It’s that time of the school year. A new intake and a fresh beginning. As a teacher planning becomes second nature, from the scheme of work to the lesson, IEP’s and person centred. Good planning can make all the difference to educational outcomes. No surprise then when considering employment outcomes for individuals identified with a disability planning is essential. I’ve previously posted about vocational profiling, and training in systematic instruction (TSI) examples of the types of plans that are important to success.
Remember the person centred approach? With the idea that when we are Include our client group consider their dreams and hopes for their lives and ensure they’re involved in the choices that relate to themselves. We should bear these principles in mind when undertaking any planning.
How and Why
Starting off, the vocational profile and initial meeting should really help to give us an idea of the individual’s strengths and capabilities. The individuals personal history is a valuable asset in our planning and vision for the future. Remember previous planning activities and documents such as the Individual Education plan to avoid duplicating your efforts.
We should be mindful to safeguard entitlements of quality of life for the individual and not presume to know what that fully entails as this may vary amongst various cultural and societal groups. Each individual has unique personal characteristics talents strengths and interests that need to be captured and considered to truly represent any quality of life.
But back in reality
At this point I’m sure some of the cynical amongst you will have, rolled you eyes, banged your head upon the desk or at least yawned. We are busy people and are often required to mechanistically produce a vast number planning document for every people we work with. We assess need , determine outcomes and outline the support required. Routinely planning over and over can make proceeding feel predicable and leave practitioners anesthetised to the importance of the work they are producing. Just pause to consider the pivotal nature of this work, literally changing the direction of a persons life and the positive ripple effect this can have on family and friends etc.
If we fail to plan properly, or lack the drive and motivation to do all we can to work towards a successful outcome these changes for good may not be realised.
I’ve worked with many individuals over the years and sometime communication is a barrier, perhaps it’s physical disability or and intellectual disability that prevents them from clearly communicating their vision for the future. In this scenario its vital we take the time to look at the accommodations and adjustments we can make to ensure that their views are captured in our planning. Is assistive technology available? If so then we should really know how to get use to best effect. What other adjustments can be used. Always consider liaising with Speech and Language Therapists to facilitate this processes. Finally we need to have the time – often multiple session to really understand and listen to the people we work with
We are all the net result of our lives up to this point our experiences, successes fears and failures all have their part to play in shaping our responses and personality. This transcends the boundaries of testing, diagnosis, and other events that may have hitherto occurred even ‘behavioural problems’ data, especially quantitate data, does not provide an holistic or complete view we need to dig deeper and get to know the person.