Awareness of Conditions & Disability, Exploring the Role of Occupational Therapy, Occupational Therapy in Practice, OTalk

#OTalk 30th May – Occupational Therapy and paid work for individuals with learning disabilities.

This weeks #Otalk is on the topic of “What are the considerations for occupational therapists in practice with regards to paid work for individuals with a learning disability?” and will be hosted by Erin Rolfe (@Erinnnnn14).

Here is what Erin had to say…


Statistics published by Mencap (2016) highlighted that only 6% of individuals with a learning disability known to their local authority were in paid work in comparison to 74% of those in the general population. Why is this so low? There is continual discussion by central government and media outlets regarding the economic position of the country and pressure on the job market however is there gap in practice that occupational therapists could provide to support individuals with a learning disability to access paid work if that is their occupational choice?
Law et al identify ‘productivity’, whether that is paid or voluntary work, alongside self-care and leisure as important occupational areas that individuals need to engage in for their health and well-being. The absence of this can be detrimental whether that is due to the person or the environment that they are in. Work can provide roles, routine, finance support and identity formation and exploration for individuals. Without it, or the choice to participate in it, can lead to negative feeling upon health and well-being for individuals.

This is an area I have limited knowledge of at the moment but have chosen to explore as part of my training. I am looking forward to discussing this area and experiences with everyone and to gain a better understanding of the issues and considerations.

Questions to consider:

  1. Do you/have you worked in a learning disability service(s) and what were the priorities placed on gaining vocational skills/work placements?
  2. What do you feel are the differences in terms of paid and voluntary work aside from monetary gain?
  3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of supporting an individual with learning disabilities to gain paid employment as opposed to voluntary employment?
  4. What are the considerations for the service/setting when accessing these opportunities?
  5. What skills as occupational therapists do we have to support individuals with a learning disability to gain paid employment?
  6. Should there be more emphasis on gaining paid employment for individuals with learning disabilities?
  7. What action could services take to gain support from workplaces to gain work for individuals?
  8. Do we feel that there needs to be more support from central government with regards to attaining work placements for individuals with learning disabilities first or should health and social care professionals be advocating for clients before changes will happen?

Post Chat

Online Transcript

The Numbers

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319 Tweets
18 Participants
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#OTalk Participants

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