A world-first initiative dedicated at assisting young people with Down Syndrome to find work was launched yesterday at Torrens University. The pilot version of Impact21, an education-to-employment program for 12 students between 20 and 45, will run for the next 12 months before the full-scale roll out in February 2020.
The program is the brainchild of emotion21, a not-for-profit organisation that develops fitness programs for children and young adults with Down Syndrome. Specifically deigned to support people to become ‘work-ready’, Impact21 requires students to spend Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays at Torrens University over a 54-week period divided into three trimesters.
To meet the eligibility criteria, applicants must be able to answer yes to each of the following 10 questions.
||Are you living with Down syndrome?
||Will you be aged between 20 - 45 years at 11/02/2019?
||Is your parent, guardian or carer supportive of you participating in the Pilot?
||Do you have reasonable written and verbal communication skills?
||Have you had any form of work experience (paid or unpaid)?
||Are you committed to ongoing learning and self-discovery?
||Are you willing to invest time, energy and effort in the Impact21 Pilot?
||Are you interested in seeking meaningful and sustainable paid employment?
||Can you commit to attending a structured learning program for three days per week from February 2019-February 2020 loosely in line with Victorian school hours and terms?
||Are you willing to register with Disability Employment Service provider CVGT Australia for the duration of the Pilot?
One of the most exciting aspects of the initiative are the four companies – PwC, DuluxGroup, Deakin University and Sodexo – that have expressed interest in participating in the Pilot. CVGT Australia has been flagged as the Disability Employment Provider, while Torrens University, RMIT and Deakin University are expected to provide research support.
You can find out more about Impact21 here.