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  • The ULF Team

Job Coach Volunteers, all set to help build inclusive workplaces

SPED teachers from private and public schools, occupational therapists and physical therapists, HR specialists, senior managers, families and friends of PWDs, students, and young professionals committed to championing the uniqueness and exceptional contribution of PWDs in the workplace.

Project Inclusion conducted its introductory course for volunteer Job Coaches for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) last June 25, 2016 at the Bayanihan Center Annex.

We were expecting 15-20 volunteers; instead, 35 volunteers showed up! They came from all walks of life: SPED teachers from private and public schools; occupational therapists and physical therapists; HR specialists; senior managers; families and friends of PWDs; students and young professionals--all ready to share their time (read: eight Saturdays) and talent to make workplace inclusion a reality.

During the halfday introductory course, Program Manager Grant Javier provided an overview of Project Inclusion, while Ranil Sorongon of the Philippine Partnership for Children with Disabilities (PPCD) discussed the laws affecting PWD employment. Later on, Project Inclusion’s Teacher Krystel Tolentino and Occupational Therapist Karla Tolentino (yes, they’re sisters!) discussed the course outline and the role of the job coach.

After the intro course, the volunteers were able to meet Vico Cham, a young adult with autism who’s been working as ULF’s Graphic Design and Admin Assistant for three years now. The volunteers also visited the ULF office where the Healthier Philippines mural, a 4ft x 6ft artwork by Vico is proudly displayed.

First in the Philippines

In other countries like Singapore, US and the UK, job coaching is an established professional practice. Unfortunately, it’s not the same case in the Philippines, despite the high need for job coaches.

Project Inclusion is offering the job coaching course to address that gap, and help ensure that PWDs are given the right support during their application process and placement in companies. The long-term vision is to have the course accredited by appropriate government agencies and partner educational institutions, thereby establishing job coaching as a profession in the country.

More inclusive workplaces; a healthier, more inclusive Philippines

The full course is composed of eight modules, and runs for eight Saturdays starting July 23. The course will cover topics on basic features of intellectual disabilities, the employment process, and developing support in the workplace, to name a few. The course will also include hands-on job coaching with real PWDs seeking employment, and those who’ve been successfully matched with potential employers through Project Inclusion.

To show their solid support, all 35 volunteers signed a pledge of commitment not just to finish the full course, but to champion the uniqueness and exceptional contribution of PWDs to and beyond the workplace.

Thank YOU, job coach volunteers! Together, we build a healthier, more inclusive Philippines – one PWD at a time.

Want to make your own unique contribution as a job coach, too? Download the #healthierPH app to sign up for the next batch!

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