The parents of all children have hopes and aspirations for them, but often the parents of children with a disability are told that their child will not be able to participate in work and the activities that go along with it.
Test scores or physical skills aren’t essential for success. The most important factor is that the person wants to work. This, along with the support they receive from family and caregivers means that they have a good chance of succeeding in employment.
There is a range of actions a parent, family member or caregiver can undertake to help develop a pathway to meaningful employment for their child.
If you are a parent or carer of a child in Primary School with disability, you can:
- Provide positive comments about them eventually being a part of the workforce and earning a wage.
- Find out information about what training opportunities will be available in later schooling.
- Encourage your child to do jobs around the house, with a reward system to reinforce the idea of working.
- Encourage your child to take care of their personal appearance.
- Help educate your child about the jobs that are out there in the community. Point out different jobs and talk with your child about them.
- Be optimistic about your child’s future and share this optimism with your family, friends and other contacts.
If you are the parent of a child with disability who is currently attending High School, you can:
- Discuss the prospect of work with your child.
- Encourage your school to provide programs that include vocational skills and actively support the staff providing the training.
- Support the school in the arrangement of work experiences and encourage your child to participate.
- Try to identify opportunities for your child to undertake volunteer or even paid part-time work.
- Provide a range of recreational activities for your child to be involved in.
- Obtain information on careers your child may be interested in.
- In the final years of school, contact a specialist employment agency to assist in the transition from school to work. EPIC Assist can work with your child’s teachers to develop a plan of action.
- Reinforce personal care and healthy activities.
- Continue to be optimistic about your child’s future.
- Consider enrolling your son or daughter in a service that can provide some vocational experience and training.
EPIC Assist aims for long term employment. One of the most important factors in achieving this is to find a job that suits the individual’s interests and abilities. EPIC then stays on the journey and provides ongoing support for as long as required.