This is the fundamental question in the new pilot project OPTIO, which ARC (NI) is launching in 2015, alongside its member organisations, European Social Fund and Belfast HSC Trust. OPTIO aims to combat economic inactivity by supporting people with a learning disability to explore who they are as an individual, improve their social and employability skills and discover what truly interests them.
- a person-centred programme, which supports individuals to recognize the gifts, skills and experiences they already have, and create an action plan of how those gifts, skills and experiences could be applied to self-employment or enterprise. The core message in OPTIO is that you need YOU. An individual is their own greatest asset, they should control where they go in life and it is about them deciding the best support structure
- for people with a learning disability aged 16 – 65 who are interested in learning about self-employment and enterprise, while increasing their soft and work based employability skills. It is a two-stage model: Stage 1 is foundational learning on enterprise, while Stage 2 builds upon their knowledge through further innovative teaching exercises and application of the learning in an Enterprise Challenge. Participants will work towards accredited Level 1 Award and Certificate in Economic wellbeing and financial capability.
Everyone has the right to decide what they want from life, OPTIO supports people with learning disability to break down preconceived ideas on their capabilities and provide a creative space for individuals to think outside the box on what they could achieve through employment, training or further study.
If you are interested in getting involved in OPTIO, please contact Jude Pollock (tel: 028 9038 0964)