Multiple handicapped students should be able to participate in society

Every day, a handful of students with multiple visual impairments take a taxi to Visio Education Rotterdam to go to work there. At our special education school for blind and partially sighted students, they not only learn the highest attainable level in math and language, they also learn practical skills. For example, the students work on their catering skills in a large kitchen, learn about greenery in the school garden and receive lessons in self-care, social interaction, cleaning and technology.

Limitations don’t matter

From the age of 15, our students go on various internships. They also participate in a career survey. Here they discover what they are good at, where their strength lies and what activities they would like to perform in a supervised workplace or day care facility – when they leave school at the age of 20. Visio has the slogan ‘enable participation’ and for good reason. To us, the limitations of students don’t matter. There is enough that they can do. I am convinced that each and every one of our students will become fantastic employees, who will later go out of their way in their workplace, with a clear task, with the right guidance and at their own pace. More loyal employees will not find an employer!


What a shame, then, to see that many of those talents go untapped? The main reason for this is regulation. Our students depend on taxi transport. Because transport costs money, our former students have to work within a radius of five kilometers from their home. That means our students have no choice. Do they have green fingers, but is there only a supervised place in the kitchen nearby? Then they have bad luck and have to go into the catering industry.

Correct indication

In addition, our students depend on an indication to be able to work at a day care facility or a sheltered workplace. This indication is given on the basis of a conversation lasting approximately one hour. Yes, one hour. Pupils who have sometimes attended our school for 13 years, of whom we really know how they work, are told by a stranger after an hour of conversation how fit they are to work. If, after one hour, the unknown person finds that a pupil is 40 percent fit for work (and that he can therefore do paid work for that part), the pupil receives an indication for 60 percent. The consequence of this is that he has the correct indication for only three days. And which for-profit company is going to hire our amazing employees for those other two days? Right, nobody. Incorrect indications mean that our students are often unable to work in a suitable workplace with the right guidance.

Enabling participation

This must all be different. Scratch that stupid five-kilometer rule. Let schools be leading in applying for the indication, because they really see the students. Moreover, this handful of multiple handicapped students, who are so eager to participate in society, really do not abuse these indications. On the contrary. Stop looking at numbers, look at people. Only then can we really make participation possible!

By: National Education Guide

Multiple handicapped students should be able to participate in society
Source link Multiple handicapped students should be able to participate in society

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