Transition from School to Work: A Handbook for the Mentally Handicapped
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Transition from School to Work: A Handbook for the Mentally Handicapped

Transition from School to Work: A Handbook for the Mentally Handicapped

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Transition from School to Work: A Handbook for the Mentally Handicapped Transition from School to Work: A Handbook for the Mentally Handicapped Document Transcript

  • ADRIAN KNIEL TRANSITION FROM SCHOOL TO WORKA HANDBOOK FOR PARENTS AND TEACHERS OF MENTALLY HANDICAPPED ADOLESCENTS IN GHANA
  • ADRIAN KNIEL TRANSITION FROM SCHOOL TO WORKA HANDBOOK FOR PARENTS AND TEACHERSOF MENTALLY HANDICAPPED ADOLESCENTS IN GHANA
  • UNIVERSITY OF WINNEBADRUCKEREI
  • CONTENTI. PREFACE ..........................................................................................5 1.1. A new concept of transition .....................................................5 1.2. Decent work as the goal of transition ......................................6 1.3. Gender roles and work in Ghana ..............................................7 1.4. A word of thanks .....................................................................8II. INTRODUCTION ..............................................................................9 2.1. Opportunities, abilities and interests .....................................10 2.2. A stepwise approach .............................................................11III. THE PRESENT SITUATION OF SCHOOL LEAVERS .........................12 3.1. The situation of handicapped and non handicapped school leavers is comparable .....................................................................14 3.2. Employment related Legislation and Disability ......................14IV. THE PROCESS OF TRANSITION ....................................................17 4.1. School Learning .....................................................................17 4.2. Transition planning ................................................................19 4.3. How to analyze job opportunities ..........................................21 4.4. Vocational assessment ..........................................................23 4.5. Assessing vocational interest ................................................24 4.6. Assessing abilities .................................................................26 4.7. Job Analysis ...........................................................................31 4.8. Job matching .........................................................................33V. AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLYHANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS ......................................................37 5.1. ANIMAL REARING ..................................................................40 5.1.1. Animal manure maker ...................................................41 5.1.2. Beekeeping assistant ....................................................43 5.1.3. Feed attendant ..............................................................45 5.1.4. Fisherman’s assistant ...................................................47 5.1.5. Helper in grass cutter rearing .......................................49 5.1.6. Herdsman’s helper ........................................................51 5.1.7. Poultry feeder ...............................................................53 5.1.8. Rabbit rearing helper ....................................................55 5.1.9. Snail raising helper .......................................................58 5.1.10. Tilapia raising assistant ................................................60
  • 5.2. CROP FARMING ..................................................................... 62 5.2.1. Citrus orchard assistant ............................................... 63 5.2.2. Cocoa farmer’s assistant .............................................. 65 5.2.3. Cotton farming assistant .............................................. 67 5.2.4. Flower garden helper ................................................... 69 5.2.5. Garden eggs farming assistant ..................................... 71 5.2.6. Mushroom farming helper ............................................ 74 5.2.7. Okro farmer’s helper .................................................... 76 5.2.8. Onion farming assistant ............................................... 78 5.2.9. Pepper farming assistant ............................................. 81 5.2.10. Potato farming assistant .............................................. 84 5.2.11. Shallot farming assistant ............................................. 86 5.2.12. Tomato farmer’s assistant ............................................ 885.3. CRAFTS INVOLVING HEAVY PHYSICAL LABOUR .................... 92 5.3.1. Blacksmith’s helper ...................................................... 93 5.3.2. Block maker’s assistant ................................................ 95 5.3.3. Chain saw operator’s assistant ..................................... 97 5.3.4. Charcoal burner’s assistant .......................................... 99 5.3.5. Firewood splitter’s assistant ...................................... 101 5.3.6. Salt mining assistant .................................................. 103 5.3.7. Vulcanizer’s assistant ................................................. 1055.4. CRAFTS INVOLVING LIGHT PHYSICAL LABOUR ................... 107 5.4.1. Batik maker’s assistant .............................................. 108 5.4.2. Bead maker’s helper ................................................... 111 5.4.3. Body pomade maker’s helper ..................................... 113 5.4.4. Book binding assistant ............................................... 115 5.4.5. Broom maker’s helper ................................................ 117 5.4.6. Calabash maker’s helper ............................................ 119 5.4.7. Carver’s helper ........................................................... 121 5.4.8. Chew stick maker’s assistant ..................................... 123 5.4.9. Door mat weaver’s helper .......................................... 125 5.4.10. Dressmaker’s helper .................................................. 127 5.4.11. Envelope maker’s helper ............................................ 129 5.4.12. Leather bag maker’s helper ........................................ 131 5.4.13. Mat weaver’s helper ................................................... 133 5.4.14. Paper flower maker’s helper ...................................... 135 5.4.15. Polythene bag maker’s helper .................................... 137 5.4.16. Pure water bag packer ............................................... 139 5.4.17. Rope maker’s assistant .............................................. 141 5.4.18. Shea butter extractor’s helper .................................... 144 5.4.19. Soap maker’s helper ................................................... 147 5.4.20. Thatch weaver’s helper .............................................. 149 5.4.21. Yarn spinning assistant .............................................. 151
  • 5.5. FOOD PREPARATION AND PROCESSING ..............................153 5.5.1. Bean cake preparation helper .....................................154 5.5.2. Biscuit baker’s assistant .............................................157 5.5.3. Blackberry drink seller’s assistant ..............................160 5.5.4. Coconut flour preparation helper ................................162 5.5.5. Coconut seller’s helper ...............................................164 5.5.6. Corn dough preparation assistant ...............................166 5.5.7. Corn mill assistant ......................................................169 5.5.8. Fish descaler’s helper .................................................171 5.5.9. Fish smoking assistant ................................................173 5.5.10. Groundnut paste maker’s helper .................................176 5.5.11. Groundnut chips ‘Kulikuli’ preparation helper .............179 5.5.12. Kenkey seller’s helper .................................................181 5.5.13. Local corn drinks preparation helper ..........................184 5.5.14. Palm oil preparation helper .........................................187 5.5.15. Palm wine tapper’s assistant ......................................190 5.5.16. Pito brewing assistant ................................................192 5.5.17. Plantain griller’s helper ...............................................194 5.5.18. Porridge making assistant ..........................................196 5.5.19. Soya bean kebab seller’s helper ..................................198 5.5.20. Tea seller’s helping hand ............................................201 5.6. SERVICES AND COMMERCE ..................................................203 5.6.1. Bookman’s assistant ...................................................204 5.6.2. Car washer’s assistant ................................................206 5.6.3. Chop bar assistant ......................................................208 5.6.4. Clothes washer’s assistant ..........................................210 5.6.5. Cobbler’s helper ..........................................................212 5.6.6. Cocoa bean dryer’s assistant ......................................214 5.6.7. Female house helper ...................................................216 5.6.8. Garden boy .................................................................219 5.6.9. Hairdresser’s assistant ...............................................221 5.6.10. Houseboy ....................................................................224 5.6.11. Refuse collector’s helper .............................................226 5.6.12. Sales assistant ............................................................228 5.6.13. Second hand shoe seller’s helper ................................230 5.6.14. Ward assistant ............................................................232VI. ORGANIZING TRANSITION AND SUPPORT ................................234 6.1. Transition Team ...................................................................234 6.2. Information needed .............................................................235 6.3. Results and discussion ........................................................236
  • VII. AN OUTLINE OF PRE-VOCATIONAL TRAINING ......................... 240 7.1. An analysis of basic vocational skills .................................. 240 7.2. Prerequisite skills in animal rearing .................................... 243 7.3. Prerequisite skills in crop farming ...................................... 244 7.4. Prerequisite skills in crafts: light or heavy physical labor ... 245 7.6. Prerequisite skills in food preparation and processing ........ 247 7.7. Prerequisite skills in services and commerce ...................... 248 7.8. The school curriculum and prerequisite skills for vocations 249VIII. AN OUTLINE OF A PREVOCATIONAL TRAINING PROGRAM ..... 251 8.1. Task skills common to all vocational areas ......................... 251 8.2. Criteria for selecting pre-vocational activities in the Ghanaian setting ......................................................................................... 253 8.3. Time Frame ......................................................................... 257 8.4. School based vocational project phase ............................... 257 8.5. Job shadowing program ...................................................... 258 8.6. Onsite training program ...................................................... 258IX. A FINAL WORD .......................................................................... 261X. ANNEXE ...................................................................................... 262 10.1. WINNEBA VOCATIONAL READINESS SCALE (WVRS) ........... 262 10.2. WINNEBA SUPPORT NEEDS CHECKLIST .............................. 263 10.3. WINNEBA ACTIVITY LIST OF FAMILY MEMBERS (WALFM) .. 264XI. REFERENCES ............................................................................. 266
  • PREFACE________________________________________________________________________________________ I. PREFACESchools for the Mentally Retarded have been burdened with adult “pupils” formany years. Since teachers of pupils with a mental handicap not only feelresponsible for their schooling but also for their future life, the tendency wasto keep these persons in a school setting as long as possible. This “solution” isdue to a misunderstanding of the process of transition from school to work anda lack of confrontation with the realities of economic life and the socialorganization of families and communities in Ghana.The aim of some schools was to start production of food or other saleablearticles, ignoring the fact that none of the teachers were trained craftsmen orhad much business experience. Also, the prerequisites for successfulmarketing, such as market analysis, advertising goods and services, favorablelocation of the production site, etc. were often absent.Other establishments guided by the traditional training and rehabilitationapproach aimed at teaching their wards a skill (usually batik, basket orenvelope making, farming etc.) with the goal of achieving such a level ofcompetence that they could survive economic competition after graduation.High hopes were also placed in government laws and regulations that wouldoblige employers in Ghana to hire mentally retarded persons for the fewsalaried jobs available – though the majority of Ghanaians works in theinformal sector. 1.1. A new concept of transitionThis handbook attempts a radical departure from these strategies which havefailed in the past and attempts to outline a concept which takes into accountthe realities of Ghanaian society.This includes: • Focusing on the role of the family as the primary source of self- employment in Ghanaian economy • Guiding the process of (individualized) transition from school to work in describing the basic elements of each step in simple terms 5
  • PREFACE________________________________________________________________________________________ • Presenting informal tools for assessing work readiness and support needs of adolescents with mental retardation in order to judge the likelihood that they will be successful at a given job • Listing in detail a large number of vocational activities common to Ghanaian economy that can be mastered to different degrees by persons with mental retardation depending on their individual skill level • And finally describing what basic skills are the necessary foundations for a large number of jobs and should be trained at the prevocational level in school. 1.2. Decent work as the goal of transitionThe term “job” and “employment” will be used in this handbook in the sense ofproductive activity which includes self-employment and family labor as jobs forpersons with disabilities. Presently, these will be found predominantly in theinformal sector which does not exclude hiring persons with intellectualdisabilities in the formal sector. For example, a hospital could hire such aperson as a ward cleaner; or a senior secondary school could hire someone forgardening, maintenance work etc.Thirty five years ago, in 1971, the UN General Assembly proclaimed aDeclaration on the Rights of Mentally Retarded Persons. The Declarationaffirmed that mentally retarded persons had the same rights as everyone else.Specifically, they had a right to such education, training, rehabilitation andguidance that would enable them to develop their ability and maximumpotential; a right to economic security and a decent standard of living; a rightto perform productive work or to engage in any other meaningful occupationto the fullest possible extent of their capabilities.This idea was taken up again in the Standard Rules on the Equalization ofOpportunities for Persons with Disabilities that were adopted by the UnitedNations General Assembly on 20 December 1993. There are 22 rules, rangingfrom awareness-raising to international cooperation. Employment is coveredby Rule 7: ‘States should recognize the principle that persons with disabilitiesmust be empowered to exercise their human rights, particularly in the field ofemployment. In both rural and urban areas, they must have equalopportunities for productive and gainful employment in the labor market.6
  • PREFACE________________________________________________________________________________________In recent years, the concept of “decent work” has been propagated by theInternational Labor Organization (ILO). In the Decent Work Report of Mr. JuanSomavia, ILO Director-General, at the 87th session of the International LabourConference (1999) he defined this term as follows: "Decent work meansproductive work in which rights are protected, which generates an adequateincome, with adequate social protection. It also means sufficient work, in thesense that all should have full access to income-earning opportunities. Itmarks the high road to economic and social development, a road in whichemployment, income and social protection can be achieved without 1compromising workers rights and social standards.”Thus, the right to decent work has three right’s dimensions: • the right to work, • rights in work • and the right to adequate social protection.The right to decent work is not confined to wage employment, but extends toself-employment, home working and other income-generating activities. Thisis why we have decided to call the benefits a person with a mental handicapgets in the informal sector or a family business his “take home share”. Thefact that the person does not receive a steady wage and must be satisfied by ashare of the profits an economical activity applies to most family businessesand activities in the informal sector. Very often this “take home share” islimited to food, lodgings and some clothing from time to time. This does notonly apply to persons with an intellectual disability but seems a generalcharacteristic of work in the informal sector which dominates Ghana economy. 1.3. Gender roles and work in GhanaMany of the simple jobs described in this handbook are still gender bound.Blacksmithing or being a butcher, a musician, a palm oil extractor or pitobrewer is customarily done either by men or women. Though most jobs will beopen to both sexes in the future, in this handbook we stick to realities at thebeginning of the millennium.1 http://www.awid.org/go.php?pg=ilo 7
  • PREFACE________________________________________________________________________________________In order to make reading less cumbersome I have also avoided the “politicallycorrect” option of writing him or her him or her and himself/herself at everyoccasion where the designated person could be either female or male. Where ajob is customarily performed by women I have opted for “she” in the cases ofvocations usually taken by me I use “he”. I hope the reader will excuse thisprocedure. 1.4. A word of thanksThis handbook could not have been prepared without the help of threegenerations of students of the Education of the Mentally Handicapped unit atthe Special Education Department of the University of Education, Winneba(graduation years 2004, 2005 and 2006). Following guidelines, they analyzedthe tasks that comprise the helper jobs described in the chapter “An analysisof vocational options for mentally handicapped school leavers”.I would like to thank all of these students for their contribution and hope thatthe handbook will be useful for practicing teachers of mentally handicappedpersons.Christiane Kniel-Jurka, Sandy Weiler, Comfort Ahamenyo and Shadrack Majisiread through and commented on the draft version of this handbook. I wouldalso like to thank them for their ideas and support.The intention of this handbook can be summed up in two proverbs, one fromthe African and one from the European tradition: It takes a whole village to raise a childan African thought which means that everyone in a community needs toparticipate in the education of a child so that it fits into society. The Latinproverb Non scholae sed vitae discimustells us that we learn not for school but for life.It is with these thoughts in mind that the handbook has been writtenWinneba November 2006 Adrian Kniel8
