Students With Disabilities Survey

Department of Education (to March 26, 2013)

December 3, 2008 2:59 PM

College and university graduates with disabilities are finding jobs at a rate equal to their peers who are not disabled.

A survey by the Department of Education found 81 per cent of graduates with disabilities were working and another seven per cent were about to start a job. This total of 88 per cent mirrors the 89 per cent of Nova Scotians 25 to 49 years old with post-secondary education who were employed in the reference year, 2007. About one-half of the graduates who were not looking for work had returned to school and about one-quarter had health issues.

"We want all Nova Scotians to get the education they need to get good jobs, said Education Minister Karen Casey.

"The Department of Education works hard to put in place services and supports to ensure students with challenges can succeed. The results of this survey highlight the successes and also give us information on how to improve our efforts."

The release of the report coincides with the United Nations International Day of Disabled Persons, today, Dec. 3. This year's theme is Dignity and Justice for All of Us.

The 2007 study surveyed 259 former students from the 2005-06 academic year. The students had attended the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) or a university in Nova Scotia. Of these, 195 had graduated while 64 withdrew before graduating.

Overall, about 75 per cent of those surveyed had studied at NSCC and 25 percent had studied at a university.

The former students reported a wide range of disabilities including learning, mental health, muscular/skeletal, attention deficit disorder, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, deafness and chronic illness.

The survey is part of a five-year study, in collaboration with the Canadian Council on Learning, that is examining the graduation rate, employment and quality of life of students with disabilities.

The survey also found that while the employment rate for both groups is roughly similar, 83 per cent for those that withdrew and 80 per cent for graduates, the earnings of graduates was higher.

When employed in jobs related to their educational fields, the survey said university graduates earned an average of $32,941 per year and community college graduates earned $28,331 annually, while those students that withdrew earned $28,101 per year.

The salaries of graduates with disabilities is roughly similar to their peers without disabilities, although they did earn about five per cent less, the survey notes.

Other survey results include:
-- 46.7 per cent of those who were not in the labour force had returned to school
-- 69.7 per cent of employed respondents indicated their job was directly or indirectly related to their education.

The survey can be found at www.ednet.ns.ca.

The number of students with disabilities enrolled in post-secondary education has increased in each of the last three academic years. Over the same period, there has been a 45.5 per cent increase in the number of graduating students. In the 2007-08 academic year there were 2,600 students with disabilities enrolled in post-secondary study in Nova Scotia.

A survey of former students from the 2006-07 academic year has just been completed with the results expected in the spring.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     College and university graduates with disabilities are

finding jobs at a rate equal to their peers who are not disabled,

according to a survey released today (December 3rd)to coincide

with United Nations International Day of Disabled Persons.

     The survey by the Department of Education found 88 per cent

of graduates with disabilities were working or about to start a

job, a rate that mirrors their non-disabled peers.

     The salaries of graduates with disabilities is also similar

their peers without disabilities, although they did earn about

five per cent less.

     Education Minister Karen Casey says the department works
hard to ensure students with challenges can succeed and

the survey provides information on how to improve its services

and supports to students with disabilities.

     The 2007 study surveyed 259 former students from the 2005-06

academic year. The students had attended the Nova Scotia

Community College or a university in Nova Scotia.

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Media Contact: Dan Harrison
              Department of Education
              902-424-3150
              E-mail: harrisdj@gov.ns.ca