Tomorrow, Hampden Park is to witness a fashion show with a difference.
All the models at the Young Scotland’s Got Talent event are young people with a learning difficulty or are individuals on the autistic spectrum.
The models – including Eilidh Campbell 23 years old, from Neilston, Renfrewshire – will use the fashion show to highlight that they are all in employment and to demonstrate the types of jobs that other young people with learning disabilities can aspire to when they leave school or college.
Eilidh is an Admin Associate who works for Linstone Housing Association in Linwood, Renfrewshire. She and the other models will show the audience of over 300 delegates the breadth of talent of young people with learning difficulties in Scotland.
Three leading Scottish charities have joined forces to organise Young Scotland’s Got Talent, an employment conference for people with learning difficulties and individuals on the autistic spectrum. This will take place at Hampden Park, Glasgow on 9 June 2010 from 10.00am to 15.00pm. The fashion show is scheduled for 10.30pm.
Organised by Values Into Action Scotland; Scottish Consortium for Learning Disability; and ENABLE Scotland, the conference aims to challenge the high unemployment rates of this group, currently at 82% compared with 25% for the rest of Scottish society.
Ken Barr, a Youth Conference Group member who helped organise the event said: “There are many young people who want to work. We just need some help and advice about finding and keeping a job. The conference will be a fun way of giving people the information that they want.”
For the charities involved, the conference, which will be opened by Keith Brown MSP, Scottish Government Minister for Schools and Skills, is only the first step in raising awareness on this important topic.
Lindsay Kinloch, another steering group member added: “It is really important that people get the right help and support in their local areas. Access to employment services that work for people with learning difficulties and on the autistic spectrum vary depending on where you live in Scotland. After the conference, we will be campaigning in the 32 local authorities’ areas to make sure that we all have access to employment supports that work for us.”
Note to Editors:
1. Statistics have been drawn from Statistics Release: Adults with Learning Disabilities Implementation of “The same as you? Scotland was published on 10th August 2009 on the eSAY page of the SCLD website.
2. 25,252 adults with learning disabilities were known to the local authorities in Scotland in 2008. This corresponds to approximately 5.9 adults with learning disabilities per 1,000 population aged 16 and over.
3. For more information on the three main charities involved visit www.viascotland.org.uk; www.scld.org.uk, www.enable.org.uk; and For additional conference and campaign information please contact: Norma Curran, Coordinator of Values Into Action Scotland on 07806 282993 or Maura Lynch, National Employment Coordinator of SCLD on 07940 854556.