Vocational training can be described as training that emphasises knowledge and skills required for a specific trade, craft or job function, forgoing traditional academics and focusing more on practical hands-on instruction rather than theoretical knowledge.
A vocational training programme is an important aspect of the curriculum delivery at Vera School. Experience and research have shown that people with autism are at high risk for no participation in post-school employment or education. Another problem is that learners are not always prepared or able to take full advantage of training programmes because they have not developed the pre-requisite skills. It is therefore important to begin vocational training early and for the programmes for junior, middle and senior sections to be compatible.
Vocational skills training is designed to assist our learners to live and work more independently. Learners are assessed to identify skills and general vocational interests. Individual vocational skills and expected good work habits are developed from this assessment. An integrated multi-disciplinary approach is used to facilitate this goal. Each task or skill is broken down into small steps, which form the assessment standards in the learners’ IEDPs (see the section on IEDP for more information). Examples of the vocational skills taught at Vera School include (but are not limited to) recycling; washing cars; food preparation; bread baking and domestic skills.
We collaborate with protective workshops to develop and promote realistic, best practice job training, good work habits and social skills so that learners can gain experience working in a workshop, taking instructions from strangers and also to work with people other than their peers and friends. Certain after-school placements provide skills training and possible job placement. In addition, job coaches provide continuous support for each student where necessary.