Some reflections from the morning of Pathways14 Day 2…
The day started off with an excellent plenary session that asked the question “Do internships launch careers?”. We heard from Suzanne Colbert (CEO, Australian Network on Disability) that a review of AND’s internship program showed that those students engaged in an internship had a higher success rate in subsequent employment. We heard from Philip Zamora (Programs Coordinator, AND) and Georgia Kemp, who shared her own experience with an AND internship. It was clear from Philip and Georgia that undertaking an internship can, not only lead to further opportunities, but build a student’s confidence.
For more information on AND’s internship opportunities go to: https://www.and.org.au/pages/stepping-into…-programs.html
There was almost too much to choose from in the morning concurrent sessions…
Manisha Amin from the Centre for Inclusive Design spoke to us about inclusive practices in talent management. She outlined challenges for people with disability seeking employment with such recruitment approaches, as online testing. She commented that although technology has its benefits, it can disrupt the a transparent recruitment process. A key message from Manisha was to consider how we think about diversity and inclusion, which can often be clumped together. Instead, we need to remember how diversity refers to the unique experiences of each person, while inclusion in the workplace aims to have allow everyone to have a seat and stay at the table.
For more information on the Centre for Inclusive Design go to: http://centreforinclusivedesign.org/
Another of the concurrent sessions focused on a progressive partnership called Gradwise between Wise Employment and Swinburne University. This initiative recognizes a gap in the Disability Employment Services (DES) space, where there are limited specialized services for graduates with a disability. Gradwise brings together students, DES, university careers and accessibility teams to improve employment opportunities for university graduates.
For more information on Gradwise go to: https://wiseemployment.com.au/gradwise-evaluation/
We were also joined by Daniel Valiente-Riedl (General Manager, JobAccess) who spoke about the role of Job Access in supporting people with disability in the workplace. It is great to know what is on offer in terms of workplace assessments and modifications. However, there is still a lot of work to be done to increase the participation of people with disability in the workforce.
For more information on how Job Access supports people with disability at work go to: https://www.jobaccess.gov.au/
Natalie Vonthien presented “ConnectAbility – Connecting high school students with disability to future pathways in tertiary education and training”, which looked how CQUniversity Australia (QLD) engaged with high school students. This session highlighted the importance of planning and support early in a student’s journey to ensure a smoother transition. She commented that an inclusive, on-campus experience for Year 11 and Year 12 students could be provided through school engagement visits. Top priorities for a smooth transition included students developing familiarity of the university campus and meeting current university students with disability.
For information on high school students transitioning to university head to the NDCO Get Ready website: https://www.westernsydney.edu.au/getreadyforstudyandwork
This is only a small insight into the vast array of presentations that were given over the three days of the Pathways14 Conference. Take a look at the program by going to https://pathways2018.consec.com.au/program.html
Can’t wait for Pathways15 in 2020 to be hosted by the NT!