Pictured are (L-R) Deirdre Maloney (Project Co-ordinator), Dara Calleary and Teresa Mallon (IASE Chairperson)
The “Working a Way” project, a three month research -based project came into effect following a recommendation in the IASE Strategic Plan 2005-2010, for the need to establish links with local schools in the area while also raising awareness about Supported Employment. Five secondary schools across North Mayo took part in the ‘Working a Way’ project which set out to assess the attitudes of employers in relation to the employment of people with disabilities.
The project title “Working a Way” is an empowering statement. It is empowering for the young people directly involved in the project and also empowering for those who have a disability.
The project title in itself is a demonstration of how young people, through their participation and their roles as active members of their communities, ‘worked a way’ towards raising awareness about important social issues such as disability and supported employment.
It is also an empowering statement for people with disabilities, as this project is a way of bringing to the attention of the public, the right to employment for all in our community. This project will therefore create greater awareness among society in which more people with disabilities will be afforded the chance to be Working a way in a job that they love.
Students conducted research at a local and national level in assessing the attitudes of employers in relation to the employment of people with disabilities. A survey was prepared and distributed to employers all over the country across a range on industry sectors. Students also undertook disability awareness training in order to assess their own attitudes regarding disability issues. Students also conducted video interviews with members of their own communities to determine the level of knowledge and factual understanding in relation to disability of those in their own localities.
The project consisted of a collaborative effort of five secondary schools in North Mayo with the direct involvement of one hundred students at senior level