  • INTRODUCTION________________________________________________________________________________________ II. INTRODUCTIONEvery parent and teacher hopes for a bright future for the children entrustedto them and worries about what type of work they can do to survive afterleaving school.In Ghana the majority of school leavers - be they handicapped or nonhandicapped - earn their living in the informal sector, which means that thereis no formal employment contract, no health benefits or social securitypayments and their earnings fluctuate from day to day. The GhanaDemographic and Health Survey 1998 (Ghana Statistical Service, 1999, 19-23) shows for example that three quarters of all working women are self-employed and that the majority earns cash. Others work seasonally oroccasionally. Those 10 percent of women who work for a relative in themajority of cases do not receive cash for their work. Very often a youngperson contributes with his work to the survival of the family as a unit but themajority of income is contributed by the parents or other relatives.According to recent estimates, 60% of the labor force is working in agriculture,15% in industry, and 25% are occupied in services. We can expect a similardistribution of work areas if we consider the transition from school to work foradolescents with mental retardation.In addition, as the unemployment rate in Ghana estimated for 2001 ispresently at 20% of the workforce, we can also assume that about one fifth ofall mentally handicapped persons of working age would not find a job.22 Information about youth unemployment and the informal sector in sub SaharanAfrica can be found in African Economic Outlook2004/2005, Chant & Jones(2005), Economic Commission for Africa (2002), EFA Global Monitoring Report2996), Fluitman 2001), United Nations Office for West Africa 2005), Xaba, Horn &Motala (2002). The location of these documents in the internet can be found inthe References at the end of this handbook. 9
  • INTRODUCTION________________________________________________________________________________________ 2.1. Opportunities, abilities and interestsIn any country of the world, what a person does depends on three factors: OPPORTUNITIES INTERESTS ABILITIESIn the case of Ghana opportunities depend to a large extent on theindividual’s situation. • Whether the person lives in an urban or rural environment. Obviously farming is a more common occupation in a rural environment, whereas services, manufacturing and trading dominate in an urban setting. • On the geographical location of the persons residence. Fishing and fish smoking is more frequent on the coast, whereas herding cattle is more likely to be a means of earning a living in the north. • And finally the financial means of the family are an important factor. If the father owns a cocoa farm, the son can work in this occupation. If the mother has the capital to start up a small shop, the daughter can sell there, etc.Interests are obviously influenced by experiences the person has made. Aperson who grows up in a setting where small animals are raised will oftendevelop an interest for this activity but is very unlikely to have the desire tobecome a fisherman. Usually young people tend to become interested inactivities in which they do well and where they are successful. One of thegoals of educating children with a mental disability is to offer them manyopportunities to increase the number of their interests, so that choice and selfdetermination will be possible when it is time to look for work.10
  • INTRODUCTION________________________________________________________________________________________Abilities also determine the type of work a young person will eventuallyperform. We have developed a scale that measures different competencelevels that are necessary for most simple jobs available in the Ghanaianenvironment. The scale also includes physical strength and agility, motivationand work behavior, orientation and travel and functional academics amongother skill areas. 2.2. A stepwise approachIn this handbook we use a stepwise procedure to analyze the elements thatneed to be considered and shaped in placing a person with a mental disabilityon the job market. Our approach differs from the usual procedure, for examplein a National Vocational Training Institute or a Rehabilitation Centre where aperson is trained in an activity up to a certain level of competence and thenleft to go out, to search for work or set up his own business. The basic idea ofthis former strategy can be described as TRAINING LEADS TO JOBAs we will show however, this has not been very successful with youths with amental handicap in Ghana as opportunities, interests and abilities have notbeen sufficiently considered in the past.The basic orientation of this handbook is therefore: FIRST THE JOB THEN THE TRAININGThis means that when a future job activity has been selected under theparticipation of all concerned parties (as a rule parents and the young personhim/herself), the gap between the skills the person has already acquired andthose still necessary for mastering the job at hand are directly trained on thejob site. 11
  • INTRODUCTION________________________________________________________________________________________III. THE PRESENT SITUATION OF SCHOOL LEAVERSBefore we look at specific studies in Ghana, it is important to view theemployment situation of persons with a disability in so-called developedcountries to avoid illusions. As Elwan (1997) reports in her review, the rate ofemployment of persons with a disability in high income countries is about halfof those of non disabled persons of the same age group. In developingcountries such as Mauritius only 16% of persons with a disability areeconomically active as compared to 53% of the total population; and, inBotswana, the figures are 34% of the disabled as compared to 51% in thegeneral population (SIDA, 1995).Just as there are no systematic follow-up studies of transition from school towork for graduates of regular schools in Ghana, information about youngsterswith an intellectual disability are mostly anecdotal.Hayford (2001) in a study of four Special Schools in Ghana found that in theperiod between 1992 and 1996, only five adolescents changed over fromschool to the world of work. In addition, none of these schools used formalassessment procedures to select trainees for specific vocational programs, andthe numbers of options were extremely limited: basketry, farming, batik andenvelope making.Even though Special Schools for the mentally handicapped have officiallyexisted in Ghana since 1968, a study by Kniel (1995) indicates these schoolswere not able to supply data on the situation of their graduates. Schools werenot in contact with school leavers who, in the case of boarding schools, comefrom all over the nation. This still applies to the present situation.In a survey of all school leavers of schools for mentally handicapped childrenin Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Togo and Zaire graduates had left schools on theaverage five and one half years previously and were in their early twenties(Kniel, 1995). The large majority (83%) was still living with their parents, andtheir vocational activities can be characterized as “helpers” or “assistants”. Ifwe combine male and female graduates • Most school leavers (35,5%) were helping at home • The second largest group was, in the opinion of their former teachers, doing nothing at all12
  • INTRODUCTION________________________________________________________________________________________ • Craftsmanship such as weaving, sewing or woodwork was the third most frequent activity (10, 5%) • Service activities such as sweeping in a hospital, transporting goods on a pushcart or peddling wares in front of the house were about as frequent as crafts (10%).This distribution of activities can only be understood if we consider that theexisting schools were all located in large towns (Abidjan, Lomé, Kinshasa andYaoundé) so that farming or animal raising was not an option. Unfortunately,with very few exceptions (Congo, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo) in the nations ofWestern and Central Africa, schools for mentally handicapped children arelimited to the capitals or do not exist at all.Four fifths of the sample (79,5%) worked at home or with relatives and only aminority (20,5%) worked away from home or with other persons than their(extended) family members. About half of the former pupils of Special Schools(51,5%) received no remuneration for their activities; about one third (32%)occasional gifts; and less than one fifth (16,5%) received a part of the profitor a salary. Even without exact data, it seems safe to assume that only a fewschool leavers could support themselves independently just as this applies to alarge sector of graduates in the general population.Except for general housekeeping training which seems to be useful, with sucha large number of mentally handicapped graduates helping at home, there is alack of fit between training at school and actual activity after leaving school.Only 14% of those trained in farming and animal husbandry were later activein this field, 32% were exercising the craft they had learned at school,whereas 67% of those trained in housework were actually helping in thehome.More graduates from poor homes were following some kind of activity ascompared to those from wealthier families and more girls were working thanboys. Good work habits and willingness to work, as observed by their formerteachers, correlated with actually working after leaving school.This situation seems quite comparable to anecdotic evidence given by teachersat the JSS level of their former pupils. Questioned on the present situation oftheir former pupils students from three consecutive years of Special EducationTraining in Winneba indicated • the majority were self employed with no steady income • average earnings were around 300 000 cedis a month 13
  • INTRODUCTION________________________________________________________________________________________ • with few exceptions these graduates in their early twenties still lived with their parents and could not afford to marry • Many helped in the (extended) family activities. 3.1. The situation of handicapped and non handicapped school leavers is comparableThere seems to be a comparable situation between school leavers of regularand special schools • the link between schools and the world of work in regular and special settings is extremely weak • the family environment and setting in which the graduate will return after graduation is not taken in accountThe main difference between these schools is that teachers in regular schoolsdo not accept responsibility for the vocational future of their graduates. Inspecial schools however, there is a tendency to keep even adults in the hopeof eventually training them to a level of competence so that they can succeedin working independently. This seems an illusion as, by definition, mentalretardation implies that although the person can attain a certain level ofindependence; he will need lifelong support and guidance. 3.2. Employment related Legislation and DisabilityVery often it is assumed that employment opportunities for persons with adisability can be enforced by national laws. As the International LabourOrganization (2004) outlines, legal frameworks include quota obligations,employment equity and non- discriminations laws and laws on job retention.Job retention laws require an employer to continue to hire an employee whohas acquired a disability while working for him. We can ignore these provisions14
  • INTRODUCTION________________________________________________________________________________________as the mentally handicapped school leaver changing over to the world of workhas not been employed before.In many European countries such as Germany, France and Italy quotaschemes oblige companies of a certain size to hire a percentage ofhandicapped workers. Otherwise they have to pay a contribution into a centralfund for the use of vocational rehabilitation, sheltered workshops oraccessibility of the workplace.Equity or non-discrimination laws require firms to offer equal employmentopportunities to persons with a disability and prohibit discrimination inrecruitment, promotion and other areas of employment. This model is appliedin the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom among others.In Ghana part II of the Legislative Instrument (L1632), Transfer LabourRegulation 1969 specifies among other • the establishment of Disablement Employment Centres (DEC), • a National Council in to advise and assist the Minister in matters and training of persons with a disability and • that a quota of posts in the public and private sectors (0,5% of the total labour force) should be set aside for sedentary jobs.None of these provisions have been applied.The recently discussed but not yet approved “Persons with Disability Bill”foresees • providing unemployed persons with a disability with training, • providing the person with the necessary tools or working materials • or assisting with the access to loan capital so the person can start a business.However the monitoring and implementation of a legal framework for personswith a disability assumes that the government and the individual have thenecessary means and powers to enforce these laws and regulations. Presentlythis does not seem to be the case in Ghana.In addition, studies have shown (Mont, 2004) that even in developed nationswith a legal support system and enforcement of these regulations by thejudiciary system and monitoring agencies, employment rates of persons with adisability are far higher than those of the general population. 15
  • INTRODUCTION________________________________________________________________________________________This is not to say that everyone interested in the welfare of school leavers witha mental handicap should not lobby for legal provisions. But a legal frameworkwithout implementation measures cannot be effective.This is why in this handbook we concentrate on a short term strategy forenabling the transition from school to work instead of counting on governmentmeasures that will probably not be implemented in the near future.16
  • THE PROCESS OF TRANSITION________________________________________________________________________________________IV. THE PROCESS OF TRANSITIONThressiakutty, A.T. & Rao, L.G. (2001) have reviewed numerous transitionmodels in a publication of the National Institute for the Mentally Handicapped,India and have developed a transition model for persons with mentalretardation. This can be adapted to the Ghanaian situation in a simplifiedform: Phase of Transition Elements of Transition Pre-primary Primary School learning Secondary Pre-vocational Job Identification Vocational assessment Transition Planning Job Analysis Job Matching On the job training Identifying support Job Placement Monitoring and fade out of support 4.1. School LearningIn school children do not only learn specific academic skills but they are alsosocialized in the norms and values of society. These behavioural dispositionsacquired in school allow the later integration into the world of work even of 17
  • THE PROCESS OF TRANSITION________________________________________________________________________________________those children with a mental retardation who have not been successful infunctional academics.The following table based on the ideas of a German psychologist Rudolf Oerterillustrates some of the elements which school learning and the world of workhave in common: School Work Learning a large number of contents Achieving tasks which are not which do not seem to be related necessarily related in the understanding of the worker Obligation to study subjects which may Obligation of achieving work, which not be interesting for the pupil may not be interesting or satisfying for the worker Tasks need to be achieved in a given Tasks need to be achieved in a time frame given time frame Tasks are expected to be achieved in Tasks are expected to be achieved good quality in good quality Pupil is expected to show interest for all Worker is expected to work with subjects and learning materials dedication at any type of task In most cases pupils are not able to In most cases workers are not able judge the fundamental reasons for the to judge the role his work plays in content they are expected to learn the economic structure of society Praise by teachers parents and other Money food or other advantages as students as reinforcement for learning reinforcement for work in schoolAs we shall see in a later analysis, quite a number of specific elements taughtin school help acquire skills needed in vocational activities: • being able to communicate and respond adequately to questions and conversation • following instructions • measuring equal distances • being able to distinguish clean from dirty, large from small, heavy from light etc.18
  • THE PROCESS OF TRANSITION________________________________________________________________________________________In an Indian study of vocational skills of persons with an intellectual disabilitySuresh & Santhanam (2002) distinguish between generic skills and vocationalskills and aptitudes.By generic skills they mean general skills such as self-help skills,communication, social behaviour, functional academics, safety skills, domesticbehaviour and motor skills.Vocational skills and aptitudes describe abilities such as perception, motorco-ordination, finger and manual dexterity, which relate more closely to thespecific job at hand.In addition we distinguish work traits which refer to motivation, promptnessof task achievement etc. and which determine the employability of a person.As a rule, the jobs which we will analyze in one of the following chapters donot demand a high level of academic skills. In fact, as a rule no skills inreading, writing or formal arithmetic are required. The majority of the nonhandicapped people exercising these vocations are barely literate.We will look at key skills that are necessary for the majority of simpleactivities described in this handbook and present tools that will enable thereader to judge if the young person with an intellectual disability is suitable forthe job at hand or what further training he would need. 4.2. Transition planningJob Identification includes surveying job opportunities available in theenvironment in which the person lives as well as the persons (usually familymembers) who are willing to have the person assist them in their occupation.Vocational Assessment consists of identifying the interests of the trainee,usually by observation as well as determining vocational readiness in differentskill areas which make it likely that he/she will succeed in a specific job.Job analysis consists of listing the different tasks which make up the job insequence as precisely as possible. Here we distinguish core elements, whichare those most frequently performed (i.e. stacking of firewood) and episodicelements which occur from time to time (i.e. bringing the wood to themarket). 19
  • THE PROCESS OF TRANSITION________________________________________________________________________________________By comparing the skills needed for the specific job and the individual’s presentlevel of competence we can decide what elements must be trained (JobMatching).A detailed guide to these procedures by Heron (2005) can be found in theinternet.Job PlacementFinally following the principle first the job, then the training, we need totrain the person to perform the tasks that make up the job sequence oridentify those elements which he can do efficiently.Carving sculptures consists of multiple elements from selecting wood,sharpening tools, designing the shape to be carved to finally polishing andexhibiting the product. But there is no reason why one or several simpleelements such as storing the tools, keeping the workplace clean or sandingand polishing the sculpture cannot be a full time job for a carver’s helper. Thismeans that in training we concentrate on those job elements which the personcan achieve with success. Some girls with a mental handicap can learn to sewwith a machine, some can learn to stitch evenly, and others can learn to sewbuttons depending on their individual skill level. This does not mean that eachone of these persons cannot become a helper to a seamstress depending onthe need for this type of assistance.There is no formula to determine the number of weeks and the degree ofintensity with which a person must be trained as this depends on theindividual’s motivation and ability. However, by using our own observation andcommon sense we can soon determine how much training and supervision willbe necessary.It should again be stressed, that job training can only be achieved underreal conditions: There is no way a charcoal burner’s helper can be trained atthe site of a special school or that a special school can offer the wide range ofactivities that exist as possible jobs for adolescents with a mental handicap.Therefore, the task of the school is to practice certain basic skills inprevocational training and follow the graduate into the community wherehe/she is trained by those persons actually performing the job. Teachers canonly assist in this process by coaching and supervising when20
