Learning Disability Awareness Week 2016 took place from 20th to 26th June.
Unemployment is a big challenge for learning disabled people: national statistics show 80-90% of learning disabled people does not have a job while research shows that employers often assume that someone with a learning disability is not able to work.
Islington Learning Disability Partnership has been working for a number of years to change this and bring about a significant improvement in the number of learning disabled people in sustained, paid employment. The partnership consists of Islington Council, Jobcentre Plus, City and Islington College, Shape Arts, and disability-specific services such as the Elfrida Society and Mencap.
As a result of their efforts, since March 2015 20 local residents have started work in businesses such as Breyer Group and ten people have had job offers and will start work over the next few weeks.
Explaining about his role at the Holloway Neighbourhood Group, Danny from Islington said: “It’s really good. I really love it. I’m very experienced and confident after working here for almost three years. It’s going really well. I like the atmosphere and the community.”
On Monday 20th June, the Town Hall hosted a celebratory breakfast – bringing together the individuals who have started work or have had job offers in the past year, representatives of employers who have offered the jobs, as well as some of the council staff co-ordinating the initiative.
Lela Kogbara, Islington Council’s Assistant Chief Executive said: “This is a marvellous achievement for all those involved. Islington Council and our partners are committed to ensuring that local people with learning disabilities have access to the right support, training, and opportunities they need to have the careers they want and deserve.”