St Mungo's Digital Skills programme

Digital Skills for Life Programme - AchieveAbility and St Mungo’s

Funded by the Community Fund PROJECT ID: 20147741
PROJECT NAME: Digital Skills for Life for Homeless Neuro-divergent Adults

Neurodiversity is the concept that there is no one-size-fits-all package for people. Instead, it acknowledges that we all have our differences which need to be respected and nurtured. Neurological differences may be overlapping and include dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, ADHD, autism, Asperger’s. St. Mungo’s has teamed up with the leading charity AchieveAbility led by Dr Katherine Hewlett MBE who specialise in promoting accessible education, training and employment opportunities for people who are Neurodivergent.

Together in our partnership, we aim for a society that positively recognises the strengths of Neurodivergent people to achieve their full potential and ability within education, training, and employment.

Programme over 6 months as from October 2020 to March 2021.

“This is the second time St Mungos Recovery College has teamed up with AchievAbility to deliver the life changing Digital Skills for Life course and it is testimony to this collaboration that we continue to embed support for our Neurodiverse clients. There were so many achievements made during the first course in 2019 which we have replicated and scaled up to a virtual platform- despite the Covid-19 pandemic which forced the closure of all 7 Recovery Colleges.

Thanks to the quick action of St Mungo’s through converting its Recovery College to an online provision many clients were able to access the bespoke sessions created by AchieveAbility’s expert team. Our clients continue to develop their skill set and confidence in their abilities, know their employment rights and develop caring and nourishing community.”

James Carroll Digital Inclusion at St Mungo’s December 2020

Programme Aim;
Digital Skills for Life will enable you to developconfidence and technology skills ready for
the work place. The sessions are open to all clients, and weparticularly encourage any clients who are, ormay be, neurodivergent or dyslexic to attend.

October planning – November to March delivery
Participants were invited to live Zoom sessions on Thursdays 7 - 9pm over November to December

Two sessions -managing the work place 5th and 12th November
Two sessions - emotional intelligence 19th and 26th November
Two sessions - support in the work place 3rd and 10th December

Live Zoom sessions
27 Jan: Wonderful World of Neurodivergence

3 Feb: What is Neurodiversity?

10 Feb: Self-esteem Building

17 Feb: Get the Conversation Started on Neurodiversity

24 Feb: Active Writing and Reading

Zoom films

3 Mar: Learning and Being Neurodivergent

10 Mar: NeurodivergentFriendly Technology

17 Mar: Communications and Social Media

24 Mar: Active Writing

31 Mar: Graduation

Wednesdays 11-12pm
Google Hangout link will be sentafter registration.

Please register with the RecoveryCollege on:
0330 122 1354
(Mon-Fri, 10am-5pm)

Technology used is Google hangouts for Accessibility at some sessions for accessing links via chat.

Pro Zoom is used due to the world of education, training and work. Important for clients to get used to Zoom as all in the world of work tend to use this.

The Programme will finish at the end of March 2121
The Digital Skills Course

The course took place at St Mungo's Recovery College in Rushworth Street, Southwark during July 2019

This Specialist course is run by AchieveAbility in partnership with Diversity and Ability (DnA)

The course supported St Mungo clients who are Neurodivergent (ND) and covered:

Building confidence

Understanding your own learning through technology

An introduction to the digital inclusion programme

Finding out about neurodivergent friendly technology

How to communication in a variety of scenarios

Building up networks of supp
Identifying Dyslexia

Diagnostic Assessments
An up to date diagnostic assessment clarifies the current strengths and areas of difficulty in order for the correct provision for the interview and selection process in a job role can be provided.

A diagnostic assessment is the only way to really understand if someone is dyslexic and where their particular strengths and weaknesses lie. There are a variety of assessment measures and professional assessors who are highly qualified and are assessed for competence and required to undertake mandatory CPD. It is recommended that employers offer a diagnostic assessment for any staff who may be dyslexic.

Indication for Dyslexia Screening
A screening for dyslexia as opposed to an assessment can be used by work coaches and for Job Centre Plus to take into account when completing customer claimant commitments. For adults who are concerned that they may be dyslexic, this is the first step to identifying whether dyslexia is a possible reason for many of the problems that they have experienced through school, and into their adult working life.

On the BDA website is the 'Spot your Potential' screening test for age range 15+ which highlights strengths and weaknesses. It costs about £30, gives instant results and is acceptable for the driving test.

Supporting people with Dyslexia
Please access online:
Access to Work

Access to work and Job Centre Plus are two separation organisations. Access to Work is set up to support employers to assist staff with health conditions or disabilities such as dyslexia remain in employment. Once you are in employment you may qualify for help under the Access to Work scheme; this is a government scheme that offers practical help at work if
your health or disability affects the way you do your job.

As confirmed by the British Dyslexia Association (BDA) an employee does not need a dyslexia diagnosis to get Access to Work support. The BDA also states that that Access to Work may accept a screening report for the self-employed and some 'lower skilled jobs' prior to a workplace needs assessment.

You may be eligible for Access to Work if you are:
§ In a job, unemployed or about to start a job;
§ Unemployed and about to start a Work Trial;
§ Self-employed and your disability/health condition prevents you from doing parts of your job.

Access to Work can help you and your employer by offering advice and support with extra costs which may arise because of your needs, and will offer help towards the cost of equipment you need at work. Funding could provide such things as: special software, specialised equipment, a person to help you with organisational or time management problems, or even someone to take notes or write letters for you.

For an application form for Access to Work telephone:
Access to Work
Telephone: 0345 268 8489
Textphone: 0345 608 8753
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Reasonable Adjustments.
Support for a dyslexic employee will be neither expensive nor disruptive to the organisation and can be very effective. Some dyslexic employees will have a good idea of the sort of accommodations and I.T. support which will help, particularly if they have had experience of these at college or university. However, the individual dyslexic employee will not have the detailed knowledge of all the possible adjustments available. The employer is advised to seek specialist advice in the form of a work-based needs assessment.

General Points.
• The Equality Act 2010 requires an employer to implement reasonable adjustments to
support a disabled employee.
• Every dyslexic person is different and will have different requirements for support. There
is no one-size-fits-all reasonable adjustment for Dyslexia.