What did we find out?
Some of the children and young people who we spoke struggled in the employability sector because when they were at school they did not have the right training to have an interview or they struggled with keeping up with the jobs they are in because of their disability.
One story discussed how different people talk, such as bullies compared to more trusted figures. There are also stories on getting your confidence and maintaining it; someone reacting to two people getting married; how people view the world in different, interesting ways; how we have special interests that mean a lot to us; going to different places and socialising with people; going into more challenging situations such as getting on a train; and being able to accomplish personal goals. It is also worth noting the names were changed to preserve anonymity.
You can read an article here
Or look at our website for the stories
What was the impact?
We were trying to help people with disabilities tell their stories and get them to as many people as possible in order to raise awareness and provide better understanding of the issues and experiences people with disabilities go through. One impact we wanted to make was to show employers that the young people want to work but really struggle with some of the tasks in hand.
To help make the change continue …
Keep sharing the books and sharing the website. Just be aware that the young people have a disability and they may take a bit longer to do a task and to not get angry or frustrated with them and just simply help them and support them.
What is our advice?
Children and young people can take lead on their research projects by having the correct training. What helps it to be inclusive is having the support there for them. What increases the impact the children have on decisions is having the right training and the right support.
It also helps to have some level of passion for what you are doing, because it will give you a better sense of joy and will keep you genuine and interested. I would also say because of various input at meetings, the group maintained interest throughout the project.
Articles that give our advice are here and there is a Collaborative Fiction Writing with Community Groups: A Practitioner Guide.