This article was originally published here
BMJ open. 2022 Jan 7;12(1):e056678. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-056678.
INTRODUCTION: The quality and range of vocational training (VT) courses offered to young people with disabilities (YwD) in low- and middle-income countries are under-explored. This protocol describes a study designed to gather the perceptions of a range of stakeholders regarding the quality and relevance of VT programs conducted by the Department of Social Services in Sri Lanka. The objective of this study is to communicate to the authorities the means of improving their services, paying particular attention to the needs and recommendations of all stakeholders.
METHODS AND ANALYSIS: A parallel mixed-methods study will be conducted in eight vocational training institutes (VTIs). A survey will be conducted with five groups of participants; YwD currently enrolled in VTIs (n=358) and their caregivers (n=358), YwDs who have completed VT (n=45) and their caregivers (n=45), and VTI educators (n=47). The qualitative component includes semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions. The three groups of participants include: educators, potential YwD caregivers for future VT (6-10 per group) and key informants from the state, corporate and non-governmental sectors (a total of 20). Quantitative and qualitative data will be analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics and cross-thematic analyses, respectively.
ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This study has received ethical clearance from the Ethics Review Committee, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya (Ref. No: P/15/02/2021). All data collection processes will adhere to the health and safety measures required by the national government. Written informed consent will be obtained from all participants. The results of this research will be disseminated to local stakeholders and participants through local and international conferences and publications in peer-reviewed journals.