The Onemda Association

Developing a model to increase employment opportunities for young people with disabilities


Issue AreaEducation

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Onemda is seeking funding for a ‘Research to Action’ project to develop a transition model to increase employment opportunities for young people with disabilities. The STEPS to Employment Program aims to provide evolutionary disability sector influence, by addressing the industry need for an Education to Vocation framework for people with a cognitive impairment. This framework will provide the vital directional approach for organizations and educators.   Organizations and educators require formalized support to understand and diminish barriers in order to best service the participants with cognitive disabilities. There is a significant knowledge gap for the industry that once addressed has the potential to positively impact on the lives of many people with cognitive disabilities, creating opportunities and unlocking futures.

People with cognitive disabilities are among the most educationally disadvantaged and disengaged learners, resulting in people with cognitive disabilities having significant barriers to obtaining and retaining ongoing employment and education opportunities. This means that people with a cognitive disability continue to miss out on the financial and emotional/social benefit that employment and further educations brings.

Onemda has experience supporting young people with disabilities from school to employment outcomes through its successful LEAP program. This pioneering program began in 2013, pro-actively promotes young people with intellectual disabilities to gain a continuum of their education, greater life opportunities and socially valued experiences. The LEAP Educational Program provides young people with disabilities with opportunities for career development, work readiness skills and work experience, bridging the gap between schooling and working life.

Without effective research and the development of transition models young people with intellectual disabilities will continue to experience life long disadvantage.  This disadvantage is more compounding than just economic; it is a well-being and community connection inequality as well. Onemda aims to meet address this overwhelming need by creating an evidenced-based ‘Transition Model’ to empower organizations, educators and industry with the knowledge of best practices and proven educational methodologies that help young people with disabilities transition successful into employment.

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