Pathways to Employment Advisory Group Meeting
The Advisory Group for the Pathways to Employment Post-SCI: Peer-Facilitated Support project met for the second time in May to discuss, develop and evaluate the community development approach to the project and its related programs, services and resources.
On the agenda were updates regarding the initial planning meeting of the Professionals with Spinal Cord Injury Network (SCIP) and the success of the What’s out There Day (WoT) Plus pilot. The group also discussed capacity building, mentor training and establishing an evaluation framework for the Pathways project.
An update was provided on the initial planning meeting for SCIP, reasserting the value of the diverse experiences, external networks and range of information available to be shared among people living with a spinal cord injury (SCI). Suggestions from the SCIP meeting included advocating to businesses or employers to educate them about the benefits of employing a person with a disability, getting network participant’s own employers involved, arranging professional mentors and developing a short presentation along with a brochure describing the group and its objectives.
“...advocating to businesses or employers to educate them about the benefits of employing a person with a disability..."
Also discussed in relation to SCIP was the importance of sustaining enthusiasm and commitment as well as branding, resource development and strategies for involving employers and corporate organisations.
Spire, in collaboration with Royal Talbot Rehabilitation, piloted the first Plus component to WoT Day, based around careers and employment. The lively panel and peer discussions about people’s lived experiences as well as the interest coming from family members and employers generated many suggestions related to capacity building and how to inform people from the SCI community about responding to employment and career related issues. These suggestions include adapting existing peer support programs and personal development courses to an employment theme.
Other ideas and recommendations included developing an employment section with a rehab focus in the Spire Newslink as a way to awaken and encourage members and employers to the merits of employing people living with a SCI, as well as other kinds of opportunities and meaningful activities in rehab, such as sports, arts, volunteering, committees, community action. So watch this space!
With the Pathways to Employment project gaining more and more momentum within its community development approach, it is beginning to succeed in its objective to widen the flow of people navigating their own diverse pathways to employment.