Topic: Preparing People with Disabilities to Perform Meaningful Work in Integrated Environments
Speaker: Lou Brown, Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin
Talking about two populations. People with severe handicaps and people
President Bush's Commission.
If you have the label of developmentally disabled or cerebral palsy in Florida you ar 85% likely to be unemployed.
Skill training program?
Community College? "A stay of execution"
Segregated Workshop or
Sit at home
What happens to people with disabilities when their parents pass or become unable to care for individual.
Entitlements, discretionary program, therapy, paraprofessional, door-to-door service, and then at 21, individuals want the same things.
Academics? Algebra, Canterbury Tales, customs in foreign lands.
As adults: Sex, money, privacy
Replace clients in workshops with a wax replica.
Integrated work environment:
General environment, use natural proportuin
No more than two with disabilities in the immediate work environment.
Must work within sight sound and touch of coworks without disabilities.
[This is too funny]
Chamber of commerce definition of work: "If she doesn't do it I have to pay someone else to do it."
"Sorry. Intelligence is not distributed equally across people. If you knew my mother-in-law you'd understand why I think that."
Work, community and citizenship diploma. This is the goal.
If the goal is to keep unemployment high? What could we do?
Regular education with a 1:1 paraprofessional. Make sure they're exposed to abstract academics. Eliminate social promotion. Lower age at which you can quit school. 2000 kids quit school because they couldn't pass the high school entrance exam. Put more people in special education. Segregate schools and classes. Hire teachers with emergency credentials. Confine a structure to school grounds. Hide disability, don't talk about it.
What does job ready mean?
If the goal is to increase employment we can:
Use a portfolio of the skills the child we need. Teach to do those things in the real world. Teach to be nice, work hard, be reliable, on-time. Don't do for someone what they should be doing themselves. Testimony to their competence, talent and hard work. If you are employed 20 hours per week with benefits the last year of school, chances are you will be employed all your life.
Get employers to open the doors by:
-Generate work training and employment options
-match worker with vocational setting
-Provide authentic assessment (in the real world
-Shift to natural supervision-
-Arrange support needed indefinitely
Tools for finding the jobs:
> Parent dream lists- when do you think your child will leave school, where would you like your child to work?
> Environment, activity, social needs
> Personal preference
> Corporate commitments
> Personal relationships
> Job development circle
> Vendor list
> Quid pro Quo
Easy part is finding the jobs. Hard part is getting school personnel off-campus to introduce students to real world experience.
-What work is being done?
-Who is doing it?
-Can we do a part?
Horizontal enhancement and vertical enhancement
Vertical: Greater complexity. Horizontal: New things, similar complexity.
"The more people we give chances to, the more amazed we are by what people can do."
Lesson: Rather than giving many people disabilities access to a single work environment, give each person with disabilities access to many.