  • THE PROCESS OF TRANSITION________________________________________________________________________________________necessary, not by assuming the role of a craftsman or farmerthemselves. 4.3. How to analyze job opportunitiesIf we are looking for potential jobs in the community in which the youngmentally retarded person lives, we can select a number of activities in takingthe following guidelines in consideration: • Look for simple jobs, where the same procedure is repeated without great variation • Look for jobs where the risk of accidents and injury is low • Look for jobs with low time pressure • Look for jobs which can be performed in a group so that help and supervision is possibleObviously, the first source of employment would be a family business. In asurvey of parents of children at Echoing Hills in Accra for example, Sarbah &Gidiglio (2003) found that the majority of mothers and aunties could imaginehaving their handicapped children working alongside their jobs as very manywere petty traders or doing small crafts in the house.But in approaching potential employers we can also think of the extendedfamily, aunties, uncles, brothers and sisters, cousins, grandparents etc. whomight need a helping hand and work in a field that appeals to the graduateand fits his abilities.In addition, there are church members and other person in the communitythat can be approached because they need some assistance and are willing tohelp their fellow man.Certainly, if the parents are well connected, they can attempt to find jobs suchas messenger/ cleaner in the public sector (hospitals, schools, district councils)if possible.This handbook gives a wide variety of job activities which can stimulate yourideas. 21
  • THE PROCESS OF TRANSITION________________________________________________________________________________________A stepwise approachUse a stepwise approach: 1. A list of all possible job options can be worked out with the parents in a brainstorming session. 2. This list of possible jobs can be evaluated together by looking at the young person’s abilities and interests to see, which options should really be attempted. 3. Work out, who is going to approach which potential employer3. 4. Decide when to meet again to report on results.Approaching potential employersIn approaching potential employers, even if they are relatives of the personconcerned, we cannot always count on an enthusiastic reception.Therefore we should use the following approach: 1. Contact the potential employer in a friendly and positive manner. 2. Choose a convenient time for the visit or offer to come back again if the time chosen is not practical. 3. Talk about what the person in question can do and not what he cannot do. 4. Give examples of positive job performance of other workers with mental retardation. 5. Underline that very often mentally handicapped persons enjoy simple repetitive tasks and are eager to work if they are treated well. 6. Remember, in talking to a potential employer or relative willing to work with the graduate it is your job to listen and understand the problems that this person might anticipate and not to preach or argue with him. 7. You are not there to expound the righteous sermon of brotherly love for the mentally retarded but to understand and analyze what obstacles the potential employers or family member sees in working with the young mentally handicapped person. These doubts must be overcome3 The employer will in the majority of cases be a relative sharing his work and some of theprofits with his mentally handicapped helper22
  • THE PROCESS OF TRANSITION________________________________________________________________________________________ by your input and active assistance, not by sermonizing or giving verbal advice. Talk is cheap; it is direct help from you that the potential employer or family member expects. 8. It is also possible that some member of the family perhaps an elder brother or sister or the mother would like to start a small business, where the person with a mental disability could be of help. The National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) has an Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EDP) which trains persons in starting and running a successful business and has regional secretariats in all regional capitals throughout Ghana as well advisors in some district capitals. 9. You should therefore be familiar with the location of advisory services, of micro credit schemes and of NGOs active in your area in order to help the family or potential employers. 4.4. Vocational assessmentVocational assessment consists of analyzing the vocational interests of ayoung person with an intellectual disability as well as testing those abilitiesthat make it likely that he will succeed at a specific task.The goal of assessment is making an informed decision as to whether theyoung person has the prerequisite skills to handle a specific job and if hispersonality and interests are suitable so that he will be willing to work at thisspecific task.Work is a very important part of our life and we spend most of the time we areawake working. A job can be a source of accomplishment and pride and havean enormous effect on our overall life satisfaction, or it can be a cause forfrustration and dissatisfaction. That is why it is so important to spend sometime in analyzing what type of work is available (i.e. opportunities), and couldbe done by the young person, as well as to include the graduate in thedecision making process. Not the teacher or the school decides thevocational future of the graduate but the young person and hisparents or tutors. 23
  • THE PROCESS OF TRANSITION________________________________________________________________________________________ 4.5. Assessing vocational interestMost formal tools for assessing vocational interests are paper and pencil testswhich look at general interests and compare choices of activities and work thatmatches this interest (e.g. the Strong Interest Inventory4). However, these assessment tools demand reading and writing skills that thevast majority of students with a mental handicap do not possess. They havebeen developed for industrialized society so their use is questionable in Ghana.Even the Reading Free Vocational Interest Inventory (R-FVII)5 which isdesigned specifically for persons with mental retardation or learning difficultiesand uses pictures in order to assess interest for different service areas cannotbe used in our context because of different vocational activities in Americanand Ghanaian society.Therefore until such tools have been developed, parents, teachers and thegraduates themselves will need to base their decisions as to interest invocational activities on observation and informal questioning.Three simple methodsThere are three simple methods of finding out the vocational interests of ayoung school leaver. These are: • Asking the young mentally handicapped person himself in a formal interview or informal conversation • Questioning the parents, teachers and other individuals familiar with the person • Observing if the person shows enthusiasm and satisfaction as he performs different prevocational activitiesVery often by observing the young person in the school context, talking to himabout his preferences and interviewing individuals close to him, we can easilydecide, if the student:4 http://www.careers-by-design.com/strong_interest_inventory.htm5 http://www.psychcorp.com/catalogs/paipc/psy132dpri.htm24
  • THE PROCESS OF TRANSITION________________________________________________________________________________________ • prefers activities in the classroom to those out on the grounds • likes gross motor physical activities as compared to fine motor activities while sitting down • prefers to work alone or in a group • likes being around animals or prefers working the soil • can tolerate dirty work and noise or would prefer a quiet indoor environmentUnfortunately, in Ghana education often seems to mean staying in a schoolbuilding. However, especially for the prevocational classes getting to know alarge number of vocational activities is very important for developing careerinterests.Visiting a cobbler at the work site, seeing how a food seller prepares her mealsand accompanying a cattle herdsman for a day or two can be moreeducational than sitting in a classroom looking at a blackboard.The syllabus of prevocational training should include a large number of sucheducational visits.Very often in informal conversation young mentally handicapped pupils willexpress interest in jobs that are very probably “out of their reach”, such asbecoming a bus driver or repairing televisions and cassette decks. We shouldnot make fun of them and ridicule them for misjudging their abilities but taketheir wish seriously.An older boy in a unit for mentally handicapped children was very interested inand friendly with craftsmen in an electronics workshop near his family house.He expressed a strong desire to work as a TV and radio repairman. Since thefine motor and cognitive skills involved in this work were considered toocomplex for his abilities, the mother and the school looked for a solution thatwould reconcile his interest and abilities. As there were people in the housethat could always be called on to help, the young man was installed in front ofthe house to sell DVDs and play cassettes to people passing by which he didwith great enthusiasm and some success. 25
  • THE PROCESS OF TRANSITION________________________________________________________________________________________ 4.6. Assessing abilitiesIn our stepwise approach, an analysis of abilities of the young person with amental handicap is intended to analyze prerequisite skills that make it likelythat the person will succeed in the job that he and his family have selected.It can only be underlined again that many simple jobs in which mentallyretarded school leavers can work as assistants or helpers do not demand veryhigh prerequisite skill levels, especially if the person is not expected toperform the entire task involved from beginning to end. This means, forexample, in helping with making pottery the activities of the helper can belimited to preparing the clay or firing the kiln, so that dexterity at shaping potsis not essential. Just as many jobs do not demand a great deal of physicalstrength, in others language skills or a pleasing appearance or reading skillsare not essential.Our Winneba Vocational Readiness Scale (WVRS) which is printed in theannexe can be used to determine whether a mentally handicapped individualhas those necessary skills which make it likely that he can work in a certainoccupation. This scale permits a judgement if the person possesses thenecessary prerequisite skills that make it probable that he will succeed ineffectively training for a certain jobEach of the eight dimensions (social competence, safety awareness, self careskills, orientation and travel, functional academics, social behaviour,motivation and work behaviour, physical strength and agility) may be ofdifferent importance for different occupations. For example, skills concerningorientation in the community and travel competencies are important forsomeone moving around and collecting rubbish whereas functional academicskills are irrelevant for this job. On the other hand, a person working as a shopassistant would in some cases need certain functional academic skills such asreading product labels or making change whereas travel competencies wouldusually not be important.Therefore observing the level of competence in the eight skill areas ofprerequisite skills at the school level can give valuable information as to theselection of possible occupations for school leavers.To make this point more clear let us compare profiles in the WinnebaVocational Readiness Scale (WVRS ) that would make it likely that aperson could successfully be trained to work effectively as a tomato grower’shelper; whereas successful training as a chop bar cleaner would be quite26
  • THE PROCESS OF TRANSITION________________________________________________________________________________________difficult because the prerequisite skills are mostly missing. In the followingtable, the minimum competencies have been listed according to the WinnebaVocational Readiness Scale. Even though a higher level of competence maybe desirable and would make collaboration with the helper who is mentallyhandicapped easier, this readiness level would be sufficient to perform the jobat hand, if specific training on the job is added.Please compare the total scores in the different skill areas to get an idea ofhow these can be used to judge whether a person has the necessaryprerequisite skills to be likely to accomplish certain jobs6.6 Of course some of the scores deemed necessary for certain skills are somewhat arbitrary.we have tried to define the minimum level of competence that would be required as astarting point for on the job training 27
  • THE PROCESS OF TRANSITION Tomato grower’s helper Chop Bar AssistantDuties Clearing of the land Selling of drinking water to customers, Planting of Tomato seedlings Collecting of the plates after customers finish eating Weeding Cleaning of the tables Supporting plants with sticks Sweeping of the roomSocial Communication: Communication:Interaction Makes himself understood only by gestures (1) Makes himself understood easily and to everybody (4) Greeting: Greeting: Recognizes familiar persons (2) Greets politely and spontaneously (4) Offers Help or Assistance: Offers Help or Assistance: Does not offer to assist (1) Assists when prompted (3) Social Behaviour: Social Behaviour: Is distinctly unsociable (1) Shows age and culturally appropriate behaviour towards peers as well as strangers (4) TOTAL: 5 TOTAL:15Self Care Toileting: Toileting:Skills Has an occasional “Accident “ (2) Has effective control of toilet needs (4) Personal Hygiene: Personal Hygiene: Needs some assistance (2) Can wash independently in any familiar environment (3) Eating: Eating: Needs to be served but can eat in a group (3) Can serve himself and eat in a group (4) Grooming: Grooming: Needs assistance for clean dress, hair and finger nails (1) Can groom himself independently but forgets some aspects(3) TOTAL:8 TOTAL:14Safety Use of sharp objects: Use of sharp objects:Awareness Can use sharp objects under very close supervision (2) Can use sharp objects under loose supervision (3) Electrical Hazards: Electrical Hazards: Cannot use switches and electrical appliances (1) Can operate switches and electrical appliances safely under loose supervision (3) Fire Hazards: 28
  • THE PROCESS OF TRANSITION Cannot light or use a fire but is aware of its danger (2) Fire Hazards: Can light and use a fire under supervision (3) Threats by Animals (Scorpions, Snakes): Runs away and informs others of Threats by Animals danger (4) (Scorpions, Snakes): Stands and shouts for help (2) TOTAL:9 TOTAL:11Orientation Orientation in the community: Orientation in the community:and Travel Walks independently in the community (4) Remembers routes in the neighbourhood when sufficiently trained (3) Directions and Sign Boards: Can follow difficult directions (4) Directions and Sign Boards: Can follow one-component directions (2) Public Transport: Needs help in ticket purchasing and where to get off (2) Public Transport: Needs help in ticket purchasing and where to get off (2) Traffic Hazard: Can use certain busy roads after intensive training (3) Traffic Hazard: Can use certain busy roads after intensive training (3) TOTAL:13 TOTAL:10Functional Reading & Writing: Reading& Writing:Academics Cannot read or write (1) Cannot read or write (1) Measurement: Measurement: Can measure with a string or measuring bowl (3) Can distinguish larger or smaller (2) Money skills: Money skills: Does not know the value of coins or bills (1) Can give correct change for a sum of up to 5000 c (4) Number skills: Number skills: Can count objects up to ten (2) Can add / subtract two digit numbers and has concepts of them (3) TOTAL:7 TOTAL:10Task Group functioning: Group functioning:Behaviour Can work together in small groups of up to 5 persons under Can function in small groups under loose supervision (3) close supervision (2) Responsibility: Responsibility: Is careful with equipment given to him under close 29
  • THE PROCESS OF TRANSITION supervision (3) Is careful with equipment given to him under close supervision (3) Reaction to Instruction: Follows instructions for one step at a time (3) Reaction to Instruction: Follows instructions of several steps at a time (4) Tolerance of criticism: Accepts criticism and tries to correct (3) Tolerance of criticism: Accepts criticism and corrects as needed (4) TOTAL: 11 TOTAL:14Motivations Perseverance: Perseverance:and Work Can carry out a work activity for 15 minutes without Can carry out a work activity for 15 minutes withoutBehaviour stoppages (3) stoppages (3) Willingness: Willingness: Is willing to take up only familiar assignments (3) Is willing to take up only familiar assignments (3) Punctuality: Punctuality: Is punctual only 50% of the time (2) Is punctual for almost all of the time (3) Remaining in workplace: Remaining in workplace: Occasionally leaves workplace without permission (2) Leaves workplace only with permission (3) TOTAL: 10 TOTAL:12Physical Lifting and Carrying: Lifting and Carrying:Strength Can lift and carry weight up to 15 kg (3) Can lift and carry small weights up to 5 kg (2)and Agility Walking and Running: Walking and Running : Can walk for more than an hour without resting (4) Can walk steadily for 10 minutes (2) Holding and Grasping: Holding and Grasping: Can grasp and hold objects firmly of any site or weight (4) Can grasp and hold objects firmly of any site or weight (4) Bending and Balancing: Bending and Balancing: Can bend down (for example for sweeping or weeding) for at Can bend down (for example for sweeping or weeding) for at least 10 minutes (2) least 10 minutes (2) TOTAL:13 TOTAL:10 30
  • THE PROCESS OF TRANSITION________________________________________________________________________________________The table illustrates clearly that level of competence for a tomato grower’shelper need to be slightly higher in the areas of physical strength and agilityas well as in orientation and travel skills as he perhaps has to move around totend to different fields. On the other hand, a chop bar assistant needs apleasing appearance (self care skills), positive social interaction and good taskbehavior in order to be accepted by the customers. Safety awareness,functional academics and motivation and work behavior have almost the samenecessary skill level for both types of jobs, even though it is evident that thehazards for chop bar assistant would consist of dealing with electricalappliances and cooking fires. A tomato grower’s helper would need to insteadreact safely to bush fires and dangerous animals such as snakes andscorpions.However it also becomes clear that, given the necessary supervision andtraining, most graduates of a school for mentally retarded children would becapable of performing the necessary skills in both jobs.However, if some of the core prerequisite skills for a certain occupation havenot been acquired during the whole period of schooling due to physical orother limitations despite intensive training, then this is an indication that theabilities of the graduate are not sufficient for this job. 4.7. Job AnalysisA breakdown of all the tasks involved in a job (Task Analysis) serves as aguideline for the necessary steps in the job training of the person with anintellectual disability. All the components of the job need to be described asprecisely as possible to develop a training plan and a checklist to find outwhich elements of the job have been mastered.Task analysis goes back to the nineteen twenties when assembly lines werebeing installed for manufacturing and time motion studies were used todetermine the quickest and least wasteful way of performing certain tasks.Following Thressiakutty & Rao (2001, 67) we can distinguish four usefulelements for analyzing a work sequence: • core work routines • episodic work routines • work behaviors • and work related skills 31
  • THE PROCESS OF TRANSITION________________________________________________________________________________________Core work routines are those that occur very frequently or daily in a job. Forexample, fowls must be fed every day and given drinking water and also thechicken coops must be cleaned every day to avoid contagious disease. Thegoal of task analysis is to arrange these recurring tasks into simple sequentialsteps that can be trained until the person has mastered them.Episodic work routines are those tasks that occur more seldom in a job,such as once a week. For example, carrying feed sacks to a storage shed on achicken farm will only be necessary when new grain for feeding has beenbought. Catching and preparing chickens for inoculations will only benecessary on the day when the veterinarian is expected.Work behaviors are those “soft skills” expected from a worker such aspunctuality, getting along with co-workers, being able to stand time pressure,etc. In many cases, feedback from the job trainer will be necessary to makethe trainee with a mental disability aware of these expectations.Work related skills are skills associated with successful performance but notdirectly linked to the job itself. For example, someone working in agriculturemust be able to find his way to the outlying fields where yams are beingplanted (orientation and mobility skills), must be capable of identifying labelsthat signal “Poison” when spraying plants (functional academics) etc.Some work behaviors and work related skills have been identified and areincluded in the Winneba Vocational Readiness Scale. They will be underlined inour Task Analysis of different jobs available for persons with a mentalretardation in the Ghanaian context.How to develop a job analysisThe different elements making up a job can be observed and analyzed bywatching other persons perform the core and episodic activities.You can ask someone to directly instruct you in performing all elements of thejob.Then perform these activities yourself. Look at how well you have done andask someone who customarily does this activity to criticize your work. Let the32
