An almost taken for granted rite of passage for most people is the move from school to work.
This transition is a sometimes scary, sometimes stressful and generally always exciting time and one that leaves lasting memories: I earned seven pounds ten shillings which was handed me in a small yellow pay envelope which I wasnt allowed to open, rather I took it home to my mum who opened it for me, took the five pounds she felt my keep was worth and left me feeling like the king of the world with the princely sum of two pound ten!
For young people who have a disability, what the rest of the world might take for granted is not such a smooth ride. It wasnt so long ago that only about 3% of all school leavers with significant disability actually achieved what we know as open employment â€“ a real job for real wages with the same working conditions enjoyed by people that dont have a disability.
Today that figure is much higher. In fact NOVAs Transition to Work program proudly boasts an almost 100% success rate for trainees in a range of roles that would scarcely have been imaginable 10 years ago.
I was privileged to speak to a group of present, former and would be trainees today at NOVAs Blacktown TTW program â€“ they were inspirational! The to-be program participants had the opportunity to talk to those that are presently completing their program and hear from former participants (now all workers) about their joy in work and the pathway each had followed in achieving success.
And we arent just talking about minimum hour, minimum pay jobs. A very chirpy young lady proudly spoke of her role and how, after 6 months, NOVA staff had helped her translate the part time work into a full time traineeship (no credit or recognition from our funding body for this but my staff are committed to excellence â€“ this is genuine 5 Star service).
Another young man spoke of his employment in the dream job for many young men, working with heavy earth moving equipment, driving excavators and forklifts, servicing and repairing same and generally getting filthy in the process.
There will be 85 graduates this year and I am very confident that every single one will make the move from program participant to taxpayer.
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Choice & Control
The NDIS slogans around choice and control demonstrate the importance of consumer involvement in both the choice and control of supports they need.
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Famous last words!
O.K. - sorry that you need to cut and paste: http://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace-relations/100-million-payday-for-1anhour-staff-with-disabilities-20161216-gtcius....
Not sure if this will be my last blog post for 2016 but just in case, a quick look back at 2016:
Best ever year for total number of placements
Best ever year for long term employment outcomes
Best ever year for Apprenticeships and Traineeships
Best ever year for Transition to Work outcomes
Best ever year for media coverage
Best ever year for 'Focusonability'
Best ever year for Transition to Work (TTW)
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