Exploring learning disabilities: supporting belonging
Exploring learning disabilities: supporting belonging

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Exploring learning disabilities: supporting belonging

3 Having a job

Being in work can be a positive experience for people with learning disabilities, but it can also present some challenges.

Activity 2 Experiences of work

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

Watch this short video of some of the actors from Access all Areas, a theatre company for people with learning disabilities, talking about their experiences of work over the years. Then answer the questions below.

Download this video clip.Video player: Video 3
Skip transcript: Video 3

Transcript: Video 3

CIAN
At a charity shop that shall remain nameless, a local charity shop, I did some awful work experience there. I was basically there to kind of stack things on shelves. But that's not where-- that's why I thought I was going to be there to do. But I wasn't. I was putting clothes on cloak hangers behind the charity shop, in a little room that smelt pretty bad. And it was full of really rough, unpleasant people.
DAYO
Yeah. I always like enjoying the acting. And it's one of my favourite things. And it's also part of, it’s also a learning experience, as well.
TERRY
I did, through Lewisham college, I was actually a support teacher for cooking. Would you believe it? Because they wouldn't let me do my cooking course because of health safety with my wheelchair So they said you can teach in the cooking course for disabled people. So that's what I did. And I got paid for it, which was cool.
DAYO
You know, since I've been on telly, I've also done theatre, and also done the diploma. Yeah so things have been absolutely a step up.
End transcript: Video 3
Video 3
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).
  1. Cian’s experience at the charity shop was:

a. 

fulfilling


b. 

boring


c. 

met his expectations


The correct answer is b.

  1. Dayo describes his acting work with Access all Areas as:

a. 

a learning experience


b. 

a job that has given him opportunities


c. 

a temporary job while he finds something else


The correct answers are a and b.

  1. Terry’s job at the college meant he could:

a. 

get paid


b. 

teach


The correct answers are a and b.

Video 3 showed that people with learning disabilities have varied experiences of the workplace and finding a job.

  1. Unfortunately even if a person with learning disabilities secures paid employment, it is not always easy for them to keep their job. Make a note of the things that might make it difficult for a person with learning disabilities to keep their job.
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Answer

Research (Coleman et al., 2013; Roulstone et al., 2014; Mencap 2018) shows that some people with learning disabilities face harassment or bullying when in the workplace. Some people are reluctant to disclose their learning disability to colleagues at work, for fear of being stigmatised. This can result in people not getting the workplace adjustments that they are entitled to under UK Equality legislation which makes it more difficult for them to keep their job.

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