Through co-production, we will enable our students to find the people and places within their local communities, for sharing interests, activities and mutual support. We want our students to continue to learn and make progress with:
- communication and social interaction
- independence and decision making
- self-esteem and personal resilience
Increasingly, young adults with disabilities and their families are telling us they want to stay and grow up within their local community, growing a robust social and emotionally supportive network for the future. We are learning how to advocate for the individuals within this community of young adults and we can effectively evidence this. We have over 12 years’ experience of supporting the transition of young people with severe and profound disabilities from school into new settings. This community of young adults have a surprising resilience; an increased understanding of personal advocacy and participation in decision making; a determination and creativity from families and key supporters to work on finding the balance between what’s important to them and what’s important for them. Such strengths within a community, however small and marginalised, will enable us to grow our person centred culture with a clear ethos:
To plan for and live the life you want with choices and control of your support through co-production.
Continuing learning and preparing for work.
We want to improve the employability of some of our students by: working with existing supported employment organisations and; through facilitating local social enterprises and entrepreneurs to engage with ‘job carving’. (Job carving can be used to tailor a job so that it is suitable for a particular worker. Ref: base British Association for Supported Employment 2015 ). Employment opportunities are rare for adults with severe disabilities and incredibly difficult to maintain when they are outside their accessible communities.
Increasingly, local community organisations are finding new strengths in collaborative practice. This is an opportune time to be tapping into these burgeoning networks and facilitating our students to be involved in the areas and groups of interest to them. There is a strengthening grassroots movement of social enterprises within Exeter, many of whom are enabling the participation of adults from marginalised communities. We see this as a potential opportunity to build meaningful social networks that may lead to long term job opportunities.