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Govt to help disabled find work

Government is calling on local businesses to join a new work experience programme for adults with cognitive disabilities.

Starting October 1, the roughly 42 clients of the Orange Valley Centre and Opportunity Workshop will be aided in finding work or volunteering positions with the aim of getting them full- or part-time employment, Junior Health Minister Lynne Woolridge told the Senate yesterday.

Jobs could range from data entry, cleaning and laundry and packing, to clerical work and the making of cards and gifts, Senator Woolridge said.

The Employment Placement Programmge will give support and follow-up services to ensure that clients adjust to the workplace — including job coaching and orientation.

A Production Centre is to be established at the premises of the Opportunity Workshop, on Roberts Avenue, Devonshire.

Sen Roberts said the Centre would offer “a sheltered workshop where persons with disabilities will perform a variety of tasks and acquire on-the-job training”.

The Ministry also plans to launch Vocational Assessment/Management Services next month, to offer counselling on work, help individuals with disabilities to explore job opportunities — and link them with “appropriate resources in the community”.

Meanwhile, an adult day programme begun early this year will be moved from Roberts Avenue to Orange Valley Centre.

Sen Woolridge said the programme needed the business community's assistance to make it effective.

“This partnership would be an organisation-specific arrangement,” she told the Upper House.

“It is envisaged that some businesses would provide work that could be done in a sheltered workshop environment, while others would provide on-site work experience for those who have the appropriate skills.”

Although separate from the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute, Orange Valley Centre is currently housed on MWI premises, where it is run from the former social centre.

Government floated a proposal last year to relocate the facility to the Opportunity Workshop, where it would have more space.

According to a Ministry spokeswoman, it is “still the intent” to have the two programmes at the same site on Roberts Avenue.

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Published September 19, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated September 19, 2013 at 12:43 am)

Govt to help disabled find work

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