There are 2.1 Million working Australians who have some form of disability. Of these, there are approximately 10% or more who are unemployed.
Living with a disability is without doubt enormously challenging. Particularly, for students trying to complete qualifications when they have some form of disability, this becomes a road of endurance and tremendous difficulty.
This is where MCI Solutions steps in with innovative solutions to ensure that all students, no matter what level of disability they have, are able to successfully complete their vocational qualification.
We were determined that this cohort of students should not be disadvantaged in any way. After all, this is their access into a career and no barrier must stand in their way of finding employment.
This is how we created innovative solutions to this challenge:
- We are the first training provider in the vocational space to ensure that all our Certificate III level learning programs are designed in an accessible way. This means that all students with a disability are able to readily access their course 24/7 through materials that are screen-reader friendly and adjusted for other impairments. Students are now in control of their own learning. They don’t experience any barriers to entry as they would if they had to enter a physical training space with limits accessibility.
The materials themselves are designed so that scenarios and examples do not include any triggers for a range of physical or psycho-social disabilities. What’s more, questions can be answered via video or voice recording or even a personal meeting with an assessor.
- Our stress management and wellness programs cater to the students with mental health and psychosocial disabilities to ensure equitable access to vocational education. These programs are available to students online so that they can access them at their own pace and in their moment of need. These programs are designed in micro-learning format so that students can dip in and out and manage their own learning progress and focus on where they need to boost their skills or knowledge.
- All students have access to a mentor with a counselling or teaching background. They are able to assist students who might not have studied in a long while with study techniques or give them a range of tools and strategies to manage stress levels. They help out with setting appropriate goals and maintaining ongoing motivation. This ensures that their learning journey is personalised and specific to their experience of studying and life as a whole.
- The mentors and assessor teams ensure that if a student isn’t competent first time round, they are encouraged to continue moving forward through ongoing support and feedback. It’s essential for us to improve completion rates. If a student gives up along the way, this only serves to reinforce their self-belief that they aren’t able to complete a qualification. At the moment we are tracking at well over 45% of students completing and 90% of students actively engaged in their learning. This beats industry averages by a long mile.
Students with a disability have traditionally been isolated or left as an afterthought. We now ensure equal opportunity in securing employment. More students are able to graduate with a nationally recognised qualification, have greater senses of confidence, and able to enter the job market with work-ready skills. We have opened the doors of learning to all – not just those who are able bodied.
MCI’s innovative approach won us an incredible placement on the Australian Financial Review list of Australia’s most innovative companies in the not-for-profit and education space. We are proud to be Australia’s most innovative training company!
The AFR Awards for Most Innovative Companies is Australia’s most prestigious recognition for organisations who are leaders in their industry. The awards have been in place for the past nine years and MCI Solutions has featured 4 times on the list. This year there were over 600 applications. We rank so highly because of our ongoing commitment to constantly seeking ways in which we can break new ground and improve outcomes for our students. Innovation isn’t an afterthought for us. It’s part of our DNA – and has been for over a decade.