Disability Service Receives Genio Trust Funding for ‘Transition to Employment’ Project
Oct 10, 2013
Trinity College’s Disability Service has been awarded funding through the Genio Innovation Fund to support students with mental health difficulties as they transition into the workplace. The ‘Transition to Employment’ project will be provided and delivered by Occupational Therapists and a specialised Careers Advisor who will work with students to develop the skills and strategies required to seek and maintain employment.
Over the past ten years there has been a substantial increase in the number of students with disabilities particularly with mental health difficulties entering into and graduating from third level institutions. However, research has shown that unemployment rates for this group have been consistently high and the transition to employment is fraught with many challenges.
Commenting on the significance of the funding, Declan Treanor, Trinity’s Disability Service Director said: “A key element of the Disability Service’s Strategic Plan 2011-2014 is progression into employment for students with disabilities. This funding will enable the development of a model of support for students and graduates with mental health difficulties in their transition to employment. The project will form alliances with other colleges as it will be rolled out across other Higher Education Institutes in the greater Dublin region - DCU, DIT and UCD - which is in line with the National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030”.
“It is a timely initiative with the recent announcement of the development of a National Comprehensive Employment Strategy for people with disabilities. It will also allow Trinity College to deliver on the College Access and Strategic Plans.”
Dr Clodagh Nolan, Assistant Professor in the Discipline of Occupational Therapy and Clinical Director of the Unilink Service commented: “The funding awarded through Genio allows us to develop an innovative model of support engaging expertise across college services to support and empower the student to make the transition from education into the world of work.”
Sean Gannon, Director of the Careers Advisory Service added: “All people are employable and everyone needs to have a chance to play a role in society. In the case of students and graduates with disabilities, their huge potential is often masked by the disability. It is very difficult to sustain confidence and to be self-supporting in the face of multiple rejections. The role of the specialist careers advisor will be to provide an individualised service to students and graduates to help them to define what they want and what they can do as well as helping them to successfully make the transition to the right job. Many employers want to support people with disabilities but often they too need guidance and advice. Our objective will be to work in partnership with employers so that a talented but often neglected group of graduates have the opportunity to fully contribute to the Irish economy and to society generally”.
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