Literacy & Technology Hands-On (Latch-On) is a two-year literacy programme for adults with Down syndrome, which provides opportunities for adults to commence and continue their literacy development. Latch-On was developed at the University of Queensland, Australia and is for two days a week over two years.
The programme content is designed to allow the students opportunities to access literacy in all its forms from viewing through to reading and writing.
Literacy & Technology Hands-On (Latch-On) is one module of the Ability Programme, which provides people with Down syndrome access to meaningful employment opportunities.
The programme is made up of four modules:
Starting a Journey of Self Discovery: This module looks at topics students are generally familiar with, for example, pets, family, growing up.
Beyond Self and into the Community: This looks at the students’ interests such as music, sport and film.
Reaching Out into the World: This module has a wider focus with students learning about topics such as advertising, world landmarks and museums.
Taking on the World: This module focuses on practical tasks such as budgeting, planning a dinner party and the world of work.
Students will also have the opportunity to use technology during the course and learn how to email, text and access information online. There is also a numeracy component which introduces students to basic concepts such as same and different, sizes and prepositions.
There are opportunities to go on excursions to local places of interest. The course culminates in a graduation ceremony at the end of the second year.
My Opinion, My Vote (MOTE) is a European Project which aims to empower people with learning disabilities through active citizenship and participation in political elections. MOTE is one module of the Ability Programme, which provides people with Down syndrome access to meaningful employment opportunities.
It is a two year course that runs one day a week.
The students are taught about the political process and how their opinion, vote and involvement in politics matter. Among the many topics that are covered are local government, referenda and the process of elections.
Students are educated about their political rights and encouraged to form and express an informed opinion and decision during local, national and European elections and referenda.
The aim is to encourage people with learning difficulties to actively engage with the political decisions that will ultimately affect them.
The programme covers 10 units:
The work skills course is compiled of interactive videos centered on employment and is based on a project developed by Accenture called the Skills to Succeed Academy.
The course is divided into three modules:
You and Your Career
This module looks at the individual and what their interests and motivations are. Students also learn about the different types of jobs and careers that are available.
Getting a Job
This module examines the practical process of applying for a job. Students will practise all aspects from job adverts, application forms, CVs and interviews.
Success in Work
This prepares students for professional life and looks at social behaviour expected in the workplace. Students will practice roleplays and learn about timekeeping.
If possible, students are encouraged to take part in work experience in their local area during their course.
Adults who have already completed the existing education programmes, Latch-On and MOTE, can avail of the Work Skills Course (1 day per week for 2 years or 2 days per week for 1 year, depending on the commitments of students).
For more information on the Ability Programme go to the Down Syndrome Ireland website.