‘Special Needs Employment Agency’ tells the story of six extraordinary young people who, with the right support, take their first tentative steps towards independence. From a mechanic with Asperger’s to a trainee teaching assistant with cerebral palsy, this is their opportunity to prove to the world that they are just as entitled, and able to work as everybody else.
Over the past year, Surrey Choices has helped 900 people with autism or a learning, physical or sensory disability to find work placements through their Surrey Choices EmployAbility service.
Jessica Williams, Marketing and Communications Manager for Surrey Choices, said: “We feel that taking part in the programme provided us with an opportunity to counter some of the misunderstandings that exist about young people with disabilities trying to find employment. ‘Special Needs Employment Agency’ approaches the world of supported employment in a very balanced, fair and sensitive way. It highlights some amazing people and stories, as well as the continued challenges we face in finding suitable opportunities.”
She added: “We recently held our own ‘Making a Difference’ awards to pay tribute to a number of employers across Surrey. Our EmployAbility team works hard to forge effective partnerships with local businesses, so we can offer a wide range of employment opportunities to our customers. The Awards were about taking the opportunity to recognise the commitment and enthusiasm from employers that have helped us improve the lives of Surrey Choices customers. It’s about giving people the best opportunities to succeed in all areas of life.”
More than three people enter paid employment every week as a result of the Surrey Choices EmployAbility service. Of those supported in work, 70% have been in that job for over two years.
Surrey Choices provides a wide range of employment and community support, enabling adults with support needs or disabilities to gain independence and learn skills that will help them find paid or voluntary work.