Enable Ireland's Third Level Placement Policy in Action | Enable Ireland


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Enable Ireland's Third Level Placement Policy in Action

Enable Ireland is very proud of it’s commitment and contribution to the growth and development of the next generation of disability sector employees through it’s Third Level Placement Policy and also the Graduate Volunteer Programme.

Daniel James at work at the Lavanagh Centre
Daniel James at work at the Lavanagh Centre

Both allow students or graduates first hand and practical experience of what it is like to work in Enable Ireland, provide opportunities for further learning and assist the student or graduate to make informed career decisions.   

Daniel James is a beneficiary of the Third Level Placement Policy. A student of Psychology and Social Studies in The College of Commerce, Cork, Daniel James is interviewed here by Fionnuala O’Donovan, CEO, Enable Ireland about his Third Level Placement in the Lavanagh Centre, Enable Ireland Cork in January 2017.

1.    Why did you choose Enable Ireland for your placement?

I chose Enable Ireland because I wanted to make a difference. I knew of Enable Ireland’s work through friends and I thought I could learn a lot there. I’m pretty focused when it comes to my future career path, I’m set on doing Forensic Psychology so I knew this would be very different and that was part of the appeal also – to open my mind to alternatives. 

2.    What were your thoughts on our Third Level Student Placement Policy? 

The Policy gave me a really good outline of what I could expect when I started my placement. It was really comprehensive and reassuring. Sometimes, work placements can be daunting of course, no matter how well you know of an organisation through their public profile.  
I was surprised that so much thought and effort had gone into planning for Third Level placements to be honest. It really put my mind at ease and also helped me get into the right frame of mind before the placement even started so I think I got a lot more out of my placement as a result. I really hit the ground running.

3.    You had a packed programme of activities for your placement, what was the highlight?

My programme was definitely packed. I couldn’t believe the variety of activities that I got to be a part of. I had a full induction on my first day before I was given a work station for the fortnight. I spent time in pre-school, went to casting clinics and was introduced to the roles of the whole team in Enable Ireland from Physiotherapist to Speech and Language Therapist and Occupational Therapist and how they interact with the Psychology department in order to provide a complete service to the child and family.

4.    Tell me something you learned during your placement.

I learned that a positive attitude is much more important than resources. Though the centre there could always do with more resources, more equipment, and more funding, the staff don’t let that stop them from giving their all. Their dedication to the children and focus on what’s best for them means they always get the best outcome for the child with the resources they have at their disposal. They think so creatively about solutions and they are 100% focused on the child.

5.    Tell me something that surprised you.

I was surprised by the positivity. I didn’t expect to walk into a place where children with disabilities receive therapies and other services and expect that – I suppose I expected more of a hospital vibe but it wasn’t like that at all. It was incredibly positive. 
Being positive is a conscious decision of everyone in the Lavanagh Centre. They leave their personal lives at the door and give 100% to the children. It’s great to watch. 

6.    Would you recommend Enable Ireland as a Third Level Student Placement and why? 

Absolutely. I’ve done lots of placements but nothing has compared to this. The programme they put together for me meant I learned so much – I don’t think I could have packed any more in. They were so giving of their time, so willing to support me and so positive. It’s been my number one placement without a doubt. 

7.    What are your career plans?

Before this I was 100% focused on Forensic Psychology and that’s still my path I think but I now have a definite fall back. I used to think it was Forensic or nothing. Now, I can picture myself working with children with disabilities, I have options. It’s really opened my eyes. 

To make an enquiry about placements under Enable Ireland’s Third Level Placement Policy or about the Graduate Volunteer Programme, please email communications@enableireland.ie



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