Community participation programs are for those young people and adults with significant learning disabilities such as Intellectual Disability (ID) and who may also have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or other significant disabilities. During your secondary school years, you will have most likely participated in community access programs in your final years of schooling and work tasks within the school program.
Community participation programs are centred around work tasks which may include packaging and collating goods for distribution and sale. Other community participation programs may include a variety of leisure options within the community, such as health and well being fitness programs, outings within the community such as movies and shopping.
Transition to a community participation program will commence when you have completed secondary school. Your teachers and family will support you to understand how your ID and any other disability might impact upon your ability to work and participate in such a program. Your school will mostly likely make arrangements or accompany you to the programs so that you can become familiar with the environment and the people at the program prior to leaving school so they can get to know you.
You may wish to consider a mix of work and community activities to suit your needs. This mix may change over time as you begin to develop more skills and develop in your confidence. Before you leave school you will be involved in developing a plan with your teachers and a worker, who will continue to support you and your family after you leave school. The worker is skilled in knowing what types of programs are available and how they can link you into accessing these. These programs may change over time as we don’t always stay in the same work environment and sometimes we like to change.