A full timetable of classes is held at our premises, five days per week. We use our local networks and research to source properly qualified tutors to deliver all of the courses. Our partner KETB has previously provided us with some tutors and will continue to do so where possible. Courses are run termly in a structured and student-centred manner. Inspired has recently established a transition programme for prospective school leavers to attend the project on a part time basis. The aim of this programme is to support the young people through the transition from secondary school to further education or employment. We have built strong relationships with special education schools in Kerry in order to roll out this programme in a collaborative manner.
Participants work with our Job Coach to articulate their long-term ambitions and the jobs they would like to pursue. The Job Coach then approaches relevant local businesses to arrange an appropriate placement. These placements are not short-term arrangements, but part of a long-term process that is centred on the individual’s ongoing development. The business is supported by Inspired in understanding the young person’s abilities and ambitions and establishing a structured programme of in-house training that may ultimately lead to formal employment. To date, participants have undertaken placements in hairdressers and barbers, bookshops, charity shops, supermarkets and hardware stores. Five of these placements have been progressing continuously for approximately two years, which attests to the effort invested in ensuring the placement is valuable for both the young adult and business.
A key founding purpose of Inspired was to afford school-leavers with intellectual disabilities meaningful pathways to contribute to their community. We believe their visible contributions to the community are important in reducing the stigma that persists around disability, as well as affording them a sense of purpose and self-worth. To that end, a major part of our work is helping in the local community. Participants work together to decide how they would like to contribute to their community. To date, they have engaged in activities such as fundraising for other charities, working in a community garden, contributing to the Tralee Tidy Towns effort, participating in the local football club’s Strictly Come Dancing fundraiser, and visiting the elderly.