Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Good Intentions

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  • Sacha, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    don't they all?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Andre,

    When I was 16 I left home and got a job in the accounts department of a government department. They had a policy of hiring people with disabilities for 25% of their staff. Because there were so many disabled people it was a very inclusive environment. I was surrounded by staff who tried very hard, were grateful for their employment, were never fractious or rude and always turned up on time. And then there was me. I lasted ten weeks, was paid more to leave than I had earned over that period of time and got another higher-paying job within 2 hours of departure (oh for the days of full employment). It made a huge amount of sense paying one-armed or half-blind kiwis to do a job they were easily capable of than paying them a benefit so I'm glad to hear the government still has a scheme in place. There were also intellectually handicapped people working with us in the mail room etc. Many of those working with me back then had been there happily for decades. I am, of course, glad I escaped my first full-time job when I did - but not because of my colleagues. The pay really did suck.

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 277 posts Report Reply

  • Tamara,

    Sacha, do you mean don't they all need support? If you do then they answer may be "no". My daughter sailed through 1 1/2 years of kindy with no issues at all. No exaggeration. (New entrance has been a bit trickier).

    Look, I don't know anything about disability matters so please let me know if I offend but my suggestion is that supporting children who don't "sail through" may be seen as complex because there are indeed children who do and they are treated as the norm? (in no way am I making a comment about how our particular kindy is run, by the way)

    New Zealand • Since Oct 2010 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Tamara,

    Oh I'm hard to offend. :)

    I am saying that everyone gets support in some way or another - we just ignore some of the more obvious sorts.

    As colleagues have pointed out to me, we routinely provide PAs for senior managers. We provide chairs in offices and other venues for people other than wheelchair users who bring their own, for example, and blind people effectively subsidise room lighting for everyone else. Yet that's 'normal'.

    The education sector is particularly good at identifying and providing what most students need to help them learn - but it stuffs up by labelling some as 'special'.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Andre,

    They had a policy of hiring people with disabilities for 25% of their staff

    Which is what they're not doing now - simply requiring public agencies to hire rather than bribing them at great expense. There are pros and cons, naturally. I'd forgotten that story so ta for reminding us.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Tamara, in reply to Sacha,

    I see what you're saying. And I agree that there is a problem with that paradigm. Our primary school has a "special needs coordinator" and they define "special needs" as those with learning difficulties and those who are "gifted". That person's job is to coordinate additional support for both types. What are your thoughts on that?

    New Zealand • Since Oct 2010 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Sacha,

    You know where I work so you know that all kids need guidance. Some kids, though, like the wee boy on the ASD we have at the moment, and who races around at a rate of knots, we need a bit of help with coping with. We had a child here who before she got her wheelchair required us to cart her around on our hips. When you've got 44 other kids who need you in different ways, that's a matter of figuring out available hips.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    we need a bit of help with coping with

    interesting who often has needs for support :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Tamara,

    I'm not sure what you're asking? I have specialised in overall strategy and positioning, so I pay attention to how things are described and pitched.

    'Special' is interesting if you think who it's really helping - often parents struggling with stereotyped societal responses about their family.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Employment is tricky enough, without delving into the intricacies of the education system's engagement with disability.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    creative and media trades for young disabled people

    I've met a few young men (13-18) on the spectrum and many have a wild, creative spirit that is superior at times to the passion of their non-spectrum class mates . These guys are also generally huge consumers of media and culture. For example one of these kids has a knowledge of football and music which is breath-taking. I don't see him on the bins though.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Tamara, in reply to Sacha,

    Fair enough! What I was getting at the the lumping together of children at I suppose you might say either end of the bell curve. But no need to get into that.

    New Zealand • Since Oct 2010 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Sacha,

    I think Mainstream is basically a good programme because it was largely developed by disabled people, and it makes it relatively easy for all at the beginning by trying to build relationships. Employers/agencies etc have to create a new job and for that get a new employee, and provide a person to be the mentor for that person, and that mentor gets training; the employee gets independent employment support including training and peer support and all the stuff which goes with having a job (however few hours it is).

    Where it breaks down is that it relies on people. There are not enough people in the Mainstream office to properly promote and monitor the programme - let alone evaluate it. The commitment of the mentor and the quality of the supported employment agency varies greatly - and problems can happen with staff changes when a supportive person is replaced by someone less so. The rest of the workplace might have an unhelpful culture and not want to learn how to be a bit more inclusive. The employer may have no interest in (or no ability or resources for) creating the ongoing job, and there doesn't seem any compliance requirement to do this.

    But for a model it's not bad.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2099 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    One of my RPGing friends has cerebral palsy, and despite graduating with a Masters degree, still hasn't been accepted for a proper job yet. He's also on record saying Workbridge - the usual go-to employment agency for the disabled - isn't much cop. Luckily for him, he's soon to be taking up a role in a newly-acquired family business.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4355 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    It's all a bit strange when you think of the number of people who are disabled, and every one is lumped in this hodgepodge, although everyone has different needs and it's been proved, time and time again, that when barriers are removed, and people are allowed to be productive, it works well for everyone involved.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    College is still basically run on Victorian School principles with a slow but steady modern drive to lower class sizes . This gives you the ability to put teenagers into more controllable and focused groups. People are hard to control in groups of more than 1 , it's exponential, and when the group gains a mass beyond the senses of the teacher very detrimental to education. Teachers want to teach not police.

    That focus has unfortunatelty no hardcore provisions for the one on one investigation into how best to school an autistic child.These children are so unique and so under studied that it now requires a brave administration to listen to these very young people in order to establish effective ways to charge the brains of these young people with education and context, which is a pre-requisite for their enjoyment of modern living.

    If we want to be serious about looking after young autistic citizens it's not so much finding jobs for them in the long run but giving them channels for an invigorating teen education.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Jeremy Eade,

    f we want to be serious about looking after young autistic citizens it’s not so much finding jobs for them in the long run but giving them channels for an invigorating teen education.

    Now, if only there'd a programme back in the 1960s for young highly-visually-disabled people -who also happened to be very good with words - I might've not wound up a failed law student - but a really good tobacco picker (temporarily-)

    -well, I did all 3. Hard.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade, in reply to Islander,

    But what a lawyer you would have made.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    for a model it's not bad

    Disagree, for the wage subsidy component. Hard to persuade businesses to employ disabled people because we add value when even state agencies need it to cost nothing before they will.

    Far too much policy like this that doesn't take a big enough view.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Jeremy Eade,

    bush lawyer :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Jeremy Eade,

    But what a lawyer you would have made.

    fukkin’ terrifying one I theenk!

    I'm really good at going for the guts - or jugular - of any argument.

    Which is why no-0ne but my mother (& one of my sisters who has the same evilkiller instinct) will play Scrabble with me, sob..

    Quite seriously, I have a lawyer's mind - but not a lawyer's need to be part of a hierarchy,

    But, also seriously, assistance for creatures like me just simply wasnt available in the 1960s. We made our own strange outsider's way-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade, in reply to Islander,

    fukkin' terrifying one I theenk!

    $1000.00 an hour for your terror.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    All experienced lawyers must want to write novels. The things they must consider are complex and surprising.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Jeremy Eade,

    Tempting (licking with double-tongue hot primate lips**) - what isss your case??

    *Obviously I get your terror! Magnify it! Crunch it down on your opponent's eyes! Small price to pay-

    **Oh?

    You have met us? Primateophidians?

    Maybe consult Joe?

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade, in reply to Islander,

    Well of course, still every one should consider their own recent education and its' gaps, that is if we want to have a serious debate about a more efficient education system.

    Still Tolstoy would have a made a great lawyer.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

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