Organisations in Ireland that provide job coaching or supported employment to people with disabilities

According to the National Disability Authority of the 15-64 age group of the 331,145 people that could be in full-time employment, less than 74% of people with disabilities are fully employed. Throughout my 10 years of job searching, one of the biggest supports I have received is in the area of employment is in job coaching, mentoring and support from companies that partner with businesses to supply them with highly talented people, who happen to have a disability. These companies can provide advice on CV or Cover Letter development, Mock Interviews, or real-life, Paid Experience to help you get you foot in the door of an organisation. Some of the best examples of this are:

Organisation:
AHEAD
Advocates for:
People With Disabilities
Based in:
Throughout Ireland

AHEAD works to create inclusive environments in education and employment since 1988 and has been supporting graduates with disabilities gain employment and training since 2005 through their GetAHEAD and WAM (Willing, Able, Mentoring) Programme. GetAHEAD offers employability skills training for students and graduates with disabilities. To date, over 550 graduates have gained full-time, graduate level paid employment through WAM with some of Ireland’s biggest employers like Bank of Ireland, Dell Technologies, ESB, and in the public service. Graduates apply for ring-fenced positions advertised on the AHEAD website, go through a typical recruitment process and if successful, they are supported by WAM through a needs assessment process and a company mentor. The maximum number of WAM positions you can do is two and they can range from six month contacts to even permanent contract.

Organisations:
Associations
Advocates for:
All types of disabilities
Based in:
Throughout Ireland

Different associations of different conditions, often will have employment support officers employed within the association so that they can give specific advice to their user base. Some also train employers as to how best to incorporate their members into their recruitment process so that their organisation can become more diverse and inclusive. Some of the organisation that provide job coaching are:

Organisation:
Aspire Productions
Advocates for:
People on the Autistic Spectrum
Based in:
Dublin

Aspire Productions is a creative media social enterprise based in Dublin. They employ autistic creatives to develop and produce media content for clients in many sectors. Their vision is to make the media industry an autism-friendly field and their mission is to enable autistic people to achieve their dreams by creating kickass media.

Organisation:
Business In The Community 
Advocates for:
People With Disabilities
– Women getting back to the workplace
Refugees and asylum seekers in Ireland
Based in:
Dublin

Business In The Community is an organisation that works with large organisation to increase their Corporate Social Responsibilities in ways such as their Low Carbon Pledge that reduces their members carbon emissions. However, they also have programmes and job coaches and career guidance counselors available to reach underrepresented groups and help them gain employment. Some of the programmes and groups they reach are:

  • EPIC Programme helps migrants to Ireland 
  • Ready For Work This programme assist People with Disabilities 
  • Women@Work For Women getting back into the workplace
Organisation:
The Cope Foundation
Advocates for:
People with intellectual disability
Based in:
Cork

The organisation has a dedicated supported employment service which aims to bring young people with intellectual disabilities and /or autism closer to the labour market. This programme assists jobseekers at key transition points between education, training and employment. This funded programme is available to young people 18-29 years. There services includes; job coaching, interview skills and information on rights, entitlements, contracts and benefits, to name a few.

Organisation:
The Crann Centre
Advocates for:
People with physical & intellectual disabilties
Based in:
Cork

According to their website “We imagine a world where families living with neuro-physical disabilities can flourish, thanks to seamless support and an inclusive society. Our services are focused on, but not limited to, people who have Spina Bifida, Hydrocephalus, Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, Childhood Stroke and Spinal Cord Injury.” As part of their education and career pathways pillar they “port adults, children and families to overcome challenges and succeed in education and improve their ability to pursue their careers. Our experienced team offer practical supports in mastering IT (hardware and applications) and Assistive Technologies.” They also provide supported employment to people with disabilities that want to open their own businesses. 

Organisation:
Employability
Advocates for:
People With Disabilities
Based in:
Throughout Ireland

Employability provides coaching to people with disabilities in order to gain employment. Their support officers go through CV’s, cover letters, interview skills and much more. Through accessing the Wage Subsidy Scheme the government will then grant the employer up to €10,528, (for a six month or more contract) so that this could contribute to the employees’ wages if there is any shortfall in productivity due to the persons disability.

Organisation:
Gheel Autism Services 
Advocates for:
People on the Autistic spectrum
Based in:
Kildare and greater Dublin

According to their website: “Gheel champions and supports autistic people in the greater Dublin and North Kildare region. We provide day, residential, supported living and outreach services, with the goal of maximising independence and enhancing quality of life. All of our programmes are tailored to recognise the neurodiversity model, and co-operation with autistic people is a must! Staff receive regular autism-specific person centered training and they are equipped with the knowledge and expertise to enable each individual they support to have positive and meaningful life experiences”. This includes employment support for some of their users.

