Swedish Research Council Project PAL: Participation for All?

School and post-school pathways of young people with functional disabilities

The research project PAL, supported by the Swedish Research Council, focuses on the educational pathways of young people with a range of abilities and disabilities including their school and post-school situations. PAL aims to generate knowledge that can contribute to identifying successful criteria for transitions to adulthood for young adults.

International Sign

Swedish Sign Language

A recently published report from the UN presents alarming information regarding the situation of disabled individuals in Sweden. For instance, a 100 percent increase in unemployment and a dramatic increase of suicide rates are reported for functionally disabled people in Sweden since 2008. As compared to individuals without disabilities, young people with functional disability (FD) are less represented both within higher education and the labor market in Sweden. The situation in other countries for this group is mixed.

 

About the project

International Sign

Swedish Sign Language

The Participation for All (PAL) project focuses upon the schooling and the post-school situation of two groups of young people: children and young adults (1) who are deaf and (2) those with ADHD. Major demographic changes have taken place within these two groups in Sweden since the turn of the century, with significant implications to their educational pathways in schools and transitions to post-school phases: nearly all deaf toddlers receive cochlear implants (advanced hearing aids that are surgically implanted into the inner ear), and the number of children identified with ADHD has increased dramatically. While both these groups have started leaving upper-secondary schools today, no systematic studies have focused upon their school and post-school situation in Sweden. Moreover, to our knowledge no studies have focused upon these issues for these two groups in other nation-states either. The overarching objective of the PAL project is to generate knowledge that will contribute to enhancing the life-spheres of people with FD.

The PAL project aims to (i) map the current school placements for two groups of children and young people who have primarily the two identified types of FD in Sweden, (ii) study and identify key factors that enable a successful and meaningful transition to adulthood for the groups focused, as well as (iii) identify successful criteria for transition to adulthood for young people with FD in general, in addition to the two focused groups specifically, based on a synthesis of international and Swedish research.

Research questions

International Sign

Swedish Sign Language

The following research questions are being attended to in this unique mixed-methods large-scale project:

  • What types of schools – segregated, mainstreamed, hybrid facilities – are these groups in, in the 21st century?
  • How have these young people been prepared for transitions to adulthood during their school careers?
  • What is documented with regards to special support within different societal sectors (school, rehabilitation, labor-market agencies, non-governmental organizations [NGO’s], etc.) for these groups?
  • How do these young people envisage their future life-spheres?
  • How do key adults in their lives view the young people’s life opportunities?
  • What gender patterns can be identified with regards to these questions within and across the two groups?

The project attempts to illuminate key life transitions by currently conducting case studies of 30-40 young people in the age group of 18-35 years from the two groups in focus. In addition, the project is currently mapping the current demographics of these two groups in the school landscape in Sweden. The project is also conducting in-depth studies within both the national and international literature. Finally, the project is initiating national and cross-national studies with the aim of comparing the provision of support provided by pan-institutions of higher education on the one hand and the legal framework for access to the workforce on the other.

Sub-projects

International Sign

Swedish Sign Language

In order to create a nuanced understanding of the ways in which young people enter adulthood, project PAL consists of three primary sub-projects:

Sub-project 1: to map the present school location of these two groups through a survey of all the compulsory level schools in Sweden.

Sub-project 2: to map the lives of the young people and key individuals in their environments through ethnographic case-studies, including an examination of existing documents from schools, rehabilitation, labor-market agencies, parental organizations and other NGO’s, home pages, blogs, etc.

Sub-project 3: to conduct a systematic meta-study of existing international and Swedish research in order to identity successful criteria for transition for young people in Sweden and elsewhere.

The analysis conducted so far has led to the initiation of more focused national and cross-national studies that aim to compare the provision of support provided in different types of higher education in Sweden on the one hand, and the legal framework for making working life accessible for people with FD on the other. The nation-states of Japan, India, Germany and Sweden have been chosen specifically for the latter.

Members of the research project

International Sign

Swedish Sign Language

PAL Project Leader

Sangeeta Bagga-Gupta, Professor, School of Education and Communication, Jönköping University

Sub-project 1 Leader

Johan Malmqvist, Associate Professor, School of Education and Communication, Jönköping University

Sub-project 1 Members: Johan Malmqvist, Sangeeta Bagga-Gupta, Giulia Messina Dahlberg

Sub-project 2 Leader

Sangeeta Bagga-Gupta, Professor, School of Education and Communication, Jönköping University

Sub-project 2-A Members: Giulia Messina Dahlberg, Shruti Taneja Johansson, Sangeeta Bagga-Gupta, Eva Hjörne

Sub-project 2-D Members: Sangeeta Bagga-Gupta, Ingela Holmström, Michael Karlsson

Sub-project 3 Leader

Giulia Messina Dahlberg, Senior Lecturer, Department of Education and Special Education, Gothenburg University

Sub-project 3 Members: Giulia Messina Dahlberg, Johan Malmqvist, Sangeeta Bagga-Gupta, Sara Goico

PAL Project Members

Sangeeta Bagga-Gupta, Professor, School of Education and Communication, Jönköping University

Eva Hjörne, Professor, Department of Education and Special Education, Gothenburg University

Ingela Holmström, Senior Lecturer, Department of Linguistics, Stockholm University

Shruti Taneja Johansson, Assistant Professor, Department of Education and Special Education, Gothenburg University

Michael Karlsson, Research Assistant

Johan Malmqvist, Associate Professor, School of Education and Communication, Jönköping University

Giulia Messina Dahlberg, Senior Lecturer, Department of Education and Special Education, Gothenburg University

PAL Project Coordinator

Karen Ann Blom, Lecturer, School of Education and Communication, Jönköping University

PAL Project Contact

Karen Ann Blomexternal link, opens in new window 
karenann.blom@ju.se
Tel: 036-101863

Publications

Files available for download
File type icon Filename File size File upload date
PAL Publications.pdf 200.2 kB 2019-02-20 09.04

Content updated 2019-03-20

We use cookies on JU.se. By continuing to use this site you accept the use of cookies. More information