  • THE PROCESS OF TRANSITION________________________________________________________________________________________person point out to you which elements are correct and which activities couldbe improved. Do not assume you know it all before trying to do the jobyourself.On this basis, develop a task analysis by writing down the sequence ofactivities that follow one upon the other.This handbook contains a large number of jobs accessible to adolescents witha mental handicap who will leave school. They have been put in alphabeticalorder and can also be sorted as to activity areas. All these jobs have beenanalyzed as to their sequence of tasks. Some hints are given as to theprerequisite skills that would make it very probable that a school leaver couldbe trained for this job following the results in the Winneba VocationalReadiness Scale.In the following chapter these task analyses will be listed so that the readercan choose professions which will be suited for an individual school leaver afterhaving looked at • the job opportunities that are available in the environment in which the person lives • the young school leaver’s interests and abilities • and having discussed these options with the adolescent and his parents. 4.8. Job matchingAs we have already mentioned, job matching consists of comparing the skillsneeded for performing the selected job and the skills which the person hasalready acquired in order to decide what must be trained so that a high levelof performance can be achieved.To give an example: most adolescents with a mental handicap have learnedhow to sweep a room or wash their clothing by hand. However, in some casesthey fail to notice areas of the floor that are still dirty or cannot judge theamount of soap that must be used for the amount of washing and water given.These steps must be patiently demonstrated and repeated until the person hasmastered these steps.Two issues are important to keep in mind: • The person who is doing the training on site (we will call him the job coach) will usually be a co-worker and family member. The job coach must be well selected and trained. The person must be patient and 33
  • THE PROCESS OF TRANSITION________________________________________________________________________________________ willing to take the time to show each step as often as necessary. In addition he must be able to give feedback without becoming abusive or overly critical. Otherwise the young school leaver will not learn. • Not all elements of the job must be mastered for the young mentally handicapped person to be useful. There is no reason why the person should not concentrate on a few simple elements, such as hoeing, weeding and watering. Preparing the mixture and spraying the plants would be done by another person. This type of division of labor is very common in settings where persons considered “normal” often work.A 15 year old girl enrolled in a unit for mentally handicapped children in aregular school was quite competent in assisting her mother in preparing friedplantains and “red red”. The mother sold the prepared food to customersmostly at noon. The girl was able to peel the plantains, wash the dishes, runerrands such as buying beans and firewood and call the mother if customersarrived. However, even though many efforts had been made to help the girldistinguish different kinds of coins and bills in order to make change, she wasnot able to learn these skills. Since the parents unrealistically expected the girlto master all the necessary tasks for selling prepared food, the mother brokeoff the vocational training and sent the girl back to school and could not beconvinced that her expectations were not matched to the adolescent’s abilities.Vocational activitiesVocational activities can be classified in different ways either as analphabetical listing or grouped as to activity areas such as: • Animal rearing • Crop farming • Food and drink preparation • Crafts and manufacturing • Services and commerceAs we will later see, most of the activities that belong to a common vocationalfield are based on similar skills, which can be analyzed and used as a basis forprevocational training. We will discuss this point in a later chapter.34
  • THE PROCESS OF TRANSITION________________________________________________________________________________________The list of vocational activities - which is by no means exhaustive - isstructured as follows: • Job title and brief description of duties • Main activities • Analysis of prerequisite skills that make it likely that a person can be successful at this job • Description of main task areas • Take home share (expected earnings) • Necessary equipment and investments for working in this job • Risks involved and safety measures • Gender factors and seasonality of workThese brief descriptions of job activities for mentally handicapped youths willenable the reader to select certain areas which could be a future way ofearning a living for a specific young school leaver if the following conditionsare given: • Opportunity, i.e., this is a job activity that is common in the region, and a family member is working in this field and willing to let the young person help on the job • Interest, i.e., the school leaver has demonstrated interest in this or similar areas of work in school or at home • Ability, i.e., the pupil has the necessary prerequisite skills such as physical strength and ability or communication skills that make it likely that he will be able to master the tasks that make up the job.Again let it be understood that not all elements of the job must bemastered in order that a person can work in this field, but a minimalcompetence must be achieved in order for a mentally handicapped youth tobecome active in a certain job area.All these job descriptions are based on an analysis of different vocational areasby students of Education of the Mentally Handicapped at the University ofEducation in Winneba in the years 2003 to 2006 7 and, of course; do not coverall possible activities. In addition, some elements may be erroneous asteachers and the author are not professionals in these job areas.7 Without naming each individual student I would like to thank them for their work whichwas achieved as an assignment in the course „Vocational Training and Transition“. 35
  • THE PROCESS OF TRANSITION________________________________________________________________________________________The reader is therefore encouraged to add new job activities which are withinthe reach of mentally handicapped youths to this collection, as well as reviseand correct some of the job descriptions where it is necessary.The job catalog is meant to serve as a stimulus to generate ideas about what ayoung person could do to earn a living and not as a definite list of jobs for thementally handicapped. In fact, as the reader will observe, the majority ofthese simple activities are performed by average Ghanaian citizens and are byno means unique to persons with a mental handicap.It would make no sense at all to focus prevocational training in special schoolson a selection of these activities as they can only be learned in the field and byactually performing the duties involved. However, as we shall see in a laterchapter some common elements of most job activities can be trained in schoolby a careful selection and monitoring of prevocational projects.36
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ V. AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERSAs has already been explained in detail, vocational choice for mentallyhandicapped school leavers needs to take in account: • the interests of the person leaving school • the abilities he has shown during the school years • as well as the job opportunities that exist among members of the extended family and the community in which he lives or where he will return.The following selection of job activities can serve as a guide as to whatcommon vocational activities are accessible to mentally handicapped schoolleavers if they have the necessary prerequisite skills and are trained on thejob.As was explained before, vocational activities have been selected, if • the tasks are simple and repetitive • the risk of accidents and injury is low • there is low time pressure involved • they can be performed in a group so that help and supervision are possible.In addition, since the majority of parents of mentally handicapped children arenot affluent, we have also made an effort to give information as to thenecessary investments and tools important for working in this job andestimated possible earnings, so that parents could decide if they have themeans to set up their child in this type of work. Also some information is givenas to risk of injury and possible safety measures.As we are looking at vocational activities in the informal sector where themajority of young Ghanaians find work, we have divided these jobs intogroups according to the areas the different jobs focus on.The following areas have been selected: • Farming (animal rearing and crop farming) • Crafts (involving heavy or light physical labor) • Food preparation and processing • Services and Commerce 37
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________Information is also given as to the customary performance of certain jobs bymales or females and if the job can be performed all year round or is limited tocertain seasons. It goes without saying that the majority of the jobs presentedin this handbook is not restricted to a single sex and contain information aboutwork that is regular and maintained throughout the year.The main tasks of these activities have been analyzed in order to help parentsand teachers decide, if the school leaver has the necessary skills that make itlikely that he or she can master this vocation.Again we need to underline, that not all tasks that make up a helper’s roleneed to be mastered in order to work in a certain vocation: certainselected tasks can be performed by the mentally handicapped school leaver inorder to make a valuable contribution to the family income.38
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________FARMINGAbout 60% of the work force in Ghana is involved in farming, which includesgrowing vegetables or raising animals. In addition, many families in Ghanamay raise goats and chicken or plant vegetables or maize in order tosupplement their diet. In our job analysis we will concentrate on the mostcommon types of food production without attempting to provide an exhaustivelist.Since farming is usually a family enterprise and depends on the amount ofarable land, the investment in seeds and livestock etc. no exact statementabout expected income can be given. Again we would like to underscore thatin most cases the helper is likely to get a “take home share” and not regularwages or a steady income. The amount earned can be quite low just as a largepercentage of the Ghanaian population is forced to exist on less than one US $a day. ANIMAL FARMING Snail raising helper CROP FARMING Nursery bed helper 39
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.1. ANIMAL REARINGIn Ghana, we find a wide range of activities related to animal rearing. Work inthis area can include being a feeding attendant on a poultry farm raisinghundreds of chickens or attending to large herds of cattle, as well as to caringfor a small number of chicken or goats for home consumption.Even though many activities in rearing different types of animals are similarin nature we have included them in order to show what a wide variety ofpossible jobs in this field exist for persons with a mental handicap. SNAIL RAISING HELPER40
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.1.1. Animal manure makerPrepares fertilizer which needs little cash input. He collects manure andprepares it for decomposing in four to six months by adding plant waste andwater.Main activities • collecting animal manure • storing the manure • preparing the manurePrerequisite skillsAn animal manure maker needs only limited social skills (ex. cancommunicate by gestures) but needs to be willing to assist and accept somecriticism. The person needs only a very limited self-care skill as the job itselfis not clean. However, the person needs to be able to wash carefully afterwork. The only safety hazards could be encountering wild animals or snakes.Orientation and travel skills are important as he needs to roam aboutsearching for manure. Functional academics are of no importance. However,responsibility, motivation and work behavior must be given and a certaindegree of physical strength and agility is needed.Main task areas Collecting animal manure • distinguishes between animal manure and other waste matter • mixes manure of different species if possible • uses shovel or scraper to put it into a bucket • puts leaves on top, when the bucket is full • carries the manure to a storage place Storing the manure • locates site on a solid surface • digs a shallow pit • provides shade either under a tree or by providing a roof 41
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ Preparing the manure • adds leaves and grass and mixes it with the animal manure • stirs the manure heap to let air in • waters lightly to speed up decomposition process • checks the heat and moisture level by placing a stick in the middleNecessary tools and investmentsBucket, gloves, shovel or scraper. The total investment amounts to less than50 000 Cedis at present prices.Take home shareManure is usually not sold but used for own farming, so no figures can begiven.Risk of injuryLow, but animal manure can be a health risk if the manure contains diseasedorganisms or is allowed to contaminate ground or surface water resources.Safety measuresDuring collection, transport and application, the helper should avoid directcontact and inhalation of manure by wearing gloves as well as mouth andnose protection (wet rag) and wash carefully after workThe manure heap should not be stored close to water sources to avoidcontamination.Gender factorThis job could be done by both sexes.SeasonalityCollecting and preparing manure is an all year round job.42
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.1.2. Beekeeping assistantHelps in the production and extraction of honey, bottling the product andselling it.Main activities • setting up of beehives for the production of honey • extraction of honey • packaging and marketing the productPrerequisite skillsA beekeeping assistant will need only limited social skills (ex. cancommunicate by gestures) if not dealing with the public but needs to bewilling to assist and accept some criticism. However since he is involved infood production the person must be clean when preparing and selling honey.Safety awareness can be limited to safely using a cutlass and using fire forgenerating smoke. Orientation and travel skills, as well as functionalacademics can be minimal if the person is not involved in selling or bringingthe products to the market. However, responsibility, motivation and workbehavior must be given, and a certain degree of physical strength and agilityis needed.Main task areas Setting up beehives for the production of honey • carries wooden boxes (beehives) to the site and places them on stands • captures swarms on flowering plants during the swarming season in February and March • places the swarms in the beehives which have been treated with wax • checks after two to three months to see if combs are ready for harvesting Extraction of honey • smokes boxes to drive away the swarm • retrieves the combs with a clean sieve or cloth • collects and strains the honey by squeezing it through a cloth • removes dirt and impurities from the strained honey 43
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ Packaging and marketing the product • fills the honey into bottles or other containers using a funnel 8 • carries the honey bottles in a container to the sales point • assists in selling the honeyEarningsDepend on the amount of honey harvested and soldNecessary tools and investmentsFor buying catcher and hiving boxes, metal stands, smokers, bucket, strainer,wax and insecticide and bottles for filling with honey investment costs ofabout 700 000 Cedis can be expected. However the assistant would onlyneed some protective clothing and a cutlass and a knife with the cost notexceeding 50 000 cedis.Risks of injuryThe assistant can be stung by bee swarms or step on snakes in the bush. Herisks being cut while weeding and burns from fire while smoking the bees.Safety measuresThe helper should learn to work carefully with a knife or cutlass. Protectiveclothing can be worn when working with the bees.Gender factorsCustomarily bee keeping is a male occupation but of course it is also possiblefor females.SeasonalityKeeping of bees and harvesting of honey is a year round occupation but hasits peak in the Harmattan season with hot weather.8 The empty combs can be heated for extracting bee wax used for making candles orother purposes44
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.1.3. Feed attendantAnimals such as pigs, sheep and goats are kept in a pen to prevent accidentsor stealing. The caretaker feeds these animals three times a day.Main activities • collecting feed • watering and feeding the animals • cleaning the pens • carrying out additional tasks as neededPrerequisite skillsA high level of communication skills is not important, but the attendant mustbe able to accept some criticism and be willing to help. Self care skills can belimited as the feed attendant does not deal with the public. He needs to beable to use sharp objects such as a cutlass and a knife safely; and orientationand travel skills are essential in collecting animal feed. Functional academicsand social behavior can be quite rudimentary, but good motivation and workbehavior with a certain degree of physical strength and agility is a must.Main task areas Collecting feed • looks for grass for the animals • cuts grass using a cutlass or a sickle • removes sticks and inedible material • collects husks and peels from houses and chop bars in the locality • carries the feed home for the animals Watering and feeding • shares the feed proportionally into the troughs or the containers for the animals • makes sure there is always water for drinking. Cleaning the pens • cleans the pen, the feed and water troughs • throws left-over feed (grass, cassava, peels ) away • stores feed in the appropriate place 45
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ Additional tasks • helps in carrying out periodic repairs of the pen. • helps separate sick and pregnant animals from the othersNecessary tools and investmentsCutlass, wheelbarrow, sickle, basket, broom, Wellington boots. The necessaryequipment costs below 200 000 Cedis at present prices.Take home shareCan earn up to 250 000 Cedis a month.Risk of injuryThe assistant can hurt himself with a cutlass or a sickle while cutting grassbut, in general, risk of injury is low.Safety measuresA first aid kit should be available. The attendant should wear Wellington bootsand gloves when necessary. After work the attendant should wash carefullyto avoid infection.Gender factorsThis job can be performed by both sexes.SeasonalityThe activity of a feed attendant does not depend on a season.46
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.1.4. Fisherman’s assistantHelps prepare the boot for fishing, unloads the catch and brings it to themarket and assists in small repairs of the equipment.Main activities • preparation for fishing • fishing at sea • small repairs and marketingPrerequisite skillsA fisherman’s assistant needs only limited social skills (ex. can communicateby gestures), but needs to be willing to assist and accept some criticism. Theperson needs only very limited self-care skills, as he is not working in public.Safety skills include being able to swim and not getting to close to theoutboard motor. Orientation and travel skills as well as functional academicscan be minimal if the person is not involved in selling or bringing the productsto the market. However, responsibility, motivation and work behavior mustbe given, and a good degree of physical strength and agility is needed.Main task areas Preparation for fishing • carries ropes, nets and container to the boat • stores them in their proper place • carries the outboard motor to and from the boat • on instruction goes to buy fuel for the motor • helps push the boat into the sea Fishing at sea • assists in casting the net • helps in pulling in the net • removes fish from the net • drains water from the boat with a tin or bucket 47
