The Right Start
Scene 1: We see students entering a meeting room.
Full screen titles say: “The unemployment rate for youth with disabilities in Ontario was reported to be about 3o per cent in 2012. This is almost two times higher than that of youth without disabilities. Source: Statistics Canada.”
Scene 2: More students enter the room.
Full screen titles say: “Research indicates having one paid job in high school is the number one predictor of future employment for people with disabilities. Source: Hammill Institute on Disabilities. University of Wisconsin-Madison.”
Scene 3: Camera moves past signs that say: “Accessful. The Right Start Unlocks Success.” Teachers and students taking their place at tables and chairs. Full screen titles say: “Accessful is an exciting initiative to dramatically improve summer employment opportunities for students in grades ten to twelve with disabilities. Imagine students with disabilities thriving in rewarding summer jobs.”
Scene 4: Camera reveals the faces of the students in the meeting room. The host is a young woman who addresses students and teachers. In this scene individuals speak about their experience of the training session taking place in the meeting room.
Host: This is an event for you, led by you, but we’re here to listen to your ideas, build resources to support you. So you have a lot of power today, and please take advantage of it and use it.
Jody Landry: One thing that I did notice is that because of the activities and the games at first, it’s building their confidence.
Host: Three, two, one, go!
Kerry Somerset: For my students that are here today, I think it allows them to see that other people are in the same boat, that other people are struggling with these same barriers and what are the solutions around it.
Student 1: Social anxiety.
Student 2: Talking to people.
Student 3: Being LGBT.
Student 4: My insecurities get in the way.
Dragan Pausak: Students usually do not have opportunities like this, and it’s just a great time for them to get out to have their voices heard, which is also a big thing. Their voices and their opportunities are few and far between.
Rachel Chen: It’s a good thing that they can come out here and then to be heard and have their concerns heard, and feel like they’re getting some support.
Colin Wakefield: At some point, they’re going to have to take that next step, and the fact that this is such an open space and it’s welcoming, it allows those fears and concerns to be addressed. They can also go back to their parents and say, “Here’s what I’m thinking the next step will be.”
Rachel Chen: It’s nice to have that experience today, to be able to be in a big crowd and come out feeling pretty comfortable.
Kerry Somerset: A lot of students that we brought today are introverted and quiet, and yet here they’re sharing and they’re participating, and they feel engaged. That’s important.
Dragan Pausak: Sometimes we’re not the greatest as teachers about finding those barriers or listening to the students about these barriers. So it’s good to hear from our students and other students that attend this conference what things we need to work on as teachers to help engage our community and to help our community and our employment partners be aware that these are things that we all need to work on.
Scene 5: Camera shows students exchanging comments while using a portable microphone. The microphone is a cube about the size of a toaster which is tossed from speaker to speaker. The students’ faces express comfort and enjoyment with the experience of being asked to describe what it’s like to have a physical, mental health or learning disability. This scene includes brief glimpses of group work and two teachers who record student comments onto large pads of “stickie notes” which are then transferred to a large paper sign on a wall in the meeting room.
Scene 6: A series of slow dissolves feature the faces of the students as black and white style portraits. This scene concludes with full screen titles that say: “Everybody deserves to be Accessful.”
Scene 7: The video ends with logos associated with: Accessful, The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation and the Government of Ontario.