The Professional Providers and Caregivers Board of IPWSO recently conducted a survey looking for evidence of employment and work placements opportunities for people with PWS around the world.
The responses from the survey revealed the following points.
- Opportunities for formal vocational training and career guidance seem to be low.
- Sheltered workshops or volunteer work seems to still be the most likely option for people with PWS but there are quite a few opportunities to get involved in small businesses also.
- It seems more likely that people with PWS will work fewer days per week and fewer hours per day compared to the average population.
It appears that most adults with PWS would like to work – it is important for their self-esteem and mental wellbeing.
However, opportunities can be difficult to find and a lot of support and training is required to create suitable and sustainable environments for people with PWS to thrive in.
- There appears to be limited resources for proper vocational training.
- It takes time and effort on the part of an employer or workshop to get to know how best to work with them and realise their potential.
- Food security at work is a problem.
- Finding work that is interesting for them is a challenge.
- Somebody, a parent or other person, is required to thoroughly educate work places about PWS.
- Some families have started “home businesses” which seems to work well for them.
When creating guidelines one needs to take into consideration that each person with PWS is unique and their needs, interests and capabilities can vary quite a bit.
We’re greatful to everyone who took the time to respond to our survey. The Professional Providers and Caregivers Board looks forward to examining the issue further at future meetings, with the ultimate goal of providing evidence-based guidelines on creating and managing meaningful employment for people with PWS globally.