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ Small repairs and marketing • loads the catch into pans for carrying ashore • cleans and bundles the nets • carries nets, ropes and containers to the storage point • removes the outboard motor and stores it • cleans the boat • mends the nets when torn • helps transport fish to the selling pointTake home shareDepending on the skill on the job a helper can earn between 150 000 and200 000 Cedis a month.Necessary tools and investmentsInvestments for an outboard motor, nets and a boat can be quite high, butthe assistant himself does not need any money to become a helperRisks of injuryAre given because of the heavy work and the dangers of the sea involved.Safety measuresThe helper needs to be careful near the outboard motor and taught to standor sit steadily in the boat. He should be able to swim and if possible wear alife jacket.Gender factorsTraditionally fishing is a male occupation.SeasonalityFishing is a year round regular activity except for those days whentraditionally no one goes to sea.48
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.1.5. Helper in grass cutter rearingHelps to feed and care for the grass cutters and prepares them for sale.Main activities • preparing the feed • feeding the grass cutters • cleaning the pens or cages • preparing the mature animals for salePrerequisite skillsA helper in rearing grass cutters needs only limited social skills (ex. cancommunicate by gestures), but needs to be willing to assist and accept somecriticism. The person needs only very limited self-care skills, as he is notworking in public. Since there are no specific hazards except for working withsharp objects (knife and cutlass), his safety awareness can be relatively low.Orientation and travel skills as well as functional academics can be minimal ifthe person is not involved in selling or bringing the products to the market.However, responsibility, motivation and work behavior must be given, and acertain degree of physical strength and agility is needed.Main task areas Preparation of food and cleaning • cuts green cowpea and fresh grass using a cutlass • slices the nodes of leftover sugar cane with a knife • cuts and peels some food containing carbohydrates such as yam and cassava • boils these peeled carbohydrate foods until they are soft • adds a quantity of salt to the food items • mixes the various food items using a stirring stick • removes leftover food daily • sweeps the pens or cages • scrubs with disinfectant once a month Preparing the grass cutters for sale • selects the mature grass cutters on instruction • removes them from the pen by holding them by the neck and legs 49
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ • holds them down for slaughter • removes hair from carcass by immersing it in boiling water • scrapes off the hair using a knife • slits the stomach and removes the intestines • applies salt and rubs it into the meat • smokes the meat • brings the meat to the selling pointTake home shareA helper can earn up to 150 000 Cedis a month.Necessary tools and investmentsCutlass, knife and shovel which demand investments of less than 50 000Cedis at present prices.Risks of injuryAre low, but the person can hurt himself with a knife or cutlass whilepreparing the feed.Safety measuresThe helper needs to be careful in using a knife for peeling yams, sugar caneand cassava and in handling boiling water.In addition to that, no special safety measures are needed.Gender factorsBoth sexes can be employed in raising grass cutters.SeasonalityRaising grass cutters is a regular, year round activity.50
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.1.6. Herdsman’s helperA herdsman’s helper assists in taking care of the cattle.Main activities • preparing the feed • feeding the cattle • watering the cattle • cleaning the ranchPrerequisite skillsA high level of communication skills is not important, but the attendant mustbe able to accept some criticism and be willing to help. Self care skills can belimited, as the feed attendant does not deal with the public. He needs to beable to use sharp objects such as a cutlass and a knife safely. Orientation andtravel skills are essential in collecting animal feed. Functional academics andsocial behavior can be quite rudimentary but good motivation and workbehavior, as well as a certain degree of physical strength and agility is amust.Main task areas Preparing the feed • goes to the bush in the vicinity to cut grasses for the cattle • collects other tubers and cereals from the farm for the cattle Feeding the cattle • removes old feed from their trough • replaces with new feed • takes them out to the near by grassland to graze Watering the cattle • takes them to a water source to drink • fills their water containers in the ranch with water 51
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ Cleaning the ranch • cleans the area where the cattle rest overnight • collects their manure in bags for sale as fertilizer • transfers the animals from unclean areas to unspoiled areasTake home shareMay earn up to 100 000 Cedis a month.Necessary tools and investmentsA sickle and cutlass with investments of less than 50 000 Cedis at presentprices.Risks of injuryAre low, but the person must be able to deal with sharp objects, such as asickle or cutlass.Safety measuresNo specific measures are necessary except training in dealing with animalsand handling sharp objects.Gender factorsIt is possible for both sexes to do this job.SeasonalityCattle herding is practiced all year round.52
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.1.7. Poultry feederThe poultry feeder feeds the birds and waters them every morning, afternoonand evenings. He collects the eggs and stores them so they do not break. Hekeeps the birds’ water, feed, drinkers and troughs under hygienic conditions.Main activities • washing drinkers and filling them with water • feeding the birds and collecting eggsPrerequisite skillsA poultry feeder needs only limited social skills (ex. can communicate bygestures), but needs to be willing to assist and accept some criticism. Interms of self care skills, attractive appearance is not necessary because theperson is not in contact with the public. However, he must be clean in orderto avoid infection of the birds. The feeder must be able to use sharp objectscarefully in scraping the troughs, whereas working with open fire and dealingwith electrical hazards or wild animals is not an element of this job.Orientation and travel skills, as well as functional academics are notimportant for this job. Reactions to instruction and responsibility, as well asgood work motivation are essential. Bending and balancing, grasping andholding, as well as moderate physical strength are important prerequisites ofthis job.Main task areas Washing drinkers and filling them with water • turns the drinker upside down • unscrews the lid of the container • pours out the dirty water • washes the inner and outer parts with soap, water and sponge • rinses the container and its lid • half fills the drinker with clean water • overturns the drinker and carries it to the birds Feeding the Birds • mixes the feed • removes the leftovers from the trough 53
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ • fetches the required quantity into the troughs in the coops and adds feed (mash) into the trough • spreads the mash to cover the whole part of the feeding trough • observes weather conditions in relation to the quality of feed to give the birds • leaves the scene to allow the birds to come around the feeding trough • stirs the mash to revive the appetite of the birds • leaves the scene to allow the birds to draw closer to the feed again • collects eggs from the pens into a basket if there are layers which are layingTake home shareThe earnings of a poultry feeder can amount up to 250 000 Cedis dependingon his skill and the success of the venture.Necessary tools and equipmentCutlass, knife, Wellington boots with a necessary investment of less than 100000 Cedis.Risks of injuryAre low, but there is a possibility of being hurt when using a knife or acutlass.Safety measures:Supervision is needed in order to check that appropriate quantities of foodare given and the birds are kept in hygienic conditions. The person should betaught to wash his hands carefully and clean himself after work.Gender factorsThis job can be performed by women as well as men.SeasonalityThis is a year round job.54
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.1.8. Rabbit rearing helperHelps to feed and care for rabbits and prepares them for marketing.Main activities • preparing the feed and cleaning the hutches • keeping the animals healthy • preparing the mature animals for salePrerequisite skillsA helper in rearing rabbits needs only limited social skills (ex. cancommunicate by gestures), but needs to be willing to assist and accept somecriticism. The person needs only very limited self-care skills, as he is notworking in public. Since there are no specific hazards except for working withsharp objects (knife and cutlass), his safety awareness can be relatively low.Orientation and travel skills as well as functional academics can be minimal ifthe person is not involved in selling or bringing the products to the market.However, responsibility, motivation and work behavior must be given, and acertain degree of physical strength and agility is needed.Main task areas Preparation of food and cleaning • collects left over food such as pieces of bread, kenkey, peels of plantain and cassava, leaves of potatoes, cabbage and lettuce • gives feed according to the size of the animal • cuts green grass as feed • gives tablet or pellet food when it is available • gives clean water to drink • removes leftover food daily • sweeps the hutches and removes the droppings • scrubs with disinfectant once a month Keeping the rabbits healthy • observes when the rabbits are not active, when eyes are dull, skin not smooth and shining • reports these observations to the owner 55
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ • keeps pregnant rabbits in a separate hutches and supplies them with clean dry grass ( guinea grass) and clean fresh water • gives plenty of fresh water and greater quantities of food to the doe in order to stimulate breast milk • keeps bunnies after they are eight weeks old in separate hutches • helps the veterinary officer when vaccinating and disinfecting the hutch Preparing the rabbits for sale • selects the mature rabbits on instruction after about 160 days • removes them from the pen by holding them by the loose skin at the neck • places them in a wire net basket • helps transport them to the selling pointEarningsDepending on the skill on the job a helper can earn between 100 000 and400 000 Cedis a month.Necessary tools and investmentsDepending on the number of rabbits the owner will need water troughs,hutches, feeding troughs. But the assistant will only need a cutlass,Wellington boots and a knife with investments of less than 100 000 cedis atpresent prices.Risks of injuryAre low, but the person can hurt himself with a knife or cutlass whilepreparing the feed.Safety measuresThe helper needs to be careful in using a knife or cutlass and avoid prolongedexposure to the sun. Hands need to be washed after coming into contact withrabbit droppings.Gender factorsBoth sexes can help in raising rabbits.56
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________SeasonalityRaising rabbits is a regular, year round activity. 57
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.1.9. Snail raising helperFeeds and prepares the mature snails for sale. Snails must be fattened forabout 6 months before they are ready to be eaten.Main activities • preparing the snails’ feed • feeding the snails • arranging the snails into groups according to size • cleaning the snail’s dugout-hole • packaging the snails for salePrerequisite skillsA snail raising helper needs only limited social skills (ex. can communicate bygestures), but needs to be willing to assist and accept some criticism. Theperson needs only very limited self-care skills, as he is not working in public.Since there are no specific hazards, his safety awareness can be very low.Orientation and travel skills, as well as functional academics can be minimal ifthe person is not involved in selling or bringing the products to the market.However, responsibility, motivation and work behavior must be given, and acertain degree of physical strength and agility is needed.Main task areas Preparation of food and cleaning • prepares the snails’ feed from locally available foodstuff and materials such as yam, banana, kitchen leftover, most types of soft leaves etc. • waters the pen every morning and evening and provides drinking water for the snails in a dish • mixes the food and distributes it well all over the pen • clears old feed and feces from the boxes or pen • replaces the boxes and fills them with the new feed • sorts out older and bigger snails away from the newly hatched • sorts out the snails into various size groups • sends the sorted snails into their appropriate compartment • covers the various compartment in the pen58
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ Preparing the snails for sale • removes and cleans the mature snails with water • sorts the snails into a basket or sack • carries the baskets or sacks of snails to a point of sale.Take home shareA helper in snail keeping receives an estimated amount of ¢2,000 a day andreceives approximately ¢ 60,000 per month.Necessary tools and investmentsA cutlass and knife with the necessary investments not exceeding 50 000CedisRisks of injuryAre low, but there is a possibility of being hurt when using a knife or acutlass.Safety measuresThe helper needs to be cautioned to handle the snails with care as they aredelicate. But no special safety measures are needed.Gender factorsBoth sexes can be employed in snail keeping.SeasonalitySnail keeping is a regular, year round activity. 59
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.1.10. Tilapia raising assistantHelps in preparing the site for pond construction, in filling and stocking thepond in feeding and harvesting the fish catch.Main activities • preparing the site and constructing the pond • assuring the water supply stocking and managing the fish pond • harvesting and marketing the fishPrerequisite skillsA Tilapia raising helper needs only limited social skills (ex. can communicateby gestures), but needs to be willing to assist and accept some criticism. Theperson needs only very limited self-care skills, as he is not working in public.Since there are no specific hazards, his safety awareness can be very low.Orientation and travel skills, as well as functional academics can be minimal ifthe person is not involved in selling or bringing the products to the market.However, responsibility, motivation and work behavior must be given, and acertain degree of physical strength and agility is needed.Main task areas Preparation of the site and construction of the pond • clears the land for the fish pond with a hoe or cutlass • help dig the fish pond about 4 feet deep to a given size • digs a water inlet and outlet • assists in filling the pond with water and adding lime to correct acidity of the water Assuring the water supply stocking and managing the fish pond • places the fingerlings ( small fish) into the pond • feeds the fishes with a mixture of tapioca flour, boiled lettuce of cabbage leaves • feeds fish with fish pellets bought in the market • removes weed when there are too many in the water • adds water in the dry season when too much has evaporated60
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ Harvesting and marketing the fish • traps the mature fish with a net and puts them in a bowl • carries the fish to the market • helps in selling the fishEarningsDepending on the skill level a helper can earn about 200 000 cedis a month.Necessary tools and investmentsA cutlass and knife with the necessary investments not exceeding 50 000CedisRisks of injuryAre low, but there is a possibility of being hurt when using a knife or a cutlasswhen preparing feed.Safety measuresThe helper should learn to work carefully with a knife or cutlass. After limingand weed control hands should be washed thoroughly.Gender factorsBoth sexes can be employed in tilapia raising.SeasonalityTilapia raising is a regular, year round activity. 61
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.2. CROP FARMINGAs mentioned before, work can be found on large farms specializing ingrowing cocoa, pineapples or citrus fruits and other cash crops as well astending to small plots of land where vegetables are planted for ownconsumption. Depending on the circumstances, the work done can be limitedto only a few specialized tasks or involve many separate activities.Many task involved in raising different types of fruits and vegetables and cashcrops are quite similar. In order to demonstrate how many jobs can behandled by persons with a mental retardation in this area we have presenteda task analysis of growing quite a number of different fruits and vegetableseven though the tasks involved may be quite similar. NURSERY BED HELPER62
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.2.1. Citrus orchard assistantHelps in preparing seedlings, planting trees, weeding and harvesting fruit andbringing it to the market.Main activities • sorting seedlings according to the scent and shape of the leaf • transplanting seedlings and tending them so they grow into fruit trees • plucking the fruit and carrying it to the house and the marketPrerequisite skillsAn orchard assistant does not need a high degree of social competence or selfhelp skills, as he will not be dealing with the public. Safety awareness can belimited to working with farm tools, such as a hoe and cutlass as well asreacting appropriately to the dangers of wild animals. Functional academicsand orientation and travel skills can be quite limited. However, the personmust be able to work in groups (social behavior), have good motivation andwork behavior. He must also be able to lift and carry weights up to 15 kg,walk for some distances, grasp and hold objects firmly, and work in a bentposition for up to half an hour at a time (physical strength and agility).Main task areas Sorting seedlings according to the scent and shape of the leaf • sorts orange, grapefruit and lemon seedlings according to size • puts them under different shading sheds • waters them daily Transplanting seedlings and tending them so they grow into fruit trees • weeds the area around the future site of the tree • digs a hole around 5 cm deep into the ground using a measuring stick • places the seedling into the hole tamping the earth around the roots firmly so the plant stands firmly • places sticks or a basket around the plant so animals cannot eat or uproot it. • weeds around the young tree so it can grow 63
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ Plucking the fruit and carrying it to the house and the market • holds the branch with one hand and plucks the fruit with the other • puts the ripe fruits in a basket and carries them to the house • assists in loading the vehicle that brings the fruits to the marketTake home shareCan make about 100 000 Cedis a month.Necessary equipment and investmentsWellington boots, cutlass, hoe. The investments being below 100 000 Cedisat present prices.Job risksAre low, although the person can hurt himself by weeding with a cutlass orstepping on scorpions.Safety measuresThe person should wear boots and sometimes gloves, as well as be aware ofdanger when the trees are sprayed.Gender factorsThis is an activity for both sexes.SeasonalityAn orchard tree attendant can work during the whole year.64
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.2.2. Cocoa farmer’s assistantHelps grow, harvest and prepare cocoa beans.Main activities • weeding and assisting in spraying the trees • harvesting cocoa pods and drying cocoa beansPrerequisite skillsIn order to help in cocoa farming communication skills (social competence)and self help skills can be quite limited as the person is not dealing with thepublic. Safety awareness must be given for dealing with sharp objects suchas a cutlass and being able to react to wild animals. Functional academicsand orientation and travel skills can be low but good motivation and workbehavior as well positive social behavior and a medium degree of physicalstrength and agility are necessary prerequisites of this job.Main task areas Weeding and assisting in spraying the trees • uses a cutlass to weed and prune the cocoa trees • removes all the parasites on and around the trees • fetches water from a source on the farm or near the farm • assists in mixing water and chemicals for spraying Harvesting cocoa pods and drying cocoa beans • plucks mature and ripe cocoa pods and carries them to the house in a basket • cracks the cocoa pods open to put the beans into a basket • spreads mats for drying the cocoa beans on an even surface • dries cocoa beans by turning them as often as necessary in the sun • stores the dried beans in sacks for transport to the cocoa companyTake home shareA cocoa farmer’s helper may earn up to 250 000 Cedis a month. 65
