What we do:
This year, over 500 youth with developmental disabilities will be transitioning out of high schools across BC to their adult lives. At present, these youth face a significant gap in services as they transition from youth services to adult services at the age of 19. For these young people and their families, there will be many changes and challenges ahead.
DCLS recognizes that working with these youth before they make the transition to adult services will give them the best possible outcomes toward obtaining and maintaining meaningful long-term paid employment. By working with the youth to identify their employment interests and aptitudes, and develop their employment related skills, we expect to increase the level of employment among people with developmental disabilities in our area.
The Leading Employment and Achieving Possibilities (LEAP) pilot project proposes to support young adults who are transitioning from school to work. We will provide a Peer Mentoring support framework with formal training for interested community member volunteers. The trained community mentors will then lead structured topics and activities for their group of protégés (LEAPers) with developmental disabilities, as well as one-to-one support activities that will help lead the LEAPers to successful employment.
The LEAP mentoring model includes complementary classroom curriculum called BOUNCE. The classroom sessions are held once a week for six hours, and cover a wide range of topics including communication skills, safety skills, goal setting, money sense, workplace attitude and ethics, time management, risk taking, dress for success and hygiene.
DCLS has operated the LEAP pilot project for six years to-date, and will launch year eight in Spring of 2021.
Click here if you would like to donate to this project.