I’ve had the privilege of working in the field of Special Education (SEN) for over a decade, during this time I have worked with a really diverse range of individuals with varying need. What have I learned? Despite my years of training and experience as a teacher, I’m the one who’s been inspired and educated. What I’ve experienced is a group of individuals who have overcome the types of challenges and adversity that many of us just couldn’t understand, with determination and perseverance they have gone on to excel and build a positive rewarding life that’s really motivational. Many times at the heart of this is independence and the opportunity to build a meaning life and career.
What I do
During my career I’ve specialised in the area of Supported Internships working with Young individuals (aged between 16-25) and I’ve managed a Supported Internship team who work with a large local employer for with a clear goal, to find employment or improve the chances of gaining employment for young people (interns) identified with Special Educational Needs.
I completed a Masters degree in Education to broaden my understanding of Inclusivity and Educational Leadership as well as conducting research into the employment preferences of young people with a learning difficulty or disability.
My work makes use of techniques like Training in Systematic Instruction (TSI) I have been a part of the transformation the lives of a number of individuals helping them transition from education to paid employment, raising confidence, and in some cases achieving more than any of us thought possible.
I specialise in working with young adults starting from the age of 14 and above, Through my career I’ve helped many young people into the workplace and understand that the task of finding employment seems almost impossible.
Our society has a problem by current estimates, young people with a disability often fall short of employment with as little as 6% gaining employment. So, we just don’t see enough people to model on. And so its very difficult for parents cares and maybe even the young people themselves to imagine themselves in paid work.
Let me assure you though it can and does happen and whatever a young persons profile ability or disability there are steps that can be taken to improve the chances of gaining employment. Many of these processes are described in my blog from discovery to vocational profiling with coaching and support you can create a path to a successful and meaningful life for those you care for.
Whatever your background it’s true that disabilities are a part of our daily lives; in fact, according to 2011 census data There are 9.4 million disabled people in England, roughly 18% of the population, 45% males 55% females. To assist this burgeoning group there are many positive options set up for people with disabilities, but my experience has demonstrated that many of the resources aren’t always well advertised or don’t consistently accessible, even now with years experience in the field I’m learning of new services. It’s also sadly true that much of the information made inaccessible, as it’s too in-depth or at times.We are all different and wonderfully diverse, and ultimately, that’s what makes the world interesting. We’re all people with not only equal rights, but who deserve an equal chance at a full and fulfilling life.
Discover Ability the website
I’ve added lots of free content on to this website that will help you along your way, there also the first free discover-ability ebook that has lots of information about getting a job if you’ve got a disability. All yours well worth having a read.
The website is designed to be accessible and conforms to W3 WCAG 2.0 with controls for changing text size, contrast and colour. you can add a text to speech which should work well in reader mode.
The Blog: Covers a broad range of topics it’s searchable and for the most part should be informative concise, readable and fun if you read it, it may be obvious some pages aren’t written by me (I’m not in my 20’s and living in the US) These contributors may have disability themselves. The content should be useful people with a disability and professionals working in this area.
The Pages: Pages with information to helped Supported Internship /Employment professionals
- Training in Systematic Instruction (TSI)
- Supported Employment
- Supported Internships, models advice etc
- Legal information
- Online Resources
- Signposting to other relevant services, organisations and charities
It is possible!
I believe anyone identified with a disability can be highly productive members of society. There are a wide variety of jobs can succeed at, giving them a greater amount of independence and autonomy.
I promote the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively and support their full inclusion and participation in the community and employment
My greatest ambition is to help those who wish to give disabled people one more step of autonomy by helping them acquire a stable job.
Out of the disabled people of the population that has learning disability in the UK, only 6.6% have paid work. The demand for labour far exceeds that number, with an estimated 65% of that them expressing their wish to work. Indeed my own research indicated over 98% of individuals aged 14-19 wished to gain employment.
Whether you are a parent, carer, a supported employment professional or in need of help yourself, my focus is supporting the process identifying specific marketable skills and offering guidance when matching them to a potential employment setting. It is my view, that everybody deserves the chance to work, and many disabled individuals have a wide array of skills to offer, including a positive attitude, loyalty, and often an unexpected talent (Gardner, 1991) looked at the many ways people can be talented – ‘The Seven Intelligences’ as he calls them are varied, and an individuals disability does not universally apply across the intelligence spectrum. (i.e don’t write someone off just because of a disability… see Richard Branson, Stephen Hawkings etc )
Whoever you are, a disabled person, a professional colleague, friend or a family member I want to help I am = passionately committed to helping disabled people, and furthermore, to change the way they are viewed from “disabled” to happy, productive