Podcast Episode 62 Only successful organizations can provide sustainable, long term paid employment and expand to provide more job opportunities. Continue reading
Podcast Episode 61 We all understand why work is an important step toward independent living, but all to often the employment opportunities are limited for young people with additional needs. Continue reading
Podcast Episode 60 For most of us being part of a community is essential for our wellbeing and often starts where we live. Continue reading
This is a celebration episode, celebrating reaching 50 episodes, celebrating all the amazing guests who have been on the podcast Continue reading
Podcast Episode 49. Job carving can help create sustainable employment opportunities according to this week’s podcast guest Neil Willows Continue reading
What’s in a job? An awful lot, I believe, if you’re a young person with additional needs. I should qualify that by acknowledging that for some young people there will be restrictions on the kind of jobs they can hold down because of the nature of their needs. I know certain jobs my daughter has expressed an interest in won’t work for her, like being a tour guide at Harry Potter World. She gets anxious in large groups. But I do remember one parent telling me how important it is to work with what our children want to do, and try and find a creative way for them achieve that. So for my daughter possibly a tour guide in a smaller attraction is an option.
In my mind I have this plan: my daughter will one day have a job, earn her own money and live independently. But it isn’t a plan with a timescale attached. She is 16, so plenty of time to worry about that later, right? No, wrong! the years fly by. So instead of just talking, I need to start timing the plan. At the same age, my oldest already had a part-time job on the weekend. This not only helped her confidence, but it gave her a sense of control over her own life because the money she earned she could spend any way she wanted. A sense of control is an essential part of growing up, and one many young people with additional needs miss out on. The fact is very few young people with additional needs end up having part-time jobs while still in full-time education.
So what is the first step to getting this part-time job? One option is to start with volunteering because there needs to be a dose of realism here. Volunteering can enable her to experience the world of work without the pressures that come with a paid job. But this has to be temporary. Volunteering, in my mind, is not a job; it’s giving something back to the community, which we should all do but it won’t help pay the bills.
Another option could be asking friends with businesses to help out with some work experience, unpaid at first most likely. Most of us know people who have a business, and maybe they have a role which fits into what your young person is interested in. If you’re very lucky you just happen to have a friend who owns a video games company or a chocolate factory. But I don’t think the role is as important as the responsibility of having to be somewhere, to do something. That gives the sense of progress towards independence.
If you are lucky enough to have one of the organizations I have talked with on the podcast on your doorstep, then this whole process might be easier. Approach them and see what connections they can help out with. This is a good chance to start planning ahead because if you’re similar to me your son/daughter is still at school so not in need of these services just yet. Organizations like Invictus Enterprises, Team Domenica, Acceptable Enterprises, Yes She Can Inc. and bemix are ready and able to provide the stepping stones into paid employment.
In so many ways we support our children, so helping them transition into paid work is just another one of our many challenges. But I feel the rewards will be worth the struggles. I can’t wait for my daughter to get her first paycheck and choose to spend her money on something I totally disapprove of. A job will equal more control over her life, more choices and she deserves this just like everyone else.
Podcast Episode 46. What happens to young people with additional needs when they finish full-time education? How will they find employment? How will they cope on their own throughout adulthood? Continue reading
Podcast Episode 45. Successful sustainable employment opportunities for young people with additional needs comes when support is provided for not just the young person but also for their employer too. Continue reading
Podcast Episode 43. “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right,” according to Henry Ford: this week’s podcast guest Marjorie Madfis clearly believes this to be true. Continue reading
Podcast Episode 40. Everyone needs a Shed – a place to go, to be. But this Shed is much more than that, Continue reading