Helping Disabled Young Adults Integrate Themselves Into The Workforce

Helping Disabled Young Adults Integrate Themselves Into The Workforce
Helping Disabled Young Adults Integrate Themselves Into The Workforce


Adjusting to life after high school can be hard enough for any teenager, but throw in a disability of any kind, and the level of difficulty can certainly increase. So much more is expected of teenagers after graduating from high school. Responsibilities increase, parents and guardians begin to expect teens to take care of themselves, and there’s also the expectation that they’ll have to start making big decisions for themselves. For some, it can feel like this relatively large shift happens in the blink of an eye.

For young adults with disabilities, transitioning from high school to the workforce can be a trying experience. In high school, students are given a great deal of supervision, direction and instruction. So how can those teens or young adults with disabilities integrate themselves into the workforce smoothly? What can you do as a caregiver to prepare them for the transition from being a teenager in high school to a young adult in the workforce?

  1. Embrace Your Child’s Adulthood

Disability or no disability, your child is becoming a young adult, and it’s important to allow them to thrive in this new phase of their life. Though they may require more care than your typical kid, they still deserve the level of independence that comes with adulthood. The more you can embrace this, the more they’ll be able to embrace it as well.

  1. Hold Your Child Accountable To Act Like An Adult

In conjunction with the first point, now is the time to transition them into being held responsible for their actions and their decisions. They want to embrace their independence? Let them do that, but that also means being held accountable for acting like an adult. It means taking on responsibilities they may not have had in high school.

If your child has questions about an assignment at school, have them email their own teachers. This easily translates into the workforce – when beginning to job seek, your child can reach out to employers to show interest or ask questions.

  1. Talk To Your Child About Their Learning Needs or Disabilities

Be very open with your child about their disability. Understand what challenges they have and why, and talk to them about their strengths. Spend a lot of time talking with them about their strengths, and help them figure out how to play toward them and accentuate them in their daily life. When you come to understand their skills, you can help them acquire certain skills employers look for.

  1. Figure Out Your Child’s Interests

Understanding their strengths and edges will help them move toward what really interests them. Are they creative? Do they enjoy art or music? What about mathematics or science? These are important questions to ask, and not overly different than what you would ask of any teen making his or her way out of high school. Knowing what interests your child will help them understand a direction to go for job opportunities.

  1. Look Into Job Training Programs Or Internships

After your child figures out a couple of different directions they can go in the workforce, have them look into job training programs or internships. They’ll get real-life work experience through volunteering, and that can greatly help them understand what will be asked of them at work and transition them into a paying job.

Not only are there resources available for your child, but there are resources available for you as well. There are many websites and organizations out there that can help you help them during this shift. Stay active in your child’s life during this transition period and allow them to be held accountable for their responsibilities, and their transition into adulthood will be a smooth one.


International Day of Persons with Disabilities – please like and share to show your support for inclusion!

Today is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2015 . This year’s theme is Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities
International Day of Persons with Disabilities

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) started in 1992. It aims to promote awareness and mobilize support for the inclusion of people with disabilities in society . IDPD gives us scope to promote action to raise awareness about disability issues and draw attention to the benefits of an inclusive and accessible society for all.

To paraphrase the UN web site.

So it would be great if you could have the image above using your social media channels.

Thanks very much in advance!

Do you feel (have you felt) stigma because of a medical condition?

Sunny Beach - Bulgaria
Sunny Beach – Bulgaria
When our son was diagnosed with autism (just over six years ago) it took me months to tell many of my closest friends. Why? Because I was at the time ashamed of the fact our beautiful (and yes at times difficult) son had such a disability.

I don’t feel that now but if I am truthful I do occasionally feel a pang of regret about things that i thought I would do with him but now never will. Though in fact you don’t need a child with a disability to feel that.

So I was wondering am I alone?

Have others felt shame and stigma because of a medical condition?

If you have it would be great if you would share a bit more about your story in the comments section below.

Also we have set up a poll on the subject below. It would be great if you could take part.

Many thanks.

PS There is a reason for the picture of Bulgaria. But that is for my wife and I!

Helping a disabled child with a better experience at school – this is a great infographic

Disabled children end up facing a lot more issues in school due to a lack of awareness among staff and non-disabled peers. Bullying is a common complaint voiced by disabled children, sometimes even as young as seven years old. However, this situation can be easily rectified by making sure that schools have proper access and mobility equipment, teachers are trained in special needs education, educating non-disabled children in equality, tolerance and diversity. For more information on how to improve the life of a disabled child at school, check out this below infographic from UKSMobility.

Helping a disabled child with a better experience at school
Helping a disabled child with a better experience at school

What’s your story? Getting the message straight on disability!

Our ASD son!
Our ASD son!
The purpose of this blog and this post, in particular, is to help raise awareness of disabilities and invisible illness within the wider community.

So the idea is for us all to share our stories about our relationships with the various disabilities which have so much impact upon our lives.

So let’s start with me.

My background, as some of you may know, is healthcare market research. Which is one of the reasons I support so many students who wish to run surveys as part of their research.

But it was only six years ago that it became very real to me. Because it was them that my son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. You can read the story of the ASD here. You can read other people’s stories here as well.

As many of you know autism is a learning disability (among other things) which means my wife and I have our time cut out supporting him. Some becoming a caregiver was not something I planned and certainly don’t relish (all the time) but it is what I do.

From helping him get dressed through special needs swimming to working on his spellings and helping him type. Both for my wife and I. Would we have it any other way? Well given the circumstances I’d say no.

So what about you?

Please feel free to share how disability have impacted upon your life in the comments section below.

Thanks very much in advance.

PS The photo is of our son (well his silhouette anyway) at his sports day a couple of days ago.