Yooralla is Victoria’s oldest and largest not for profit community service provider’s. We actively support people with disabilities, their families and carers to live the life they choose.
Earlier this year, we were the recipients of a James N. KirbyFoundation grant of $20,000 which has enabled our First Base Leongatha service to run a life enhancing project for young people with disabilities.
Yooralla’s First Base service supports young adults with a disability to make the transition from school years to adulthood by developing skills and achieving individual goals through specialised programs.
Many young people with disabilities are denied the opportunities other young people have of finding work in a trade. They may lack work readiness skills and a real understanding of the workplace environment. A further challenge is that many employers focus on their disability rather than their potential.
The idea behind the project is to allow young people with disabilities to trial a trade at their own pace. Then if they express an interest in pursuing that work they can be further supported to gain employment. The project also provides opportunities for employers to realise the potential employability of people with disabilities.
The very generous support of the James N. Kirby Foundation has enabled us to conduct introductory courses in carpentry. The trainees are not only developing their skills in a trade, they are also experiencing what it is really like to work in that trade and further developing their work readiness. This all adds to their self esteem, raises their awareness of work options and expands their social and employment contacts. It is a big step on the road to gainful employment.