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Lobbying and persistent advocacy has paid off for families on the Gold Coast, in the form of a new education service for people with an intellectual disability due to start next year.
Endeavour Foundation has partnered with local group Advocates For Educating Adults With An Intellectual Disability to find out more about local needs and is now working with students and families to develop an innovative and interactive education option.
Education Services Manager Stewart Koplick said the organisations were grateful to be granted the use of ‘Pie Cottage’ Community Centre at Ashmore TAFE, providing a great home base for students to learn relevant skills and knowledge within the community.
“Students with a disability and Endeavour Foundation teaching staff have been working out the new curriculum, which will focus strongly on practical skills,” Mr Koplick said.
“Students and teachers are also having lots of fun planning the fit-out of ‘Pie Cottage’, choosing the décor and equipment they need for a great learning experience,” he said.
“We are very excited to be planning a curriculum based on what the students want to learn, which will make the learning experience even more powerful.”
Teresa Restall, a member of Advocates For Educating Adults With An Intellectual Disability, is excited that her daughter Hannah can continue to learn and develop skills through the new course.
“This course has been designed by Endeavour and with input from the advocacy group that I am part of, to really focus on numeracy, literacy and technology,” Ms Restall said.
“I hope this will be a pathway for Hannah to develop her literacy and numeracy skills so that in future she’ll be able to do a Certificate I or II course and look to some work experience or some work, whether it is paid or not, to be part of the community.
This course means everything to us. We think our family members deserve the pathway to educational opportunity, just the same as any other person that would attend university or another course,” she said.
National Business Manager for Children, Youth and Education, Simon Nugus, said, “The initiative offers inclusive, student-centred education and training that enhances skills development, job readiness and independent living for people with a disability.”
“It’s a privilege to be involved in giving young people the skills and tools they need to live the lives they want in the future,” Mr Nugus said.
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Endeavour Foundation is an independent not-for-profit organisation providing support to people with a disability throughout Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. This includes accommodation, employment, education, training, vocational and lifestyle opportunities.