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

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Exploring learning disabilities: supporting belonging

6 The impact of getting a job

This session has shown that there are a number of barriers to people with learning disabilities getting the jobs they want. However, as Shaun’s experiences highlighted in the previous section, finding a good job can make a big difference to their lives. Now complete Activity 7 which looks at another example of the positive impact work can have.

Activity 7 Positive stories of work

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

Watch this video of people with learning disabilities at work. Then answer the questions below.

Download this video clip.Video player: Video 6
Skip transcript: Video 6

Transcript: Video 6

[MUSIC PLAYING]
CLARE
Hello, my name is Clare. I've made my life better at this job.
SOCIAL WORKER
We would encourage anybody to take somebody on. It only takes a little bit of time and a little bit of effort and a little bit of prompting to get a really, really good and loyal worker.
CLARE
My hopes and dreams are to stay in this job.
MATTHEW'S BOSS
He is a great team member. I gave him some training. And immediately on his first trial, he did virtually everything and hardly forgot a thing. So I mean he's just gone now from strength to strength. He's so reliable. He's so helpful. I couldn't do without him, basically.
KENNETH
This job made me feel great because like on this day I have a lot of freedom. And as they say, that kind of influences your-- you look like a healthy guy and a fit guy to be-- to be doing the bin job, so that-- that changed my life.
CAROLINE
My name's Caroline. I work in the kitchen doing everything-- pots, pans, cleaning. And at home, I have a little-- I have a flat of my own. I have pictures in the flat with horses, dogs. And it's fantastic job. I like doing it. I like the pots and pans, dishes, cutlery, cups, mucky pans, everything like they just get so mucky. They get all greasy. [INAUDIBLE] the hot water. It's very funny, doing it.
[MUSIC PLAYING]
SOCIAL WORKER
One of the places we visited was the airport. And the minute we came in here, he kind of lit up. He liked the idea of working here. So we watched what different people were doing. We watched the different roles. And one of them was a customer service assistant role. Sometimes employers can prejudge and look at people and think maybe, how would they be able to do this job? And I think it's only by seeing somebody do it that you can get over those barriers. So we got Ian in for a working interview. In fact, he only did two days of the working interview. And the manager just said, oh, he's brilliant, absolutely brilliant.
HANNAH
Hello, I'm Hannah Evans. I work at the Co-op in Oxford. And I am a customer service assistant.
HANNAH'S BOSS
The customers and staff love her. She's got such an effervescent personality. She's bubbly. And she naturally draws people towards her, which is great.
[MUSIC PLAYING]
GLENNIS
Hello, I'm Glennis Murray, Keith's mum. And we're very proud of Keith that he's got this job, which he enjoys.
SOCIAL WORKER
When you give out the free samples, everybody takes them. Is that true? Yes. They do.
KENNETH
Don't-- don't feel nervous or don't feel ashamed because what you have. People with disabilities can work because like if I-- like if I can do it, you can do it.
JOY'S BOSS
Don't be afraid or put up any barriers when it comes to thinking about employing someone with disabilities. Joy is a fantastic worker, fantastic part of the team. And it's absolutely no problem whatsoever.
SOCIAL WORKER
It really is important that employers do look at the overall picture and look and see what jobs could be done by somebody in their office or in the workplace with a learning disability.
KEITH
I just want to tell people who have a disability, don't give up. It does change your life around. And don't ever give up.
End transcript: Video 6
Video 6
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  1. What can an employer do to support people with learning disabilities into work?

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Discussion

Some of the things you may have picked up from the film include: offering working interviews; providing training; having a positive attitude towards learning disability; looking at the overall picture to see which jobs might suit a person with a learning disability; not pre-judging someone’s ability.

  1. What are the benefits to the employer?
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Discussion

These include the potential to employ hardworking, reliable and loyal employees. Employing people with learning disabilities can also give a positive impression and show that the organisation is inclusive.

  1. What are the benefits to the employee?
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Discussion

In the film, some people commented that getting a job they liked had changed their life. It can provide enjoyment, a sense of satisfaction and a way to make new relationships.

The film shows that there can be many benefits to individuals and employers when people with learning disabilities are given the opportunity to work. One contributor to the video you have just watched emphasised to employers that they shouldn’t be afraid and mustn’t put up barriers. Films like this are important to show positive examples of where things are working well, and why.

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