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  • Chris McMillan

Across China. Supported employment helps people with Down syndrome find jobs

Across China. Supported employment helps people with Down syndrome find jobs

Having worked closely with a job coach for over two years, 21-year-old Junjun (not his real name) in the city of Zhuzhou, central China's Hunan Province, has eased into the position of assistant teacher at a rehab center for local children.

His work includes packing and organizing teaching aids, looking after children during classes, and using courseware to assist music teachers. However, even such simple tasks could be challenging for Junjun, as he was born with Down syndrome.

Despite the challenges, this young man has developed a regular workday routine, catching a bus to the center at around 8 a.m. and spending a busy day there.

"My son is well received by parents at the center," said Junjun's mother. "He even knows how to cook and dinner is often ready when I return home from work.

"His ability and desire to live independently are getting stronger as he learns more skills such as taking public transport, cooking and doing housework," the mother said.

If taught with patience and treated equally, people with Down syndrome have great potential and can be very capable, she added.

China has between 12 million to 20 million people diagnosed with intellectual disabilities, some of them suffering from Down syndrome.

Thanks to the continuous efforts by local governments and social assistance, the population is gaining growing recognition in the job market.


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