Nicole Allen

I am mother to a 21 yr old young lady who would like to work.
We have had experience with Des provider and Customised Employment.
Customised Employment being the better.

The Obvious Elephant in the room is our disabilities Lack of Education opportunities in areas for Meaningful Employment.

*Mainstream students have a WIDE range of options to select from. Once achieved, they can pursue meaningful employment*

How is it that this VERY IMPORTANT PIECE in meaningful employment is Side Stepped for our disabilities??

If you want appeal to potential employers, you need to educate our people with disabilities, even if it is a narrow part of that field. At least give them a chance to be competitive and offer themselves with some confidence rather than being the shit kicker, emptying bins and not being good enough for more.

Our people value themselves on the investment that we put into them. Stop talking about how your going to change employers perception and start making our people competitive by narrowing their area of study to become experts in the field of interest. This is how they will become competitive and

These past 5 years have made me so mad in our daughters journey. It started in Year 11 when discussions were encouraged to reach your dreams for of meaningful employment. I told the school that they were wrong to do this, that they were setting the kids up to fall.

Fell she did as I spent the next two years peeling away her belief that she could be a forensic scientist.

TAFE started after 13 years of school and the choices were dismal.

She chose a course for general education because there wasn’t much on offer. She struggled with lack of class room support but got there and graduated from that full time course and learnt allot of lifeskill which worked well at this stage of her independence.

The following year those lack of choices facing us again was just deflating.
What happened to those dreams? What happened to the meaningful employment that she’s going to get.
Thank goodness for Customised Employment as she gained some work experience and learnt more about herself and applying for positions.

So… here we are, unemployed, no options available in areas of interest that is supported learning and no options for fun at TAFE in supported learning.

**Why can’t support workers support them in the class room and bridge that gap of communication while learning?
At the end of the day, it is the disabled person who sits the test, not the support.
Why can’t this happen? At least some of this support that NDIS is paying for could be used productively.

I am frustrated by the lack of options for young people in TAFE. By the lack of Support in the disability class rooms also in in TAFE.

Disabilities will never be valued in a work place if they cannot learn to become expert in that field. Even if that field of expertise is narrowed to cater for their capacity.
I shake my head reading all this meaningful employment talk and bridging the gap.

Educate our people by allowing support people to learn with them, or put on decent courses with support.
Give them something to bargain with, rather than begging for a job cutting paper or emptying bins.

Thank you.
Nicole Allen
Guardian & Mum.