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________Necessary equipment and investmentsA cutlass, a sickle and Wellington boots with an investment of about 100 000Cedis at present prices.Risks of injuryAre low, except hurting oneself weeding with a hoe or cutlass or stepping ona scorpion, or snake. As spraying chemicals are dangerous for eyes andrespiration, the assistant should not be involved.Safety measuresThe helper should wear boots and be careful with a hoe and cutlass, avoidprolonged exposure to the sun, and wash hands after coming in contact withchemicals.Gender factorsBoth male and females could do this job.SeasonalityThe majority of work occurs in the dry season.66
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.2.3. Cotton farming assistantHelps in preparing the land, sowing the cotton, weeding, fertilizing, sprayingand harvesting, as well as preparing the cotton for selling.Main activities • preparing the land and placing seeds • pricking the seedlings and fertilizing • weeding and spraying • harvesting and separating cotton from the seedsPrerequisite skillsCommunication (social behavior) and self help skills can be quite low andsafety awareness can be limited to handling sharp objects like a cutlass andknowing how to react to wild animals. Orientation and travel skills andfunctional academics can be very limited. However the person must be ableto work in a group (social behavior), have good motivation and workbehavior, be physically strong and able to bend over for long periods of time.Main task areas Preparing the land and placing seeds • removes large stones and roots after the land has been plowed with a tractor • digs holes in a distance of about one foot by using a measuring stick • puts four seeds in each hole and covers it with soil Pricking the seedlings and fertilizing • removes small plants after about two weeks when seeds have germinated so that only two remain in each hole • after about three weeks removes weeds and applies fertilizer about 10 cm from each plant using a measuring stick • fetches water for spraying the plants with insecticide 67
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ Harvesting and separating cotton from the seeds • holds a sack firmly in one hand and walks from one mature cotton plant to the next in a row • plucks the cotton bud from the stem with one hand and puts it into the sack • plucks all the mature and burst cotton pods until the sack is full • ties the sack closed with a strong thread and carries it to the house • separates the cotton from the seeds and places these in different containers • helps in packaging cotton and seeds and in transporting them to the scale and collection and sales areaTake home shareA cotton farming assistant can earn about 100 000 Cedis a month.Necessary equipment and investmentsWellington boots, gloves, cutlass, hoe with investments below 100 000 Cedisat present prices.Risks of injuryAre low, although sun stroke or hurting yourself while weeding is apossibility.Safety measuresThe helper should wear boots, avoid getting fertilizer or insecticide in eyes,nose or mouth and wash hands carefully after use. He should not be directlyinvolved in plant spraying.Gender factorsDepending on the individual’s strength and agility, cotton farming can bedone by men and women.SeasonalityMain activities are in the rainy season and up to harvesting in October,November. Then other crops are planted.68
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.2.4. Flower garden helperAssists in planting, watering and preparing flowers for sale for weddings andother occasions.Main activities • building a shady roof for the plants • preparing the flower pots with soil • planting the seedlings and watering • removing weeds and drying leavesPrerequisite skillsFor this job communication (social competence) and self help skills can bevery limited. As the person is neither dealing with fire, electrical appliances orsharp objects, safety awareness can be elementary. This also applies tofunctional academics, social behavior and travel and orientation skills.However, good motivation and work behavior is important, and mediumphysical strength for carrying water cans. Also important is the ability to workin a bent over position for some time.Main task areas Building a shady roof for the plants • digs holes for forked sticks as corner posts • uses long sticks to connect these corner posts • covers the structure of crossbars with palm leaves to create a shady roof Preparing the flower pots with soil • uses hands of a trowel to scoop up the soil • fills the pot with loamy soil up to the brim without spilling • places the pots under the shaded area Planting the seedlings and watering • places the seedlings or cuttings in the middle of the pot tamping them down firmly without disturbing the roots • uses a bucket or watering can to carry water from a well, a tap or other source of water 69
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ • sprinkles water on the soil of the flower pots so that it is moist but not waterlogged • waters twice daily in the dry season and as needed, in the rainy season • removes weeds and dry leaves and buds of the flower as neededTake home shareA flower garden helper can earn between 80 000 and 100 000 Cedis a month.Necessary equipments and investmentsHoe, hand trowel, bucket, cutlass. For the needed equipment about 140 000Cedis must be invested at present prices.Risks involvedAre low, the person can hurt himself with a cutlass and should be taught towatch out for scorpions and snakes when working with the soil.Safety measuresThe helper should wear Wellington boots and learn to watch out for scorpionsand snakes.Gender factorsThis job can be performed by men and women.SeasonalityFlower gardening is a year round job.70
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.2.5. Garden eggs farming assistantHelps prepare the seedlings, weeds and fertilizes the soil, plants theseedlings, harvests the garden eggs and assists in bringing them to themarket.Main activities • preparing the land and raising seedlings in the nursery bed • planting, weeding, fertilizing and spraying • harvesting and marketingPrerequisite skillsIn order to help in growing garden eggs, communication skills (socialcompetence) and self help skills can be quite reduced. Safety awareness canbe limited to dealing with sharp objects such as a cutlass and being able toreact to wild animals. Functional academics and orientation and travel skillscan be low, but good motivation, work behavior as well positive socialbehavior and a medium degree of physical strength and agility is a necessaryprerequisite of this job.Main task areas Preparing the land and raising seedlings in the nursery bed • clears the land for the nursery bed with a hoe and removes weeds, sticks and stones • spreads the seeds on the soil and under plantain leaves to keep it moist for germination • removes the plantain leaves after about five days and waters the seedlings daily Planting, weeding, fertilizing and spraying • after about five weeks the seedlings are transplanted to the main land which has been ploughed • digs holes in a distance of about 9 cm using a measuring stick • places the seedling in the hole and tamps the soil around it making sure not to harm the roots so the plant stands firm in the ground • removes all weeds around and under the plant about three weeks after planting 71
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ • two weeks after first weeding, scoops a handful of fertilizer from a bowl and places it about 10 cm from the plant using a measuring stick and mixes it into the soil • assists in spraying the plants every week by fetching and carrying water Harvesting and marketing • grasps the mature fruits firmly with one hand, plucks them and places them in a basket • Carries the full basket from the farm to the house • helps carry or transport the garden eggs from the house to the marketTake home shareDepending on the persons usefulness at the job the assistant can earnbetween 100 000 and 300 000 Cedis a month.Necessary equipment and investmentsBasket, bucket or watering can, hoe, Wellington boots, cutlass with aninvestment of a little over 100 000 Cedis at present prices.Risk of injuriesAre low except hurting oneself weeding with a hoe or cutlass or stepping on ascorpion or snake. As spraying chemicals are dangerous for eyes andrespiration, the assistant should not be involved.Safety measuresThe assistant should wear boots and be careful with a hoe and cutlass, avoidprolonged exposure to the sun, wash hands after coming in contact withchemicals such as fertilizer and insecticides.Gender factorsBoth men and women can work at this job.Seasonality72
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________Garden eggs are planted in the rainy seasons. If there is irrigation water thengarden eggs can also be grown during the dry season. 73
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.2.6. Mushroom farming helperWaters, weeds, harvests and sells mature mushrooms.Main activities • preparing the land and planting the seeds • watering and weeding the young mushrooms • harvesting and selling the mature plantsPrerequisite skillsCommunication can be limited but the person must be willing to assist andaccept criticism (social competence). Self care skills can be very reduced, andorientation and travel skills can be quite low if the person is not involved inmarketing the mushrooms. Safety awareness can be limited to the use ofsharp objects and dangers of wild animals. Neither functional academics norgroup functioning are important in this job. However, good motivation andwork behavior is essential, and medium strength and agility is an advantage.Main task areas Land preparation and planting of seeds • clears the land by removing weeds • digs a pit 15 cm deep and 2 x 1,5m as measured by another person • fills the pit either with saw dust (preferably wawa, onyina and kyenkyen trees) or cassava peelings with palm fruit pulp added • plants the seeds • pours water on the pit until well soaked Watering and weeding the young mushrooms • waters daily to keep moist • uses a cutlass to remove all the unwanted weeds from the pit • helps the young mushrooms grow firm by tamping earth around the roots • weeds and waters every day Harvesting and selling of mature plants • identifies the mature mushrooms and gently removes them from the soil74
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ • sorts the harvested mushrooms according to size • washes them in clean water and fills them into bags according to size and price • pricks holes into the bags to allow the air to keep the mushrooms fresh • transports the mushroom bags to sales locationTake home shareA helper in a mushroom farm can receive about 6 000 Cedis a day or 180 000Cedis a month.Necessary equipment and investmentsCutlass, pick axe, spade, watering can, boots. The investments will amount toabout 160 000 Cedis at present prices.Risks of injuryAre low, but the helper can injure himself while digging or weeding.Safety measuresThe person must be taught to be cautious when handling a cutlass, a pick orshovel. A first aid kit should be available.Gender factorsBoth sexes can help in mushroom farming.SeasonalityMushroom farming is a year round occupation. 75
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.2.7. Okro farmer’s helperThe okro farmer’s helper assists in planting, harvesting and bringing theproduce to the nearest market.Main activities • helping in clearing the land and preparing the site for planting • Planting, weeding and spraying • harvesting and marketingPrerequisite skillsIn order to assist in okro farming, communication skills (social competence)and self help skills can be quite limited. Safety awareness can be reduced todealing with sharp objects, such as a cutlass and being able to react to wildanimals. Functional academics can be low and orientation and travel skillslimited to finding the way to the farm and back home. But good motivationand work behavior, as well positive social behavior, and a medium degree ofphysical strength and agility are necessary prerequisites of this job..Main task areas Clearing the land and preparing the site for planting • goes to the farm with the master to clear the land • removes dead plants and tree stumps • removes weeds, sticks and stones with a hoe • makes beds for planting the okro Planting, weeding and spraying • digs the ground to plant the seeds • uses a watering can or a jet spray watering tube to water the okro plants • removes weeds from around the crops • assists in spraying the plants by fetching and carrying water Harvesting and marketing • grasps the mature okro firmly with one hand, plucks them and places them in a basket • carries the full basket from the farm to the house76
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ • helps convey the okro to a marketTake home shareA daily wage of 5 000 Cedis and a monthly income of about 150 000 Cedis ispossible.Necessary equipment and investmentA cutlass, a rake, a hand trowel, a knife , a watering can and Wellingtonboots are the necessary equipment for this job with investments notexceeding 150 000 Cedis at present prices.Risk of injuriesAre low, except hurting oneself weeding with a hoe or cutlass or stepping ona scorpion or snake. As spraying chemicals is dangerous for eyes andrespiration, the assistant should not be involved.Safety measuresThe helper should wear boots, be careful with a hoe and cutlass. Avoidprolonged exposure to the sun and wash hands after coming in contact withchemicals such as fertilizer and insecticides.Gender factorsBoth men and women can work at this job.SeasonalityThis could be a year round job. 77
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.2.8. Onion farming assistantHelps in raising onion seedlings, transplanting, weeding and harvesting themature onions and preparing them for sale.Main activities • preparing the land and raising seedlings in the nursery bed • planting, weeding, fertilizing and spraying • harvesting and marketingPrerequisite skillsIn order to help in growing onions, communication skills (social competence)and self help skills can be quite reduced. Safety awareness can be limited todealing with sharp objects such as a cutlass. Since onions are not raised inthe forest there is no need of being able to react to wild animals. Functionalacademics and orientation and travel skills can be low. However, goodmotivation and work behavior, positive social behavior, along with a mediumdegree of physical strength and agility are necessary prerequisites of this job.Main task areas Preparing the land and raising seedlings in the nursery bed • clears the land for the nursery bed with a hoe removing weeds, tree stumps, sticks and stones • after three weeks spreads the seeds on the soil using either the drilling or broadcasting method • waters the bed and covers it with palm leaves to keep the soil moist • for germination • after about five days removes the palm leaves and waters the seedlings daily Planting, weeding, fertilizing and spraying • transplants the seedlings after about five weeks to the main bed which has been leveled, cleared of stones and watered • adds organic manure such as cow dung to enrich the soil • digs holes in a distance of about 9 cm using a measuring stick • places the seedling in the hole and tamps the soil around it making sure not to harm the roots so the plant stands firm in the ground78
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ • removes all weeds around and under the plant about three weeks after planting • loosens the soil around the plant for aeration by using a hand fork • after turning the soil scoops a handful of fertilizer from a bowl and mixes it into the soil by hand or sprays liquid fertilizer. Harvesting and marketing • uproots the onions by firmly pulling them out of the ground • puts them into a basket and carries it from the farm to the house • cuts of the sprouts and fills the onions into a sack • helps carry or transport the sacks from the house to the marketTake home shareDepending on the persons usefulness at the job the assistant can earnbetween 100 000 and 150 000 Cedis a month. A bed of onions can bringabout 2 million cedis.Necessary equipment and investmentsBasket, bucket or watering can, hoe, Wellington boots, cutlass with aninvestment of a little over 150 000 Cedis at present prices. The farmer mayalso want to use a pump to transport water from a source to the field.Risk of injuriesAre low, except hurting oneself weeding with a hoe or cutlass or stepping ona scorpion or snake. No insecticides are sprayed in onion farming.Safety measuresThe assistant should wear boots and be careful with a hoe and cutlass, avoidprolonged exposure to the sun, and wash hands after coming in contact withfertilizer and the soil.Gender factorsBoth men and women can work at this job.Seasonality 79
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________Onions are planted throughout the year since they are watered. They takethree months to mature. Other vegetables such as spinach, okro, lettuce andpepper are planted along side of onions.80
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.2.9. Pepper farming assistantHelps in raising pepper seedlings, transplanting, weeding and harvesting themature pepper and preparing it for sale.Main activities • preparing the land and raising seedlings in the nursery bed • planting, weeding, fertilizing and spraying • harvesting and marketingPrerequisite skillsIn order to help in growing pepper communication skills (social competence)and self help skills can be quite reduced. Safety awareness can be limited todealing with sharp objects such as a cutlass and being able to react to wildanimals. Functional academics and orientation and travel skills can be low.However, good motivation and work behavior, positive social behavior, alongwith a medium degree of physical strength and agility are necessaryprerequisites of this job.Main task areas Preparing the land and raising seedlings in the nursery bed • clears the land for the nursery bed with a hoe removing weeds, sticks and stones • spreads the seeds on the soil and mixes them with the topsoil • waters the bed and covers it with plantain leaves to keep it moist for germination • after about five days removes the plantain leaves and waters the seedlings daily Planting, weeding, fertilizing and spraying • After about five weeks the seedlings are transplanted to the main land which has been ploughed • digs holes in a distance of about 9 cm using a measuring stick • places the seedling in the hole and tamps the soil around it making sure not to harm the roots so the plant stands firm in the ground • removes all weeds around and under the plant about three weeks after planting 81
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ • Two weeks after first weeding, scoops a handful of fertilizer from a bowl and places it about 10 cm from the plant using a measuring stick and mixes it into the soil by hand • assists in spraying the plants every week by fetching and carrying water Harvesting and marketing • grasps the ripe pepper firmly with one hand, plucks them and places them in a basket • carries the full basket from the farm to the house • fills the pepper into a sack and ties it firmly with a string • helps carry or transport the sacks from the house to the marketTake home shareDepending on the persons usefulness at the job the assistant can earnbetween 100 000 and 150 000 Cedis a month.Necessary equipment and investmentsBasket, bucket or watering can, hoe, Wellington boots, cutlass with aninvestment of a little over 100 000 Cedis at present prices.Risk of injuriesAre low, except hurting oneself weeding with a hoe or cutlass or stepping ona scorpion or snake. As spraying chemicals is dangerous for eyes andrespiration, the assistant should not be involved (except for fetching water formixing the chemicals).Safety measuresThe assistant should wear boots and be careful with a hoe and cutlass, avoidprolonged exposure to the sun, and wash hands after coming in contact withchemicals such as fertilizer and insecticides.Gender factorsBoth men and women can work at this job.82
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________SeasonalityPeppers are planted in the rainy season. If there is irrigation water, thenpepper can also be grown during the dry season. 83
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.2.10. Potato farming assistantHelps in clearing the land, raising small mounds, cutting and planting potatostems, weeding and harvesting the mature potatoes and preparing them forsale.Main activities • preparing the land and raising small mounds • cutting and planting stems, weeding • harvesting and marketingPrerequisite skillsIn order to help in growing potatoes communication skills (socialcompetence) and self help skills can be quite reduced. Safety awareness canbe limited to dealing with fire, sharp objects such as a cutlass and reacting towild animals. Functional academics and orientation and travel skills can below. However, good motivation and work behavior, positive social behavior,along with a medium degree of physical strength and agility are necessary forthis job.Main task areas Preparing the land and raising small mounds • clears the land with a cutlass removing weeds, tree stumps, sticks and stones • heaps the dried weeds and burns them • assists in ploughing the field • spreads fertilizer evenly on the ploughed soil • one week after fertilizer application raises small mounds about 15 inches in diameter and 6 inches apart on the soil using a hoe Cutting and planting stems, weeding • cuts fresh creeping stems of the potato plant with a sharp knife to about 12 inches length • digs holes about 5 inches deep into the top of the mound • places the stem into the hole and tamps the soil around it • removes all weeds around and under the plant about five weeks after planting84
