Down Syndrome Ireland: Work Skills adult education course

Down Syndrome Ireland: Work Skills adult education course

Lisa Martin, Head of Adult Education, Down Syndrome Ireland



Down Syndrome Ireland run a national adult education program. In 2018, a third adult education course was developed to support adults who wished to take up meaningful employment. Down Syndrome Ireland partnered with Accenture and used their Skills to Succeed Academy as the basis for a Work Skills course curriculum that taught students about both job searching and the expectations and responsibilities of employment. The course that was created is a two-year part time course that goes beyond a typical work skills preparation course. Drawing on our experience with adult education students and adults with Down syndrome who had entered employment enabled us to design resources and learning outcomes that would equip adults with the skills to enter the workforce and overcome challenges associated with communication and social expectations. A bespoke informal assessment tool was designed to get a picture of the students' knowledge and understanding about the work. The first cohort of students was expected to compete the course in summer 2020 but were interrupted by the pandemic. The course has proved to be very popular and is taught in eight sites in Ireland by ninety students. Even before the course had finished, prior to the pandemic, eight students had taken on part time jobs while continuing their Work Skills course and two students had dropped out of their course so they could take up full time paid employment.



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