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We have changed our name! Kids on the Spectrum is now called Living on the Spectrum

Coles opens a fully functioning supermarket for students with disabilities.

Coles has fitted out a fully functioning supermarket at St Lucy’s School, an independent school for students with disabilities, to assist in teaching students practical life skills.

St Lucy’s Coles will operate just like a normal Coles

The school, St Lucy’s.

St Lucy’s School opened the Coles Supermarket on their Wahroonga campus. The independent school offers classes from K to year 12 and is for students with disabilities. Because of this the school is continually innovating and providing opportunities for its students. St Lucy’s Coles will operate just like a normal Coles. Staff and students will use a debit card (personal) to purchase items.

The Coles shop is a fantastic opportunity for students to integrate a range of essential learning skills. They can practice writing shopping lists. Following instructions, navigation skills and communication. It will also provide valuable money and transaction skills.

– Lisa Grimmond, Head of Curriculum and Pedagogy K – 6

What is encouraging is that classes will run right across all year levels. Because of this, it will allow all students to access the shop and practice skills in preparation for successful and meaningful participation in their community. Whether it be for shopping for themselves and their families or working in the service industry.

The shop provides a guided work experience environment for our Year 7 – 10 students where they will carry out a range of tasks such as stocking shelves, working at the checkout, greeting customers, and ensuring the shop is kept clean.

 – Kirsten Willis Head of Curriculum and pedagogy 7 – 12

The truth about employment rates

Amaze Autism commissioned two reports in 2018. Community Attitudes & Behaviours towards Autism and Experiences of Autistic People and their Families. The report, which was an Australian-first, revealed that more than half of unemployed autistic Australians had never held a job. Many indicate they have a strong desire to gain employment. The 2022 Senate inquiry into Autism also reported that the unemployment rate for autistic people is almost eight times the rate of people without disabilities.

Coles paving the way for students with disabilities

Coles General Manager and fellow co-chair of the Coles Accessibility Steering Committee Martin Smithson said the supermarket is designed to provide the students with real life practical skills.

“Gainful employment is a pathway to security and autonomy and as one of the country’s largest employers we know we have an important role to play. Coles is always on the lookout for ways that we can assist people with disabilities through providing employment opportunities through our partnerships with services like Disability Works Australia,” Martin said.

Head to our Autism and Spectrum support directory for more information.

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