Work experience: Think outside the gate (for professionals)

This is a recording of a one-day online workshop about work experience placements for secondary school students with disability. Learn how to create successful community-based work experience opportunities that are customised to the student’s interests, needs and potential contributions.

This three-part workshop was designed for professionals wanting some practical guidance to help their students with disability

  • imagine their career path
  • find work experience that aligns with their interests, needs and skills and
  • set up successful work experience placements for the student and their host employer.

Session 1 – Imagine a Customised Career

In this video, you’ll explore

  • Employment environment. An overview of employment experiences for people with intellectual disability
  • Career education. Explore the career education environment and how to work with your school
  • Vision. Imagine a good life through valued social roles and create a vision statement
  • Discovery. Identify the student’s interests, conditions and potential contributions

Video playing time: 1 hour, 33 minutes

Session 2 – Find Customised Work Experience

In this session, we discussed

  • Customised work experience. An overview of customised work placements and the different mindsets needed to create them
  • Planning for work experience. Understand the world of work possibilities and how to explore these
  • Workplace learning. Identify specific employers to contact to arrange a work placement
  • Talking to employers. Learn how to ask for customised work experience placements or a workplace tour to spot potential tasks
  • Negotiating conditions. Decide what to disclose to an employer and when to disclose it

Video playing time: 43 minutes

Session 3 – Set Up Work Experience for Success

In this final session, we discussed

  • Accessing supports. Accessing NDIS-funded supports to find, set up, and support work experience placements
  • Preparing placements. Analyse tasks and negotiate placement relationships and conditions for success
  • Teaching tasks effectively. Use systematic instruction to enable the student to master tasks independently
  • Recording achievements. Learn how to capture learning for a visual resume and record the student’s feedback about tasks
  • Future opportunities. Ask employers for future work, referee reports and career advice

Video playing time: 51 minutes


This workshop is based on

  • the customised employment approach developed by Marc Gold and Associates and
  • the lived experience of families and young people.

It is part of our three-year School to Work project. This project builds the capacity of families to help secondary school students to imagine, discover and find valued work roles.

Resources from this workshop