Karen Wolffe: ’Empowerment is the key in employment’

12/03/2018

‘Empowerment is the key in employment. People who feel “I am able - I can - I am ready – I am well prepared and confident and I can do it for myself”. Those get a job first.’

Sådan lød nogle af ordene ved et mini-seminar om empowerment fra Karen Wolffe, Texas, Austin, der er udvikler af det succesfulde jobsøgningsforløb; Pre-Employment Program, PEP.

’Gør ikke noget for andre, som de kan gøre for sig selv’

Karen Wolffe har lige afsluttet en uge med workshops på IBOS, hvor hun har arbejdet sammen med og delt sin ekspertviden og ikke mindst passion for det at støtte personer, der er blinde eller svagsynede i at finde job med den danske PEP-projektgruppe. I et PEP-jobsøgningsforløb er essensen og tilgangen empowerment. Karen Wolffe har arbejdet med begrebet empowerment siden 1982 på flere forskellige måder i sit professionelle liv. PEP-forløbet blev udviklet i 2011 i sin nuværende form.

‘When working with empowerment in relation to employment, the most important thing is, not to do anything for people, which they can do for themselves. That is the most important advice. When I am working with people who are disabled, the first thing I always say are: My responsibility is to help you, and I help you, by not doing for you, what you can do for yourself,’ fortæller Karen og fortsætter:

‘Everyone learns from making mistakes, we think we empower people by giving information, but we don’t empower by giving information, you make people dependent to come back for more information.
Empowerment is an internal locus of control an internal thinking - I can do this. If I fail and if I make a mistake, then I have the ability to rethink and redo. I reorganise what didn’t work and does something different. There is not one way to do this, especially if you have a disability - there are several ways.’

IBOS og All Ears klædt på til nyt anerkendt jobsøgningsprogram

Karen Wolffes Pre-Employment Program er et intensivt jobsøgningsforløb fordelt på 15 dage for mennesker med synshandicap, der er ledige. Med PEP får man mulighed for sammen med synspecialiserede fagfolk og ligestillede at styrke de færdigheder, der skal til, når man har et synshandicap og skal søge job. Erfaringer taler for at personer, der har gennemført et PEP-forløb har større sandsynlighed for at finde et arbejde.

‘At the end of the PEP-program people recognize that they can. They know what they want to be, what the jobs are that they can do, and they can go out and convince the employees to hire them. Everyone does not leave with the same level of confidence; some people need to practice again and again. But they know what they need to practice.

Some leave the PEP and are ready to go right into work that is about 25% - 30% and they get a job in about 6 months. About one third practice some more and search and continue to need a little support and additional work. It will take them about a year. But we have been seen very clearly with few exceptions, that after 18 months, many, the majority of people will be working, about 80%,’ siger Karen Wolffe.

Karen fortsætter og afrunder med en kommentar til potentielle ansøgere til det danske PEP:

‘People that decide to go through the program, or think about it, will get: Insight into self, knowledge of jobs available that match them and their needs, the ability to seek out those jobs and convince the employer to hire them.’

Det danske PEP

IBOS har i samarbejde med Alle EARS fået bevilget midler fra STAR - Styrelsen for Arbejdsmar­ked og Rekruttering. Det første forløb ud af fire starter 2.-30. maj 2018 og afholdes på IBOS. De næste afholdes i Jyl­land, på Fyn og resten af Sjæl­land i 2019. PEP- forløbet er gratis og det er første gang at PEP bliver gennemført i Danmark.

Læs mere om og ansøg om deltagelse i PEP-forløbet her

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