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ Harvesting and marketing • clears the creeping stems from the mounds with a cutlass • digs the mature potato tubers from the mound by carefully using a hoe • collects the potatoes and carries them in a basket from the farm to the house • helps to bag the potatoes in medium sized fertilizer sacks weighing about 30 kg • stitches the sacks shut using needle and string • helps carry or transport the sacks from the house to the marketTake home shareDepending on the persons usefulness at the job the assistant can earnbetween 100 000 and 150 000 Cedis a month.Necessary equipment and investmentsBasket, hoe, Wellington boots, cutlass, needle and thread with an investmentof a little over 150 000 Cedis at present prices.Risk of injuriesAre low, except hurting oneself weeding with a hoe or cutlass, burning weedswith a fire or stepping on a scorpion or snake.Safety measuresThe assistant should wear boots and be careful with a hoe and cutlass, avoidprolonged exposure to the sun, and wash hands after coming in contact withfertilizer and the soil.Gender factorsBoth men and women can work at this job.SeasonalityPotatoes are usually planted during the rainy season. However, if there isirrigation they can also be grown during the dry season. 85
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.2.11. Shallot farming assistantHelps in weeding, raising beds, carrying farm yard manure to the site,watering and harvesting the plants.Main activities • preparing the beds and planting • watering, weeding, fertilizing and spraying • harvesting, processing and marketingPrerequisite skillsIn order to help in growing shallots communication skills (social competence)and self help skills can be quite reduced. Safety awareness can be limited todealing with fire and sharp objects such as a cutlass. Functional academicsand orientation and travel skills can be low. However, good motivation andwork behavior, positive social behavior, along with a medium degree ofphysical strength and agility are necessary for this job.Main task areas Preparing the beds and planting • clears the land with a cutlass removing weeds, tree stumps, sticks and stones • heaps the dried weeds and burns them • raises beds of a given size to a height of about 15 cm • mixes manure with the soil • soaks the soil with water Watering, weeding, fertilizing and spraying • prepares holes about 3 cm deep and 6cm apart using a measuring stick • places seed into the holes • sprinkles the bed with water twice daily during the dry season • after the bulbs have germinated after about two weeks sprinkles chemical fertilizer on the beds by hand • picks weeds by hand and loosens soil with a hand fork • helps spray the crop with an insecticide diluted with water86
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ Harvesting processing and marketing • uproots shallots by pulling the dried sprouts out of the earth • places the shallot into a basket and carries from the farm to the house • scatters the bulbs on the ground to dry • bulbs are selected and outer skin and roots removed • depending on their size ties forty or more bulbs together in a bundle • helps carry or transport the shallots from the house to the marketTake home shareDepending on the persons usefulness at the job the assistant can earnbetween 100 000 and 150 000 Cedis a month.Necessary equipment and investmentsThe assistant will need a basket, hoe, Wellington boots and a cutlass costingless than 100 000 cedis, whereas the farmer will need a garden line and pegsas well as a spraying machine in addition.Risk of injuriesAre low, except hurting oneself weeding with a hoe or cutlass, burning weedswith a fire or stepping on a scorpion or snakeSafety measuresThe assistant should wear boots and be careful with a hoe and cutlass, avoidprolonged exposure to the sun, and wash hands after coming in contact withfertilizer and the soil. As spraying insecticide is dangerous for the eyes andrespiration the assistant should not be involved.Gender factorsBoth men and women can work at this job.SeasonalityShallots are planted twice a year. The major season is between June andSeptember with less watering. During the minor season between Decembersto February the beds need constant irrigation. 87
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.2.12. Tomato farmer’s assistantHelps the farmer to grow tomatoes for the family’s consumption and forcommercial purposes.Main activities • preparing the land and raising seedlings in the nursery bed • planting, weeds, fertilizing and spraying • harvesting and marketingPrerequisite skillsThe following profile makes it likely that someone can be trained to performthe task above with little or no difficulty. In order to help in tomato growingcommunication skills (social competence) and self help skills can be quitereduced. Safety awareness can be limited to dealing with sharp objects suchas a cutlass and being able to react to wild animals. Functional academicsand orientation and travel skills can be low, but good motivation, workbehavior, positive social behavior and a medium degree of physical strengthand agility are necessary prerequisites of this job.Main task areas Preparing the land and raising seedlings in the nursery bed • clears the land for the nursery bed with a hoe removing weeds, sticks and stones • helps remove tree stumps from the land • spreads the seeds on the soil and mixes them with the topsoil • waters the bed and covers it with plantain leaves to keep it moist • for germination • after about five days, removes the plantain leaves and waters the seedlings daily Planting, weeding, fertilizing and spraying • After about five weeks, the seedlings are transplanted to the main land • digs holes in a distance of about 9 cm using a measuring stick • places the seedling in the hole and tamps the soil around it making sure not to harm the roots so the plant stands firm in the ground • ties plant to a stick if necessary88
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ • removes all weeds around and under the plant about three weeks after planting • two weeks after first weeding, scoops a handful of fertilizer from a bowl and places it about 10 cm from the plant using a measuring stick and mixes it into the soil by hand. • assists in spraying the plants every week by fetching and carrying water Harvesting and marketing • chooses the ripe tomatoes according to color • grasps ripe tomatoes firmly with one hand, plucks them and places them in a basket • carries the full basket from the farm to the house • packages ripe tomatoes into a crate • helps carry or transport the crates from the house to the marketTake home shareDepending on the persons ability, a tomato farming assistant can earn up to200 000 Cedis a month.Necessary equipment and investmentsHoe, cutlass, watering can, Wellington boots, gloves with an investment of alittle over 100 000 Cedis at present prices.Risk of injuriesAre low, except hurting oneself weeding with a hoe or cutlass or encounteringa scorpion or snake. As spraying chemicals is dangerous for eyes andrespiration, the assistant should not be involved except for fetching water formixing the chemicals.Safety measuresThe assistant should wear boots and be careful with a hoe and cutlass, avoidprolonged exposure to the sun, wash hands after coming in contact withchemicals such as fertilizer and insecticides.Gender factors 89
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________Both men and women can work at this job.SeasonalityTomatoes are planted in the rainy seasons. If there is irrigation water thentomato growing can also be done during the dry season.90
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________CRAFTSAs industrial work is still quite rare crafts are a common form of earning one’sliving in Ghana. Some crafts demand a high degree of strength and physicalfitness, whereas others are focused primarily on fine motor skills. This is whywe distinguish crafts involving heavy and light physical labor. CRAFTS, HEAVY PHSYSICAL LABOUR Charcoal burner’s assistant CRAFTS, LIGHT PHSYSICAL LABOUR Mat weaver’s helper 91
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.3. CRAFTS INVOLVING HEAVY PHYSICAL LABOUR CHARCOAL BURNER’S HELPER92
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.3.1. Blacksmith’s helperHelps carry and store materials and tools, maintains the fire, and tidies theshop and its surroundings after each days work.Main activities • loading and storing materials • setting and maintaining fire • sweeping and cleaning the workshopPrerequisite skillsSelf Care Skills can be limited as the person will not interact much with thepublic. However, a certain level of social competence in communication, aswell as tolerance of criticism is a necessity. Travel and orientation skills donot need to be much extended as the person works in one place. Functionalacademics can be minimal but the person must be able to work with fire(safety awareness). Motivation and work behavior must be developed. Theassistant must be strong to be able to carry iron and charcoal and must beagile, as he needs to stay in the same position for some time in pumping thebellows.Main task areas Loading and storing materials • carries scrap iron and charcoal from the vehicle to the shop • stacks and stores these materials in the appropriate place Setting and maintaining fire • lights a fire • adds charcoal as needed • uses the bellows to blow air so that the charcoal glows and becomes white hot Sweeping and cleaning of the workshop • sweeps and cleans the workshop after work • collects the rubbish into waste bin • brings the refuse to a dumping ground • stores the tools where they belong 93
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________Necessary tools and investmentsBellows will usually be provided by the blacksmith so no investments arenecessary.Take home shareA blacksmith’s helper will earn about 100 000 Cedis per month.Risk of injuriesThere is a risk of injury by fire and flying sparks, as well as dropping heavyiron loads on ones foot.Safety measuresThe helper must be trained to be careful with fire when pumping the bellowsand learn how to lift and carry heavy loads without straining the back. Burnointment should be available in the shop.Gender factorsThough they may posses the necessary strength, it is unusual for a woman tobe a blacksmith’s helper.SeasonalityBlacksmithing is year round work.94
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.3.2. Block maker’s assistantHelps make building blocks out of cement, sand and water for sale.Main activities • mixing cement, sand and water • filling the block moulder • drying the blocks and stacking them for sale • storing materials and tidying up the work placePrerequisite skillsA high level of communication skills is not important, but the assistant mustbe able to accept some criticism and be willing to help. Self care skills can belimited as the helper does not deal with the public. He needs to be able to usesharp objects to cut open the cement bags but needs few orientation andtravel skills as he works at the same site. Functional academics can belimited to using measuring bowls for mixing, and social behavior can be quiterudimentary. However, good motivation and work behavior, as well as acertain degree of physical strength and agility are a must.Main task areas Mixing cement, sand and water • fetches water and pours it into a large container • carries sand to the site with a head pan or in a wheelbarrow • opens cement bag with a razor blade and scoops out a quantity of cement • mixes measured quantities of sand and cement with water on a level ground surface using a shovel Filling and using the block moulder • fills the moulds with the mixture without spilling • makes sure that the mould is completely full • presses down firmly on the bar • removes the moulds and carries it to the drying area Drying the blocks and stacking them for sale • places the blocks carefully on an even surface 95
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ • sprinkles water over them from time to time • waits for several days for the blocks to dry • stacks them by the roadside for sale Storing materials and tidying up the work place • carries the opened cement bags to the work shed in the evening • cleans buckets and shovels, so that no hardened cement remains • stores wheelbarrow, head pans, shovels etc. in the shed over night • sweeps and weeds the ground when so instructedTake home shareA helper can earn about 100 000 Cedis a month.Necessary tools and investmentsShovel, head pan, boots with investments below 100 000 Cedis at presentprices.Risk of injuriesAs cement bags weigh 50 kg, the person must be strong enough to carrysuch heavy loads.Safety measuresNo specific safety measures are necessary.Gender factorsCustomarily, this is a job for men.SeasonalityBuilding blocks are made during the whole year.96
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.3.3. Chain saw operator’s assistantHelps the chain saw operator who fells trees by carrying tools and petrol,clearing the ground around the tree and stacking lumber.Main activities • carrying tools and equipment to the site and back • clearing the ground around the tree • cutting off branches and stacking lumberPrerequisite skillsMain considerations for the selection of persons that could be trained for thisjob are a high degree of physical strength and agility, good safety awarenessas well as developed orientation and travel skills as the assistant will need toroam about. Social competence and self help skills can be reduced andfunctional academics can be minimal. However, the person must be able towork in a team (social behavior) and demonstrate good motivation and workbehavior. Because of the high risk of injury, only an extremely cautiousmentally handicapped person can be selected for this job. In addition, it mustbe guaranteed that the team he is working with will take care that he will notbe endangered and involved in accidents.Main task areas Carrying tools and equipment to the site and back • carries petrol can, axe and chain saw to the forest • places the tools at a place where they can easily be found • assists in refueling the chain saw when instructed Clearing the ground around the tree • uses a cutlass to clear the ground around the base of the tree • clears in a radius of about 2 feet so that the chain saw operator can work freely • removes bushes and branches that can hinder the smooth felling of the tree 97
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ Cutting off branches and stacking lumber • removes branches of felled trees with a cutlass • stacks the pieces cut by the chain saw operator for transport according to sizeTake home shareDepending on the skill of the assistant a sum between 100 000 and 300 000Cedis monthly could be earned. The wages are paid as a daily flat rate.Necessary tools and investmentsBoots, cutlass, hard hat, overall and gloves costing around 150 000 Cedis atpresent prices.Risk of injuriesThis is a high risk job that should only be entrusted to a person who is carefuland can react swiftly. Not only can working near a chain saw cause seriousaccidents, there is also the danger of being hurt by a falling tree or of cuttingoneself while trimming branches.Safety precautionsThe person should be trained in avoiding accidents inherent to felling trees,wear boots and a helmet, as well as gloves when doing rough work with hishands. A first aid kit should be available.Gender factorsThis work is customarily done by men.SeasonalityTree cutting with chain saws is a year round occupation.98
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.3.4. Charcoal burner’s assistantHelps gather wood and burns and bags charcoal.Main activities • gathering wood for making charcoal • preparing a trench and stacking wood • setting fire and burning the charcoal • collecting and preparing the charcoal for sale in sacksPrerequisite skillsA high level of communication skills is not important, but the assistant mustbe able to accept some criticism and be willing to help. Self care skills can belimited, as the charcoal burner’s helper does not deal with the public. Heneeds to be able to use sharp objects such as a cutlass and a knife safely;and orientation and travel skills are essential in collecting wood. Functionalacademics and social behavior can be quite rudimentary, but good motivationand work behavior as well as a certain degree of physical strength and agilityare a must.Main task areas Gathering wood for making charcoal • assists in chopping down trees • cuts wood into pieces using a cutlass • carries bundled wood to the charcoal pit Preparing a trench and stacking wood • digs a shallow trench or pit using a pick axe and a shovel • heaps the soil nearby • arranges the wood so that the larger pieces are at the bottom and the smaller pieces are stacked above Setting fire and burning the charcoal • covers the stacked wood with some leaves • covers with soil leaving a small portion open • sets fire through the opening and recovers that portion with soil 99
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ • leaves it to slowly burn for at least two weeks until the wood is charred and turned into charcoal • visits the site regularly and checks for breaks in the mound that must be refilled with soil • fetches water from a nearby stream or river to put out the fire Collecting and preparing the charcoal for sale in sacks • sorts the charcoal pieces by size • puts the big charcoal pieces into jute or fertilizer bags first, followed by smaller ones • finally places big charcoal pieces on top of the small ones to fill the sack to the brimTake home shareDepend on local prices for charcoal and the amount sold, but a charcoalburner’s helper may earn up to ¢200,000 per month.Necessary tools and investmentsCutlass, shovel, axe, pick axe with investments of about 150 000 Cedis atpresent prices.Risk of injuriesThe person can be burnt and hurt himself with a cutlass when cutting wood.Safety measuresNo specific measures are necessary except training in working with fire andhandling sharp objects.Gender factorsIt is possible for both sexes to do this job.SeasonalityCharcoal is made all year round.100
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.3.5. Firewood splitter’s assistantUses an axe and a chisel to cut wood into chunks of equal size for sale or forfueling an oven for example for palm oil production.Main activities • carrying logs and tools to the workplace • splitting logs into firewood • stacking or bagging firewood for sale or usePrerequisite skillsThe main consideration for the selection of persons that could be trained forthis job is a high degree of physical strength and agility and good safetyawareness. Social competence and self help skills can be reduced andfunctional academics minimal. As the person will mostly be working on itsown, he must demonstrate good motivation and work behavior.Main task areas Carrying logs and tools to the workplace • carries logs to the workplace and stacks them • sets up a log for use as splitting block • places axe, hammer and chisel within reach Splitting logs into firewood • places the log on the splitting block • places the chisel on the top of the wood • hits the chisel firmly with a hammer so that the wood splits • pulls the wood apart with his hands if it is not completely split • continues until all the logs are split Stacking or bagging firewood for sale or use • stacks the firewood • fills bags with firewood • ties the bags shut with a piece of string 101
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________Take home shareDepend on the amount of firewood sold but the person can earn about 100000 Cedis a month.Necessary tools and investmentsAn axe, a hammer and chisel with investments slightly above 100 000 Cedisat present prices.Risk of injuriesThe person can cut himself with the axe or be hit by the hammer or chiseland hurt by flying bits of wood.Safety precautionsThis is a high risk job that should only be entrusted to a person who is carefuland can concentrate on his work.Gender factorsCustomarily and due to the need for physical strength this job is performedby men.SeasonalityThis is an all year occupation.102
