A New Development in Skills Development of Persons with a Disability

A Series of “Flawless Facts” by Lesa Bradshaw – Topic 14

There is no doubt that developing skills amongst youth with a disability remains a high priority on the public and private sector agenda. In fact, significant funding is made available to support this end, and there is a substantial amount of money being spent on this initiative. So why, then, do we not see a return on investment in the form increased representation of employees with a disability in our economy? Why do persons with a disability remain significantly underrepresented in our economy?

Although there are many factors which contribute to this, there are  two large gaps which custodians of skills development initiatives are missing :

  1. directly monitoring the lived experience and effectiveness of the skills transfer amongst the recipients – the persons with a disability themselves.
  2. the actual return on investment measured by evaluating the conversion of skills development programmes into meaningful employment.

So many programmes, including Learnerships, Internships, tertiary education and bursary programmes and so forth focus on the transfer of knowledge alone, and not the disabling barriers in the learning journey itself. Fundamental factors such as accessibility of information ,  accessibility of learning environments, personal support requirements, and the unique lived barriers preventing participation and retention, are seldom recognised or understood by stakeholders and custodians, and yet, it is these dynamics that have a direct bearing on the future employability of these individuals.

It is for this very reason that I, and my team at Bradshaw LeRoux, developed ODINLearn … I wanted every learner, student and stakeholder involved in the skills development journey to have a voice, and direct insight, into the real learning journey. I wanted to find a way to ensure the maximum return on investment for such stakeholders, whether that investment was in the form of learning time and commitment, providing funding, investing in future talent and delivering quality learning.

ODINLearn is an online disability awareness and support platform which is designed to empower training institution stakeholders, sponsoring benefactors, and students/learners with a disability towards navigating their roles in creating an equitable and empowering skills development experience. Click here to find out how it works

How is ODINLearn significant to you, and how does it set Bradshaw LeRoux’s Skills Development Programmes apart?

  • It ensures that your company’s skills development spend makes an impact in terms of building a truly empowered talent pipeline for your business and the broader economy
  • It improves learner retention and performance within our skills development programmes as students/learners/youth with a disability are given personalized guidance and mentorship from business leaders with a disability
  • It allows sponsoring organisations to monitor the impact of their skills development spend in measurable terms
  • It promotes efforts to create disability inclusive learning environments, particularly at a tertiary level and within learning organisations
  • It builds knowledgable, empowered youth with a disability who are equipped with the tools to navigate their careers and compete in the workplace.
  • It builds disability confidence within your organization through online disability awareness training, informational support and personalized coaching on disability inclusion

To find out more about Bradshaw LeRoux Consulting’s Skills Development Solutions, contact lesa@bradshawleroux.co.za