Organisation:
Grad Guide
Advocates for:
College Graduates and those in college
Based in:
Throughout Ireland

An Irish founded start-up that specialises in providing free mentoring services to all graduates and those intending to graduate. Through the programmes they run the grads, receive a mentor from one of the fastest growing companies in the technology sector in Ireland. They then work with the technology companies to find the correct roles and companies for the grads on their service to join.

Organisation:
The HSE – Individual
Placement and
Support (IPS) Program
Advocates for:
People with mental health issues looking for work
Based in:
Dublin

Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is a program run by the HSE for people with metal heath difficulities, that may impact their employment. You can be referred to the program by any medical professional (such as your GP) within the Health Service. Their dedicated Employment Specialists will meet with the new client, go through their CVapplication techniques, interview skills and job searching over several sessions. There may be a waiting list so if you have any questions call the team at Sheaf House on 01 4635200

Organisation:
The Open Doors Initiative
Advocates for:
Underrepresented groups in the workplace
Based in:
Dublin

The Open Door Initiative was launched in 2018 with a purpose to increase employment opportunities for people in marginalised groups in society. Some of these groups include:

  • People With Disabilities
  • Refugee, asylum seekers and non-native English speakers.
  • Young people under 25 with educational barriers

Since then the organisation has grown to more than 100 members. They have launched training initiatives, events, and partnered with their members to provide employment opportunities, for some of these group. In addition, they have also partnered the likes of Professor Tom Cooney from TU Dublin to give these users greater access to self-employment than they previoulsy had.

Organisation:
Regional Local Development Network
Advocates for:
The Unemployed
Based in:
Throughout Ireland

Irish Local Development Network have nearly 50 local development companies that work with people in their local communities. As part of their labour market activation pillar each partnership will have a jobs club, where they give cover letters, CV advice and interviews. Some also run programmes that build conference and motivation so that the participants reimagining themselves in successful employment. You can view your local development network partnership here

Organisation:
Specialisterne Ireland
Advocates for:
People on the autistic spectrum
Based in
Throughout Ireland

Specialisterne Ireland is a social enterprise that promotes and supports
employment for people with autism spectrum and similar neurodiverse
challenges like Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, and ADHD.
Through its employer partnerships it arranges for candidates to be recruited
through a neurodiverse friendly process. Following a multi-stage assessment
process, candidates may be placed in one of their 40 partner companies and are
paid at the full rate for their work. In addition, Specialisterne Ireland provides
individual on-going employment support for both the neurodiverse employees
and their employers. This service is free to neurodiverse people and is
supported by the Dormant Funds Account.

Organisation:
Step-Up Ireland
Advocates for:
People with disabilities
opening entrepreneurship
Based in:
Dublin

As a full-time social worker, Step-Up Ireland CEO Eric Lambe saw first hand how inaccessible entrepreneurship was after one of his clients tried to start their own business. This led Eric to creating Step-Up Ireland, as organisation that assist people with disabilties on their journey to entrepreneurship.

Since then Eric has become a graudate of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, created a community of people in Ireland that have created their own business (or are about to) and held a number of events designed to give information to those with disabilties who are considering creating their own business.

Organisation:
Rehab Group
Advocates for:
People with disabilities
Based in:
Dublin

Having been in business for more than 70 years, Rehab Group has been giving employment to people with disabilities longer than any other company on this list. Their National Learning Network gives education to their users in an inclusive setting, with trained teachers in the area of disabilities. They can advise their students on potential employment paths or further education they need to reach their path. They can then provide employment through their social enterprises that has been one of the most successful business models for employing people with disabilities in Ireland.

Organisation:
Trinity Access Programme
Advocates for:
Underrepresented Groups
Based in:
Dublin

Trinity College Dublin created the Trinity Access Programme in 1993, in an effort to get more people from disadvantaged backgrounds into Trinity College Dublin. They now offer a range of different programmes as they say “for people with the enthusiasm, motivation and ability to succeed at third-level. We engage with communities and schools in low progression areas to encourage a positive mindset and support real steps towards going to University.” This can then progress into a degree and further courses within the college.

Organisation:
 TU Dublin
Advocates for:
People with Disabilities
Based in:
Dublin

In a first for Ireland in October 2021, TU Dublin with support from The Open Doors Initative ran a self-employment course designed for people with disabilities who want to become self employed. Professor Tom Cooney in TU Dublin designed the course so that more people with disabilities can become entrepreneurs and gain the skills and tools to do so. The course is run over  weeks and students will be assessed on their overall business plan

Organisation:
WALK 
Advocates for:
People on the autistic spectrum
Based in:
Dublin

According to their website: “At WALK, we believe that everyone who wants to work, have a job and a career can do so. Our role is to facilitate individuals to their employment and career aspirations by supporting them to realise their potential, access opportunities and build their own natural supports.”

One thought on “Organisations in Ireland that provide job coaching or supported employment to people with disabilities

  1. Pingback: Top tips for job hunting | Focusondiversity.ie

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