21. WORKING WITH DOWN’S SYNDROME “A General Understanding”
3WHAT IS DOWN’S SYNDROME? Down’s syndrome is a major genetic disorder.Down’s syndrome is the most visual chromosome anomaly.The overall incidence occurs in about one in 700 births.
4WHAT CAUSES DOWN’S SYNDROME? Down’s syndrome is caused by the presence, in the maternal ovum or the fertilizing sperm, of an extra chromosome number 21.Thus, every cell in the body of an individual with Down’s syndrome has 47 chromosomes instead of the normal 46.In about a quarter of cases, the extra chromosome comes from the father.
5USEFUL THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT DOWN’S SYNDROME Congenital disorders such as heart and inner ear defects are common and there is a special susceptibility to LeukaemiaThere is always some degree of mental defect, but this need not be severe and many people with Down’s syndrome are able to engage in normal work and employmentThere is slow physical development and muscle power may be weakLife expectancy has increased and many persons with Down’s syndrome live reasonably long and full lives
7WHY EMPLOY PERSONS WITH DOWN’S SYNDROME? Persons with Down’s syndrome like to work, just like every one else.Persons with Down’s syndrome can be methodical and thorough in their approach to work duties and responsibilities.Persons with Down’s syndrome generally try to do their best.
82.1 THE BENEFITS OF HAVING PERSONS WITH DOWN’S SYNDROME IN YOUR COMPANY
9THE BENEFITS OF HAVING PERSONS WITH DOWN’S SYNDROME IN YOUR COMPANY Access to a committed labor pool.Employees with Down’s syndrome can be an effective part of your team and an asset to your companyFree advice and support during recruitment and selection.Access to information on financial incentives available.Additional training can be provided by a Job Coach.Ongoing advice and support provided by a Job Coach.Enhanced public image as an equal opportunities employer.
102.2 THE BENEFITS OF A WORKING LIFE FOR PERSONS WITH DOWN’S SYNDROME
11The Benefits of a Working Life for Persons with Down’s Syndrome Opportunity to earn a wage.More chance to socialise and meet new people.Access to additional learning in the work place.Possible increase in self confidence.Integration into the community...having equal opportunities.Being connected/ being part of the work force.Increased independence through participating economically in society.
123 HOW CAN WE SUPPORT PERSONS WITH DOWN’S SYNDROME IN THE WORK ENVIRONMENT
13HOW CAN WE SUPPORT PERSONS WITH DOWN’S SYNDROME IN THE WORK ENVIRONMENT? By matching the skills of the individual to the demands of the task or jobIntroduction to co-workers and supervisorsAgree co-worker mentor supportWorkplace induction, orientation and training opportunitiesOn-going ‘on and off’ the job support by placement agency (job coach)Workplace adaptation (if necessary)On-going review of employee and role
143.1 Recruitment of Persons with Down’s syndrome Towards a Working Life3.1 Recruitment of Persons with Down’s syndrome
15Recruitment of Person’s with Down’s Syndrome Disseminate Flyers and Brochures to NGO’s, Education Centers and Service Providers of Persons with Down’s syndrome.Advertisements placed in Newspapers or Magazines which are dedicated /aimed at disabled people.Liaison and cooperation with Employment Agencies and Service Provider Institutions for persons with disabilities.Supported Employment operates nationally. If you would like details of a service in your area please see the contact page: IASE Ltd. (Irish Association of Supported Employment) Muing, Belmullet, Co. Mayo Tel: Fax:
16Job Advertising Use Business Advertisements which: Are easy to read Are welcoming to persons with disabilitiesHave clear and specific job descriptionsAre accessible to persons with disabilities who have Down’s syndrome
17JOB INTERVIEW Make the person at ease Discussions should be simple and clearUse short, simple and easy questionsCheck understanding and clarityAllow for a support advocate or mentor
19Integration to the Work Place The job tasks should be explained in detail to workers with Down’s Syndrome so as to support integration in the work place.Sufficient time and practice should be given to them in order to get used to their jobs.Tasks should be closely monitored initially. If they miss some points in relation to their job, these points should be reminded to them. If there is an unclear situation with the job, this should be re-explained to them.Co-workers should provide support. Co-workers may be trained about people with disability.A job coach may facilitate integration to the workplace and to the job.(
20Integration to the Work Place Employers may need to facilitate some changes so as to integrate people with Down’ Syndrome in the work place. Such changes will provide support and increase the efficiency of the worker.Take necessary measures to assure health and safety.If necessary, re-design the work place to make it easier to do the job.Working hours should be arranged and agreed to suit both the employer and the employee.
213.3 SOCIAL INTERACTION OF PERSONS WITH DOWN’S SYNDROME IN THE WORK PLACE
22Social Interaction in the Work Place Social Interaction is an important factor for persons with Down’s syndrome in the work place.Communicating and getting to know other workers should be facilitated and supported.Co-workers should view persons with Down’s Syndrome the same as they would any other worker.Workers with Down’s syndrome should be included in all workplace social interaction where practical and possible.
23THE EUROPEAN SUCCESS STORIES OF PERSONS WITH DOWN’S SYNDROME
24Success in Working Life for Persons with Down’s Syndrome The successful stories of Persons with Down’s SyndromeCatriona DalyNorita HediganIRELAND:
25Success in Working Life for Persons with Down’s Syndrome My name is Catriona DalyI am 33 years old.I live in Mallow, Co. Cork Ireland. I live in an apartment with my two friends, Norita and Eileen.I work in the Town Hall office one afternoon a weekI go to Drama Club on Tuesday eveningsI go to town for a meal or to the cinemaI watch television in the evenings.My name is Norita HediganI am 42 years old.I live in Mallow, Co. Cork Ireland. I live in an apartment with my two friends, Katie and Eileen. I stay there on my own at the weekends.I go to the training centre when I am not at work.I work in a restaurant 3 mornings a weekI like go to town for a meal or to the cinema.
26Success in Working Life for Persons with Down’s Syndrome I am really good at computers, sport, drama, dancing, housework, minding my nieces and nephews.I need support in using transport, cooking, living independently, and in buying clothes.I am really good at being Independent, computers, sport, working, knitting, being a good friend.I need support in using transport , going to see my boyfriend, and in living independently.
28For further Information on Down’s Syndrome in Ireland please contact: Down Syndrome IrelandCitylink Business ParkOld Naas RoadDublin 2, Ireland.Tel: (0) /Website:
29For further Information on Supported Employment in Ireland please contact: Supported Employment Programs which support persons with disabilities in the workplace operate nationally. If you would like details of a service in your area please see the contact;IASE Ltd. (Irish Association of Supported Employment) Muing, Belmullet, Co. MayoTel: Fax:
30For Further information on this Educational Set for Employers: Please contact:Michael BarrettCOPE FoundationCorkIreland(0)