It was Learning Disability Work Week from 6-12 November. People with learning disabilities have a lot to contribute to society, including being engaged in voluntary work and paid employment.
Approximately 8 out of 10 people with a learning disability who are of working age have a mild or moderate learning disability, but less than 2 in 10 are in paid employment.
With a few reasonable adjustments however, we know that this statistic can increase. With the help, support and understanding of employers and colleagues, people with learning disabilities can be real assets to a workplace.
Currently, several of our clients are doing some fantastic work placements across Nottinghamshire. We have clients in placements at Nottingham Community Transport, the Pelham Kitchen cafe, Green’s Windmill and Arnold Clothes Bank.
One client, Clare, is doing a work placement at Sherwood Playgroup. Her boss there, Louise, says “She is an asset to the Nursery”.
We also have our crafts and upcycling shop, Spacecraft, where clients serve customers and are learning about stock maintenance and handling money.
Our Support Worker, Stella, explains why work placements are so important:
“Working gives our clients responsibility and independence. It teaches soft work skills in a real life situation. For many of our clients, self-confidence quickly grows through starting a work placement.”
Changing people’s perceptions of what people with learning disabilities can do isn’t a quick process, but it is rewarding. Not everybody with a learning disability will find work suits them, but the current national statistics don’t reflect what great employees our clients can be!
For more Information about Learning Disability Work Week, which has been organised by the charity Mencap, please click on this link.