and best practices in the current landscape of support. It will complement our survey and focus groups findings.


Learning spotlight: Youth Survey Report

Although most respondents had not accessed employment support, the majority (79%) of those who had accessed it found it helpful. A greater percentage (37%) of these youth were working full time—when compared to youth who had not accessed support and were working full time (25%). This shows that the employment services that are currently available to youth with disabilities are helpful. Youth who had accessed employment programs highlighted the following as the most helpful supports:

  • Support with resume writing.

  • Support to prepare for and move through the job search process.

  • Support to learn interview skills.

  • Support to set employment goals.

Although youth found these supports helpful, they identified the following as supports that were missing from programs:

  • Support to learn and practice life skills (e.g., budgeting, etc.).

  • Support to learn how to manage mental health (e.g., emotional regulation while on the job, maintaining work-life balance, etc.).

Responses from youth who had not accessed employment programs followed the same themes. They shared that a mix of support with practical employment skills and general life skills, including mental health management, would be most helpful.

Although effective supports are being offered in employment programs, survey findings highlight an opportunity to better serve youth with disabilities by incorporating a greater focus on general life skills and overall mental wellness.


What's next?

  • We have begun work on a Life and Career Development Model for Youth with Disabilities. We are establishing a couple working groups to support us in building out this model.

  • The Youth Advisory Committee will be having their second meeting at the end of May to provide feedback on the Guiding Principles Checklist. For more info on our Guiding Principles, you can see the accompanying webpage.

  • User testing of the Guiding Principles Checklist is scheduled to begin in June.

  • Both the Caregiver and Service Provider Survey Reports will be published shortly. We look forward to sharing these insights with you in the coming months.


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