Every Australian has the right to an education, yet only 36% of people aged 15-64 with an intellectual disability have completed high school, and an even smaller number go on to further study.
Although the statistics on post-school study show that only 9% of people aged 20-24 and 5% of people aged 25 and above with a disability have gone on to university, internships or vocational and trade courses at TAFE, there is some good news in this area.
Post-school education is increasingly becoming an option for adults with intellectual disability, and support and educational services and organisations such as Inclusion Training are at the forefront of a new breed of tailored providers that are leading this change.
Danielle is an example of what is possible. She completed high school when she was 18 despite having a significant communication barrier and needing sign language to communicate. She then wanted to further her studies. Danielle enrolled in a Certificate I at Inclusion Training and as she has a passion for animals, did work experience at the Melbourne Aquarium and the Collingwood Children’s Farm. Inclusion Melbourne was then able to support her to continue with her studies and she is currently studying for her Certificate II in Animal studies through TAFE, with the aim to be qualified to be an animal care attendant or assistant dog groomer, and potentially continue on to become a vet nurse.
Lifelong learning improves the overall social, educational and employment goals for people living with disability, and enables them to attain a career which ensures a brighter future. Danielle has received personalised support to work towards her goals and to develop a pathway to work in a field she loves. It has helped her gain experience, and enabled and encouraged her to undertake further study.