For 70 years, leading not-for-profit, Afford (The Australian Foundation for Disability), has championed choice, respect and opportunity for people with disability and advocated for inclusivity for people of all abilities.
Afford provides a range of services under the NDIS to help young people and their families and carers find genuine support and up-to-date advice about opportunities for work and wellbeing.
With the global pandemic disrupting the way we work and engage with others, encouraging confidence and resilience in young people has never been more important.
Afford’s Support Coordinators, Allied Health services and SLES (School Leaver Employment Support) service support individuals to realise their employment goals under the NDIS.
SLES (School Leaver Employment Support)
SLES is Afford’s two-year employment service for young jobseekers aged 18 to 25 years old. The service helps trainees develop new skills and knowledge in preparation for work life.
SLES is a place where school leavers can take time to explore their interests, to understand what they want out of a job.
It is a service where trainers encourage school to leavers learn about work and life resilience, staying motivated during the job-hunting process, and exploring all avenues for employment. This is all fostered within supportive environments to ensure trainees come out of SLES as informed, confident, and work ready individuals.
Whether it is a job at a supermarket, a retail store, working in a restaurant, club or other industry, trainees have person-centred support to search for jobs. They learn about the various job requirements, the skills they need to work in specific industries, and roles and responsibilities on offer.
SLES trainers have extensive connections with employers and businesses looking for suitable candidates. Trainers work in partnership with trainees to match them with employment opportunities that suit their interests, personal strengths, and abilities.
As part of the SLES service, trainees are also supported through the resume writing and interview processes when they are ready to apply for positions.
SLES encourages trainees to take control of their path to employment and support each other along the way.
Like many young school leavers, Ervin turned to Afford’s SLES service for help to find a job that allows him to earn his own money doing something that he loves.
With his friendly nature and willingness to help others, SLES trainers connected Ervin with work experience in the retail industry.
SLES trainers and store staff supported Ervin to learn the store’s process and procedures so he was armed with the knowledge he needed to complete his tasks. By the end of his first shift, Ervin had greater understanding of working in a retail environment, dealing with customers, and also working with other staff members as a team.
“Ervin’s employer was very impressed with his efforts during work experience, so much so that his work experience was extended for several months. He worked very hard to remember names and build rapport with his fellow co-workers. We are confident that Ervin will only continue to grow as he strives towards his work goals,” said Sharon Figl, SLES Penrith Trainer.
Chloe is another SLES trainee working towards her employment goals. With support from her SLES trainer, Chloe enrolled in the Certificate II Salon Assistant course at TAFE to develop her skills to become a hairdresser. Chloe toured the TAFE campus with her SLES trainer by her side. She met with hairdressing support staff and teachers. She also had a mini orientation before starting her course.
After completing her course, Chloe is looking forward to creating braids, curly locks and colours that impress as a hairdresser.
“I am having the best time, mum. You would be so proud of me. I am going to make a great hairdresser!” Chloe, SLES trainee.
For those just beginning their NDIS journey or looking to review supports to suit the changing needs of their child, Afford’s Support Coordination team help individuals and their families and carers connect with formal and informal supports to maximise their NDIS plans.
Support Coordination services can begin in early childhood through to adulthood to ensure needs are met and funding supports are secured.
Support Coordinators work in partnership with families and individuals to navigate the NDIS to achieve a positive outcome.
With up-to-date NDIS knowledge, Support Coordinators help families with early intervention, coordination of services and consistent monitoring of the performance of services. Coordinators can also help families and individuals manage budgets for each type of support and negotiate prices and service agreements.
Allied Health Supports
Afford Allied Health are a team of speech pathologists, occupational therapists, behaviour support practitioners and psychologists who support individuals from seven years of age with an NDIS Plan.
Allied health professionals provide a holistic, person-centred approach to help individuals achieve their goals.
16-year-old Courtney is working towards her goal of studying childcare education at TAFE by developing her literacy skills, with support from a speech pathologist.
Addressing her unique needs, the speech pathologist arranged assistive technology called Orcam for Courtney. Orcam is a micro-computer that reads text aloud. Courtney can attach the Orcam to the side of her glasses to help her understand printed and online texts to enhance her understanding of information and materials studied at TAFE.
Allied Health professionals help individuals develop skills, access assistive equipment and manage emotions or behaviours with positive encouragement.
Afford is a registered charity and has been operating in Australia for 70 years, providing a range of disability supports for more than 2,000 people every day.
To speak with an Afford Customer Care representative call 1300 233 673 or to learn more about Afford supports visit www.afford.com.au.