Negotiating the 'Catch 22': Transitioning to Knowledge Work for University Graduates with Learning Disabilities


  • Athena Goodfellow



This paper examines the experiences of graduates with learning disabilities (GLD) transitioning into knowledge-based work in Ontario, Canada. The purpose of this paper is to identify and discuss the messiness in the university-to-work transition for GLD. To do so, this paper draws from interviews conducted with GLD in university and in the labour market. This paper first discusses the rise of the smart worker standard, a standard sensitive to socio-culture norms, in recruitment of knowledge workers. The analysis of this paper examines three key stages of transition, namely: interviewing, employment testing and probationary period. This study’s analysis demonstrates a ‘catch-22’ for GLD where they fear stigmatization through either disclosing their disability and non-disclosure where they risk being perceived as ‘lazy’ or ‘incompetent’. The conclusion provides recommendations to support the transition experiences of GLD.


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How to Cite

Goodfellow, A. (2014). Negotiating the ’Catch 22’: Transitioning to Knowledge Work for University Graduates with Learning Disabilities. Just Labour, 22.