People with intellectual disabilities as project coordinators
- Country of Implementation
- United Kingdom
- Western Europe
- Start Year
- First published
“I feel very proud knowing that I am making a difference in the world for people with learning disabilities.” Mr. Shaun Webster, a CHANGE project worker
It is estimated that only 6 per cent of people with learning disabilities are in paid employment in the United Kingdom. People with intellectual impairments are the experts in their own lives. They can teach others what is best for them having a deep understanding and knowledge of what works and what does not.
Solution, Innovation and Impact
CHANGE employs people with intellectual disabilities as project coordinators with the same salary, status, and responsibilities as their non-disabled colleagues. The organization provides a supportive environment in which everyone’s unique contributions are valued. The rights of people with intellectual disabilities within the workplace are promoted through a wide range of accessible policies and procedures. These are all co-designed by people with intellectual disabilities and produced in an accessible format with easy-to-read words and pictures. This includes a range of documents- for example, agendas, meeting minutes, work-plans, and timesheets. These measures have produced the following results: •Helps people to feel less alone •Allows people to share their experiences with someone who understands their perspective •Helps people to work out ways of looking after themselves and dealing with the problems they face •Provides role models •Shows what is possible for people with a learning disability to achieve
Funding, Outlook and Transferability
The cost for employing eight co-workers is £70,557 per year. CHANGE raises most of its income through its various projects, but also receives government support. The “co-worker model” has recently been implemented by the National Health Service (NHS) in England, which created three paid posts for people with intellectual disabilities in the delivery of training and policymaking.