Professional services company Accenture is supporting pan-disability charity Leonard Cheshire with a new online training and mentoring programme, supporting 100 jobseekers and newly-employed people with disabilities in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Telangana states.
As the COVID-19 pandemic brings uncertainty about jobs, this is proving to be an effective way to upskill people, maximising NGO knowledge of accessibility and disability inclusion and the employment expertise of companies.
Thirty Accenture volunteers – mostly IT specialists – have planned and delivered an 11-day training curriculum, after orientation from Leonard Cheshire on accessible learning techniques.
Training sessions have included:
Basic Microsoft Office skills
Using the internet, virtual communications platforms and email
Soft skills training, assertiveness, presentation skills, employability and job readiness
Sessions are run via Skype in groups or 1-2-1, depending on the needs of each candidate. Candidates have locomotor disabilities, visual impairments, hearing impairments, intellectual, learning or developmental disabilities.
Accenture volunteer Karthika said: ‘It went off so well. We could sense the drive in each candidate in learning new concepts.’
Online volunteering is flourishing in the expanded digital spaces of the COVID-19 world. Successful e-learning platforms eliminate travel time, costs and other challenges for persons with disabilities. Candidates can participate wherever they are.
Upskilling models developed with businesses show the impact online training courses can have, providing learning and fulfillment for persons with disabilities, kindling their skills and enthusiasm and supporting them on exciting career journeys.
Many candidates are making amazing progress, with the support of experienced volunteers, while companies are beginning to understand the capabilities and potential of persons with disabilities
‘Even though trainers were new to training a visually impaired person, they adapted to teaching with assistive technologies. The training gives me confidence,’ said course candidate Arunkumar, from Chennai.