People with intellectual disabilities have career goals just like anyone else; yet they face tough barriers to finding a job. Partner in Parenting’s Beth Butland, Employment Advisor, recounts how the Algonquin College Kitchen Steward Program helped overcome barriers for some of her students. Recently 7 of them completed the course and, less than 2 months after graduating, 3 were offered employment.
As Beth reported: “I applied for training funds through the Opportunities Fund for People with Disabilities and was successful in securing over $ 45,000 for 7 students of ours to attend the Algonquin College Kitchen Steward Job Readiness program. It was a 15-week in-class training at Algonquin followed by a 12-week on-the-job placement which completed at the end of November 2017.
This program had an adapted curriculum for people with disabilities, however it was a very comprehensive course complete with knife skills chopping and cutting for meal prep, running a commercial dishwasher, and cleaning/sanitation methods. They also received WHMIS, Food Safe, and First Aid training. This course is meant to help people find entry level jobs in the food services sector. All 7 students who started completed the program.”
In January 2018 Beth gave an update that 2 graduates had found part-time employment and a third will be starting seasonal work in May. Congratulations to the students and to all those involved in this innovative initiative!
Partners in Parenting is an organization that offers programs and supports to people with intellectual disabilities and their families. Beth’s role as an Employment Advisor focuses on assisting students to find career training opportunities and paid employment.
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If you have a success story about an individual, a best practice or a policy in your organization that demonstrates inclusion and accessibility, let’s share it in an upcoming edition. We want to showcase your employment success stories with members of the network. Send your stories to: firstname.lastname@example.org.