Changing Perceptions, Changing Lives: Future Connect's Impactful SWL Project
In October 2022, Future Connect hosted a Hollywood-style premiere to showcase the SWL Video Project completed by students in term 3. The highlight of the premiere was the screening of "Marcella's Interview," a powerful video showcasing the benefits of employing young people with disabilities. The screening was accompanied by a funny blooper reel and an impactful behind-the-scenes documentary.
‘Marcella’s Interview’ was a SWL Video project that aimed to improve employers’ understanding of the attributes of young people with disabilities. The Workability Network identified a lack of information and experience among employers in this area, resulting in missed opportunities for young people with disabilities to gain valuable work experience and employment opportunities. To address this, the students with the support of the Workability Network, Cinespace, and YDAS, created the ‘Marcella’s Interview’ to showcases the benefits of employing young people with disabilities, the accommodations that can be made to support them, and the skills and attributes they bring to the workplace.
Over several weeks, the students worked together to create the video, gaining valuable on-the-job experience and developing important skills such as communication, teamwork, and creativity.
The Hollywood-style premiere night was a huge success, with the student’s families and friends in attendance, as well as the Honourable Minister Hutchins and Minister Suleyman. Attendees had the chance to watch the films and hear from a panel of experts, including the stars of the film, Vu Nguyen from Jackson School and Dan Schulthies, who facilitated the project. Additionally, Reece Gaines, Industry Engagement for Priority Cohorts, Brimbank Melton Area, Department of Education and Training, shared statistics about disability in the workforce and provided insight into the impact of this project.
A definite highlight of the night was hearing from each student on how their confidence has grown and from their families about how this confidence has followed through to both their home and school lives. There were plenty of laughs during the bloopers reel, and the behind-the-scenes "making of" video provided a deeper insight into the students' experiences throughout the project. Altogether the night was an absolute blast, and everyone involved was incredibly proud of the short films that had been produced.
Without further ado, we are pleased to share with you the three films that our students created as part of Marcella's Interview project. The first film is the finished product that we will be promoting to raise awareness about the skills and abilities of young people with disabilities in the workplace. The second film is a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the project, highlighting the skills that our students acquired throughout the process. And lastly, the third film is a blooper reel that showcases the fun and personalities of our talented students.
The SWL Video Project had a profound impact on the students involved, helping them to develop valuable skills and gain confidence in their abilities. Their school teachers also noticed a positive change, with one teacher saying, "We've seen such a growth in our student’s self-esteem and communication skills since they started this project." To evaluate the impact of the project, we utilised the Most Significant Change Story as a monitoring and evaluation tool, and the resulting report is available on our website
We hope this project will encourage employers to create more inclusive work environments and provide greater opportunities for young people with disabilities. SWL provides fantastic opportunities for students to gain valuable on-the-job experience, and we are funded by the Department of Education and Training to support student placements.
If you're an employer interested in working with us to create a more inclusive workplace and provide meaningful work experience to our students, please don't hesitate to contact Najib Warsame, our School Industry Project Officer at email@example.com Mobile: 047 816 2319. We're always on the lookout for fantastic opportunities for our students!