On Friday 4th April Decipha CIC organised another successful day looking at aspirations and possibilities for employment for young people with complex learning and/or physical disabilities.
25 people including 6 young adults along with their parents and carers met at St Joseph’s in Hackney to hear Kathy Melling from the British Association of Supported Employment (BASE) present inspirational case studies of young people who have been able to take up opportunities for apprencticeships and employment including self employment. She also explained about the new opportunities which will become available in September 2014 when the new SEND legislation comes into force including opportunities for supported internships, traineeships apprenticeships and further employment options.
Emily Birkinshaw from 'First Impressions First Experiences', Scope's Employability Training and Mentoring programme in East London presented further inspirational examples of how it is possible to be supported into work with the right support at the right time.
There followed an excellent workshop facilitated by Kathy on ‘Thinking About Your Dream Job’ and identifying the next steps needed to get on the road to training and/or employment. Young people and their parents were able to ask questions and were provided with excellent information to help signpost them to the information and support available.
Deri Jones from the charity Lifelites spoke to the group about a real job opportunity of specific interest to young disabled people. He talked about the Enable Gaming module on the Game Cultures Course at London South Bank University which needs the support of young disabled people to test the accessibility functions of the newly designed games by LSBU students.
This presents a unique self employment opportunity for young people with a disability and an interest in the gaming world. We had almost unanimous interest in this!
We heard again during the day that for many young people with a disability there are still poor expectations and little serious planning for their future. Many of the young people reported lack of careers advice. Those in the group who had gone on to higher education did not progress to employment and are isolated at home with limited independence. Parents and carers spoke of not being able to navigate the system to access the information or opportunities available.
Again Decipha CIC has brought together experts this time to share information about how young disabled people can access the world of further education/training and work. It is clear that there is much to do to inform young people and families about what is available and also to provide the support for them to be able to access what is available. This has implications for all Local Authorities currently designing their Local Offers. What specific careers advice will be available and how will disabled young people know about it and be supported to access it?