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Career Pathways Project: Supporting students and graduates in the transition to employment – guest post

Many thanks to Eileen Daly (Careers Adviser for Students with Disabilities) at the Careers Advisory Service, Trinity College, Dublin. Eileen has provided the guest post below, describing the success of The Career Pathways project partnership…

Career Pathways logo

Career Pathways

The Career Pathways project partnership provided a flexible and individually-tailored transition service for students with disabilities, accessible throughout college, to support them to prepare for transition to employment.

The project was developed by The Career Advisory Service and the Disability Service in Trinity College Dublin (funded Jan 2014 – 2016 by the Genio trust). Dublin Institute of Technology, University College Dublin, Dublin City University, and Marino Institute of Education were partners in the project. Find out more at http://www.tcd.ie/disability/career/Pathways/

Goals were set collaboratively with the student and a plan of action was agreed. A range of resources were available to students to support them to achieve their individual goals. These included: individual meetings with Occupational Therapists, Careers Advisers, Disability Officers and Assistive Technology Officers.

Students also attended monthly workshops facilitated by peer supporters and a variety of employer events as well as a three day annual boot camp. Career development resources were created via a specially designed e-portfolio system.

The process involved three stages:

  • Exploring your career
  • Building your career
  • Launching your career

Topics discussed in meetings and workshops included CV development, interview preparation, refining reasonable accommodations for the workplace, disclosure of disability at work and managing health and well-being in the workplace.

Project outcomes:

  • 126 students with disabilities used Career Pathways between January 2014 and December 2016.
  • Over 400 individual meetings took place between students and OTs / Careers Advisers.
  • 61 students accessed the ePortfolio system, developed within the project to allow students to log their work related experiences and engagement with resources.
  • 75 students attended monthly workshops and a three day careers boot camp (May 2015 & May 2016) delivered by the OTs, Careers Advisers, peers, ambassadors, and employers.
  • 14 student ambassadors have been recruited who will act as peer mentors to future students.
  • 26 Disability and Careers Service staff from four Dublin colleges have attended training workshops on supporting students with disabilities in their transition to employment.
  • 16 employers have connected with Career Pathways, with three large multi-national employers hosting events in their head offices.

 

An online resource, “Inclusive approaches to working with students with disabilities – the journey from study to employment” was developed and is available at: https://www.tcd.ie/disability/assets/pdf/Career%20Pathways%20publication.pdf

The project has concluded and we envisage the learning from the project will continue to be beneficial to students, graduates and careers and disability service professionals in the future.

Eileen Daly, Careers Adviser for Students with Disabilities, Careers Advisory Service, Trinity College Dublin, July 2016

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Every little helps?

Before you point it out I do know that it’s a different supermarket’s slogan but hey – it got your attention!

You probably spotted the following story back in April as it was quite widely reported in the press. An Asda superstore in Manchester was praised for introducing a ‘quiet hour’ in an attempt to make shopping easier for people with autism and other disabilities.

Asda living shop

As The Huffington Post reported, “The Asda Living store in Cheetham Hill will be completely silent for sixty minutes every Saturday. Escalators will be stopped and in-store music turned down during the hour, in which its boss says you will be “able to hear a pin drop”. Display TVs and tannoy announcements will also be switched off, to make the experience better for people with autism who can find loud noises difficult to deal with.”

Good news for some shoppers and undoubtedly good publicity for Asda, but this story also got me thinking about our careers fairs and other similar events. Continue reading

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