One of our student members Jamie Hamilton, is doing some interesting research about vocational rehabilitation and younger people. He is keen to have input from VR practitioners.
Jamie is in the final year of Occupational Therapy degree at the University of the West of England and wants to move into a VR role once he graduates. During a placement with a specialist job mentoring team he became interested in how various conditions young people with disabilities have affects their employment opportunities and how Occupational Therapy can provide interventions to mitigate the barriers to employment.
His research is primarily focused on pupils with a physical disability who attend mainstream schools as this is the group of will take the same level 2 qualifications as their non-disabled peers. However, Jamie is keen to learn from the experiences of VR practitioners that have ever worked with young people between 17 and 25. If that’s you can you please take a few minutes and share your thoughts on the question below?
In your experience what are the occupational challenges of the transition to employment for young people (17-25 years old) with congenital disabilities?
- Occupational challenges are anything that proves an obstacle to the person so they could be the environment or the occupation, or self-care e.g. personal hygiene, including amount of time needed to dress and the support is required.
- Productivity e.g. is fatigue, concentration, sleep hygiene an issue or is there a manual handling issue. Is there a body structure or body function interfering with a person’s ability to do the role effectively?
- Is there a financial issue that is proving to be difficult e.g. If the person had paid work, would this have an effect on their benefits?
Jamie gave us this example of occupational challenges from his last placement,
“I was working with a young man who had difficulties expressing his feelings and emotions to other people, which often led to him demonstrating behaviour challenging to others. Having assessed him and worked out a plan with him that would support his needs, strategies were developed to support him. They included some ‘me time’ for about 10-15 minutes and producing a ‘feelings wheel’ that he could show staff to explain what emotion or feeling he was experiencing. Prior to this intervention, the whole day would have been a ‘write off’ for him. Since the intervention, he was able to return to his work experience after about 10 minutes and now does work experience in the community.”
We are always keen to support our student members who want to learn more about VR. Please help us to do this and respond to Jamie here.
We’ll be sharing more about Jamie’s research once it is complete but he is also happy to share it directly with anyone who is interested.