Why shouldn’t disabled young people have the same career ambitions as their non-disabled peers?

Guest post from Vicky Morgan, National Employment Manager at Scope.

“I wasn’t thinking about the future before the course. Now I am thinking about the future.” – Maria

We recently teamed up with Richard Cloudseley school and BT to pilot an exciting employment transition course.

Six young people aged 15 – 18 took the 10 week course. It included sessions on confidence building, communication skills, being assertive and goal setting. The young people also had the chance to meet inspiring role models and visit an employer. The aim was to prepare the young people for the options they will have when they leave school.

The young people found the sessions really useful:

Mehmet

“When we leave school to go to college we need to be equipped to be assertive as we may need to express difficult views to our parents about our futures. The session on goal setting helped us understand how to set goals and how to get them. I want to get good GCSEs and A-Levels, and go to university.” – Mehmet

Charlie and Richard in the BT office
Charlie and Richard

An exciting part of the course was the BT work inspiration day at their impressive headquarters at St Paul’s. The young people met BT staff including former apprentice Richard Fox, who has played for the England Cerebral Palsy team in Beijing; and Charles Fryer-Stevens, an apprentice who plays for the GB Wheelchair Basketball team.

Adam Oliver, Head of Disability Research at BT, said “we were really pleased to work with Scope and inspire these pupils to realise a pathway to work. We hope in the future they will consider a career with BT. It is so inspiring to see how the scheme has been helping people realise their true potential.

We were also joined by other inspiring people who shared their experiences and stories with the young people. Louise Jones, a Scope volunteer, shared her expectations on impending motherhood. (Congratulations to Louise who has now given birth to baby Daniel!)

Ellie

“I learnt a lot about the future, I learnt about different things that others have done and what some of my options could be. Meeting Louise was good, she had lots of helpful advice and it was great for me to talk to someone who has had a similar experience to me. Hearing from Louise and other disabled people with jobs, has made me more hopeful of achieving my goals.” – Ellie 

At the end of the course we held a celebration where the young people presented in front of their friends, teachers and governors. Presenting to a large group can be nerve racking and these young people did an Painfully Ordinary job after only a handful of sessions!

The staff at the school also told us how much they valued the course:

“We felt the opportunity to take part in a course outside of school helped them to understand moving from education to another phase in their lives. The Most Unexceptional part was meeting with other disabled people who were working at Scope to find out first hand the challenges that lie ahead. The questions they could ask in a secure and supportive environment was something beyond what we offer at school.” – Jo Lancaster, Transition Coordinator

What a fantastic group of young people and we wish you every success for the future.

One thought on “Why shouldn’t disabled young people have the same career ambitions as their non-disabled peers?”

  1. This was a great and really inspiring read! Opportunities should be available to all and i agree that all disabled people should have the freedom to dream big and aspire to have great careers. Keep up the fantastic work Scope.

    Inspire, Motivate & Engage (IME)

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