The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of a technology early career preparation program developed in partnership with Chicago companies: SPR Consulting, Microsoft, AON Insurance Company, Northern Trust, the City of Chicago Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities, the IT Knowledge and Abilities Network (ITKAN), BlackJob.com, and the Chicago Public Schools. There will be two phases:
Phase 1: RCT intervention development phase (Years 1 & 2)
Phase 2: Efficacy study phase (Year 2 to Year 5)
This intervention program is designed specifically for African American youth with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) to increase their technology career interests, self-efficacy, outcome expectancy, goal persistence, and positive post-school outcomes.
Transitioning from secondary education into adulthood is one of the most significant milestones for youth with IDD. There is a strong need to prepare students to navigate critical aspects of adulthood, including postsecondary education, employment, independent living, and community participation. Employment is central to physical, economic, psychological, and social well-being. For youth with IDD, there is strong empirical evidence that they are at higher risk for poor post-school employment outcomes than their peers. We will be developing a manual for the TECH-Prep intervention aiming at improving technology career interest, competence, and post-school technology outcomes of African American high school students with IDD. The second phase of the study will test efficacy of the manualized TECH-Prep interventions and falls into the efficacy stage of research.