CLD Transition Research Project
Focus Groups

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Focus groups are a widely used research method that involves bringing people together for in-depth discussions of issues of interest. The information produced by a group discussion is usually richer, more complete, and more revealing than that which can be obtained through questionnaires. The goal is to develop 10 focus groups of six to eight youth (two focus groups at each of the five field sites). Each focus group will be comprised of youth with disabilities from the same CLD group. They will be recruited from participants in the national survey who are found to have achieved success in postsecondary education. The results of the national survey and input from the participatory action research (PAR) teams will be used to develop probe questions to be used as discussion points during focus group sessions. Focus group sessions will be scheduled to last 90 minutes but may be extended if group members desire. As many focus group sessions will be held as needed to cover the probe questions (it is expected that each focus group will meet for at least three sessions). Sessions will be taped, and transcriptions of the tapes will be coded using qualitative data analysis computer software (such as NVivo). The results of the focus group analysis will be discussed with the PAR teams, which will help develop recommendations on "promising" or "successful" practices supporting CLD youth with disabilities to successfully access and participate in postsecondary education. Some of the focus group members will be recruited for case studies that illustrate the use of these practices.
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