In many instances work experience will be a component of your secondary education program. There will be some teens who will also get themselves a part time job while at school and this can also be considered work experience. For the teen with an Intellectual Disability(ID) you need to consider your interests, skills and how your disability will impact on your ability to effectively managing work experience.
For some teens with ID the degree of your ID may impede your ability to undertake work experience in open employment workplaces. If your ID is moderate or severe you might wish to undertake your work experience in an adult training service or spend time accessing a community participation program. All these options give you some idea of what the future possibilities could be. It also allows you to further understand what the requirements of each workplace are so that you can plan and work towards attaining your desired pathway.
Some things to think about before, during and after work experience could be:
- What are my interests and current skills
- What am I interested in trying
- To what degree will my ID affect these possibilities
- What is the difference between open employment, an adult training service and a community participation program
- How do I get a part time job
- Do I want to do an apprenticeship or traineeship
While on work experience organised by your school, teachers will keep in contact with you. During this time discuss any issues that arise that you need help with to better understand. You will also be assigned a workplace supervisor who can also assist while you are on work experience. Remember we learn by asking questions, and this is a time when you will have many questions because you are trying to work out what you want to do in the future after you finish school.