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.3.6. Salt mining assistantHelps in gathering salt, loading it on vehicles, bagging it and selling thefinished product.Main activities • gathering salt and transporting it ashore • bagging the salt • loading and selling the finished productPrerequisite skillsA high level of communication skills is not important, but the assistant mustbe able to accept some criticism and be willing to help. Self care skills can belimited as the salt mining assistant does not deal with the public. He needs tobe able to use needle and thread to sew close the bags but needs feworientation and travel skills as he works at the same site. Functionalacademics can be limited except for sorting skills, and social behavior can bequite rudimentary. However, good motivation and work behavior, as well as acertain degree of physical strength and agility (bags of 25 kg must be liftedand carried) are a must.Main task areas Gathering salt and transporting it ashore • uses a hoe to dig up the salt • shovels the salt into a pan • loads a push cart with salt • pushes the cart to the shore • heaps the salt on an even space • covers it with a tarpaulin in case it rains Bagging the salt • holds the top of the bag open for filling • uses a shovel to fill the bag nearly up to the top • sews bags shut using needle and strong thread • carries the bags to a truck 103
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ Loading and selling the finished transport • loads a truck with sorted and weighed bags of coarse and fine granules • accompanies the driver to the point of sale • helps in unloading and selling the saltTake home shareA fifty kilo bag can sell up to 20 000 cedis depending on the season and thescarcity. Depending on the person’s usefulness a helper could get up to 200000 cedis a month.Necessary tools and investmentsThe helper needs a shovel, a hoe and a head pan with investments around100 000 Cedis at present prices.Risk of injuriesAs bags can weigh up to 50 kg, the person must be strong enough to carrysuch heavy loads.Safety measuresNo specific safety measures are necessary.Gender factorsCustomarily, this is a job for men but there is no reason why a woman couldnot do this.SeasonalitySalt is mainly mined in the dry season.104
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.3.7. Vulcanizer’s assistantServices car tires of all sizes, types and makes.Main activities • loosening tires • mending the inner tube • remounting the tiresPrerequisite skillsClients do not expect much cleanliness (self help skills) from the helper.However, he must be able to communicate and be able to function in a group(social competence, social behavior). Functional academics can be minimaland the person needs almost no orientation or travel skills as he alwaysworks at the same place. He does, however, need some safety awarenessregarding traffic hazards. A high degree of physical strength and agility isnecessary, as well as well as good motivation and work behavior.Main task areas Loosening tires • removes the wheel cap • loosens the nuts on the tire bolts • jacks the car to raise the tire • removes the tire from the vehicle Mending the inner tube • removes the tire from the rim • removes the inner tube if there is any • inflates the inner tube with a hand pump • immerses the inner tube into water to recognize the puncture by air bubbles • marks the puncture • scrapes the damaged part with sandpaper • applies glue and allows to dry • peels off cold patch and fixes it to the damaged part • tests the inner tube by inflating it and dipping it in water again 105
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ Remounting the tires • replaces the inner tube into the tire • fixes the tire around the rim • inflates the tire • remounts the tire and screws the bolts tightly on the nut • lowers the car by cranking the jack handle • removes the jack and the wedges or stones used to prevent the car from rollingTake home shareAn assistant can earn up to ¢200,000 a month.Necessary tools and investmentsSpanners, screw-drivers, tire iron, foot pump and jack with an investment ofabout 400 000 Cedis at present pricesRisk of injuriesAre relatively high, as the jack can slip, and removing the tire from the rimalso can be dangerous.Safety measuresThe person must learn to be cautious when jacking up a car by placing itcarefully and to use a tire iron safely when removing the tire from the rim.Gender factorsVulcanizing is a male dominated activity.SeasonalityThis job can be practiced all year round.106
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.4. CRAFTS INVOLVING LIGHT PHYSICAL LABOUR MAT WEAVRER’S HELPER 107
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.4.1. Batik maker’s assistantHelps in coloring local fabrics using wax and dye according to the master’sdesign.Main activities • helping to buy and prepare materials • assisting in applying wax according to the design • dyeing and drying fabric according to instructions • folding, ironing and storing the fabric for sale • keeping the workshop cleanPrerequisite skillsA batik maker’s assistant needs to be relatively clean (self care skills) andhave a neat appearance. If she has dealings with customers, she must showsome social competence such as in communicating and greeting and goodsocial behavior. She needs to be able to handle fire for boiling the wax(safety awareness) and to find and walk to familiar places such as the pointof sale and the market. Functional academics, except for the use of ameasuring bowl, or if dealing with customers, making change, is of slightimportance. A medium degree of physical strength and agility and goodmotivation and work behavior are essential.Main task areas Helping to buy and prepare materials • accompanies the Madam to buy the needed materials • carries the fabric and dye to the workplace • spreads the fabric on the surface of a table and uses pins to fasten it to the table Assisting in applying wax according to the design • lights a kerosene stove or a small fire • melts wax in a container • uses a stick or a brush to spread the hot wax on the fabric following instructions • spreads or hangs up the fabric to dry in the shade108
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ Dyeing and drying fabric according to instructions • helps in mixing color in a can • folds fabric following instructions and design and dips it into the mixture for a few minutes • wearing a glove removes the fabric from the mixture to dry in the shade • dewaxes when fabric is dried by boiling in a container • applies the same procedure for additional colors following instructions Folding, ironing and storing the fabric for sale • irons and folds the fabric when dyeing is completed • helps store the fabric for sale Keeping the workshop clean • arranges after work all tools and materials in their proper places • sweeps the workplace • removes spilled wax and dye • collects pins • gathers rubbish and brings it to the dumpTake home shareThe assistant earns about 5 000 Cedis a day or 150 000 Cedis a monthdepending on the amount of fabric sold.Necessary tools and investmentsA table, some containers, design tampons. The assisstant is not expected tobuy these objects but only needs a pair of rubber gloves and an apron withinvestments at less than 70 000 Cedis.Risk of injuriesConsists of being burnt by fire or pouring hot wax on oneself.Safety measuresNo specific safety measures are needed except training to deal carefully withfire and in pouring the hot mixture and wearing rubber gloves working withdye. 109
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________Gender factorsBoth sexes can be trained to do this job.SeasonalityBatik cloth can be dyed all year.110
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.4.2. Bead maker’s helperAssists in making beads out of clay and broken bottles and moulding them indifferent sizes, colours and shapes.Main activities • fetching and preparing clay • fetching and pounding of bottles • colouring and baking the beads • stringing and preparing the beads for salePrerequisite skillsAs the helper will not be in contact with the public, only a limited amount ofcleanliness as well as communication skills are necessary (social competence,self help skills). Functional academics can be minimal, but orientation andtravel skills must be so developed that the person can find his way fromdigging clay or fetching bottles. Since the person works near an oven, hemust be aware of fire hazards. A certain degree of physical strength andagility is necessary, as well as well as good motivation and work behaviour.Main task areas Fetching and preparing clay • goes to the site where clay is found • uses spade, pick axe or Indian hoe to dig the clay • places the clay with a shovel into a container and carries it to the work place • pounds the clay in a mortar until it becomes very fine and sticky • mixes the clay with water into a paste • cleans working implements after use Fetching and pounding of bottles • collects or buys empty bottles of different colors • pounds the bottles with a stone mortar and pestle and grinds them with a grinding stone until they become a smooth powder • sieves the glass shards from the powder Colouring and baking the beads 111
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ • takes some of the clay mix with the ground bottle powder and forms them into the desired shape of the beads • creates a hole in the middle of each lump by inserting a straw • lets the beads dry for a while • sets fire in an oven at a temperature of 850 Celsius • bakes the beads until they are hardened and removes them from the oven to cool Stringing and preparing the beads for sale • strings the beads following a desired pattern • uses different lengths of string for a necklace, anklets and bracelets • packs the beads into boxes according to weight and size and arranges them ready for saleTake home shareA helper in this vocation earns ¢100,000 to ¢ 200,000 a month.Necessary tools and investmentsPick axe, hoe, spade/shovel, mortar and pestle costing about 200 000 Cedisat present prices.Risk of injuriesThe bead maker’s helper can be hurt by glass splinters while pounding bottlesand burnt when removing beads from the oven.Safety measuresThe helper needs to be trained to deal with fire safely and to be careful whenpounding bottles. Gloves should be worn when removing the beads from theoven. Burn ointment as well a first aid kit should be available.Gender factorsBead making is suitable for both men and women.SeasonalityBead making is an all year round work.112
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.4.3. Body pomade maker’s helperAssists in preparing local body cream using a raw jelly, colorant and oil.Main activities • buying ingredients • preparation of the pomade • filling of pomade into small containersPrerequisite skillsA body pomade maker’s helper needs to be clean (self care skills) and have aneat appearance. If she has dealings with customers, she needs some socialcompetence such as in communicating and greeting and good social behavior.She needs to be able to handle fire (safety awareness) and to find and walkto familiar places such as the point of sale and the market. Functionalacademics are not necessary, except for the use of a measuring bowl. Ifdealing with customers, making change is of importance. A medium degree ofphysical strength and agility and good motivation and work behavior areessential.Main task areas Buying ingredients • follows instructions to go to the market with a list • buys the necessary materials for the preparation of the pomade (jelly, oil, scent, colors, containers, rubber bags) Preparation of the pomade • divides the jelly into different jars according to the number of colors to be used. • sets a fire and puts oil on the fire in a pan • adds the jelly in the required quantity (more oil leads to softer pomade) • lets the jelly melt in the oil • adds the color and stirs to get the desired thickness (for white pomade, there is no need to add any color) • removes the pan from the fire • adds drops of scent to give the pomade a good smell 113
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ Filling of pomade into small containers • While the mixture is still liquid pours it into small pomade containers • cuts small triangles of plastic to sell the rest in small quantities • pours what remains over from filling the pomade containers into plastic triangles for sale • carries pomade containers to the market for saleNecessary tools and investmentsSpoon, ladle, saucepans, coal pot with necessary investments around 100000 Cedis at present prices without the cost of raw materials.Take home shareDepend on the amount of pomade sold but can be 200 000 Cedis a month.Risk of injuriesConsists of being burnt by fire or pouring hot oil on oneself.Safety measuresNo specific safety measures are needed except training to deal carefully withfire and in pouring the hot mixture.Gender factorsBoth sexes can be trained to do this job.SeasonalityBody pomade can be manufactured all year.114
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.4.4. Book binding assistantHelps to bind books and bundle them at a printing press.Main activities • sorting and arranging materials • cutting book covers and binding or stapling papers • packing and storing books in cartons and shelves and keeping the workshop clean.Prerequisite skillsA medium level of social competence and self help skills is desirable, as theperson will need to deal with the public. As he will be working with others, heneeds to be able to function in a group (social behavior) and needs goodmotivation and work behavior. As for safety awareness dealing with sharpobjects is essential and he needs to be able to find familiar environments(orientation and travel skills). The helper should be able to count up to 20and sort objects according to size (functional academics). Not a great amountof physical strength and agility is needed; however, fine motor skills must bedeveloped.Main task areas Sorting and arranging materials • receives and sorts unbound materials • opens cartons • uses knife, scissors and blade to take off wrappers and cut cello tape • stacks paper in bundles for the bookbinder to use Cutting book covers and binding or stapling papers • cuts cardboard to make book covers with a knife along a ruler or a guillotine • glues or staples paper that has been sorted and arranged by the bookbinder • glues paper on covers for decoration 115
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ Packing and storing books in cartons and shelves • packages books into cartons • orders them into shelves • fetches them and brings them to the owners when neededTake home shareDepend on the amount binding done but can go up to 200 000 Cedis amonth.Necessary tools and equipmentPaper cutter, scissors, knife, guillotine, a ruler, pen and pencil, pliers withinvestments up to 400 000 Cedis.Risk of injuriesConsist of being cut by a knife or scissors but are quite low.Safety measuresNo specific safety measures are needed except training to deal carefully withsharp tools.Gender factorsBoth sexes can be trained to do this job.SeasonalityBook binding is an all year occupation.116
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.4.5. Broom maker’s helperThe broom makers’ assistant helps to produce brooms for sale.Main activities • collecting palm fronds • preparing the material for binding • shaping and tying the brooms and transporting them to the point of salePrerequisite skillsAs the helper will not be in contact with the public, only a limited amount ofcleanliness as well as communication skills are necessary (social competence,self help skills). Functional academics can be minimal but orientation andtravel skills must so developed that the person can find his way to look forpalm trees from which to cut branches as well as finding his way home. as toawareness of safety hazards, the person must be able to work with sharptools; and since he will fetch palm fronds from the bush, he must be mindfulof snakes and other harmful animals. A certain degree of physical strengthand agility is necessary, as well as well as good motivation and workbehaviour.Main task areas Collecting palm fronds • goes to the bush to look for mature palm trees • uses a cutlass to cut off some (but not all) of the branches • bundles the branches and carries them to the workplace Preparing the material for binding • removes the leaves from the main stem • scrapes off the leaves with a razor blade or a knife to get the thin risps (broom sticks) • cuts the brooms sticks to equal size 117
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ Shaping and tying the brooms and transporting them to the point of sale • selects a quantity of brooms sticks sufficient to make a sweeping broom • cuts a length of string or rag sufficiently long to wrap around the base of the broom • ties the broom sticks together and makes a knot to fasten • bundles the finished brooms so that they can be carried • brings them to the point of saleTake home shareA broom maker’s helper could earn 50 000 to 80 000 Cedis monthlydepending on the sales.Risk of injuriesThe only risk in this activity is working with sharp objects and possibly beingbitten by snakes while searching for palm trees in the bush.Safety measuresThe helper must be trained to handle a knife or razor blade carefully and tobe careful of wild animals.Gender factorsBrooms can be manufactured by male or female helpers.SeasonalityBrooms are made and sold throughout the year.118
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.4.6. Calabash maker’s helperHelps make calabashes out of gourds and prepare them for sale.Main activities • collecting gourds • cutting and scooping out the flesh • cleaning and polishing the calabash • keeping the work area cleanPrerequisite skillsSelf Care Skills can be limited as the person will not interact much with thepublic. However, a certain level of social competence in communication aswell as tolerance of criticism is necessary. Functional academics can beminimal; however, the person needs a level of travel and orientation skills tofind the way home from collecting calabashes. Motivation and work behaviormust be developed and the person must be able to work with sharp objects(safety awareness).No great amount of physical strength and agility isneeded, but the person needs the fine motor skills in order to paint anddecorate the calabashes.Main task areas Collecting gourds • looks for gourd trees in the neighborhood • plucks the mature gourds • brings them home Cutting and scooping out the flesh • cuts the gourd into two using a knife or a saw • scoops out the flesh and seeds from the calabashes with a spoon • scrapes the inside neatly with a knife so no flesh or seeds remain Cleaning and polishing the calabash • fetches lemons from the market or from a tree • washes the calabashes with water and clean sand • rinses the calabashes 119
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ • squeezes the lemon into them and distributes the juice evenly on the surface • dries the calabashes Keeping the work area clean • collects broken and unwanted calabash pieces • sweeps the ground around the work area • collects the rubbish in a bin and brings it to the refuse dumpTake home shareThe helper can earn up to 8000 Cedis a day and about ¢200,000 a month.Necessary tools and investmentsA hack saw, a knife, a cutlass, a spoon for scooping with investments notover 120 000 Cedis at present prices.Job risksThe helper can hurt himself with the saw or knife, so he must be trained touse them safely.Safety measuresSupervision is necessary in the beginning to make sure that the helper learnsto cut the calabash in half properly.Gender factorsThis job can be performed by both sexes.SeasonalityCalabash making is only possible when the gourds are available.120
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.4.7. Carver’s helperAssists the master carver in making wood sculptures by taking simple tasksoff his hands.Main activities • stacking wood and preparing the work site • sandpapering and polishing of carved sculptures • arranging and shelving finished products • sweeping and cleaning the workshopPrerequisite skillsSelf Care Skills can be limited, as the person will not interact much with thepublic. However, a certain level of social competence in communication aswell as tolerance of criticism is a necessity. Functional academics can beminimal, but the person needs to be able to sort objects as to size, weightand color. Motivation and work behavior must be developed, and the personmust be able to work with sharp objects (Safety awareness). Some physicalstrength and agility are necessary, as the person has to carry heavy woodand needs to stay in the same position for some time while sanding andpolishing.Main task areas Stacking wood and preparing the work site • carries the raw wood from a lorry to the shop • arranges the wood on instruction as to size and quality • brings out and arranges tools and stools for carving Sandpapering and polishing of carved sculptures • sandpapers the finished sculpture until the surface is smooth • wipes off the surface until no wood dust remains • spreads lacquer on the surface evenly with a brush • dries polished wood in the sun for about 20 minutes and takes it back upon instruction Arrangement and shelving of finished products • sorts the finished products from the unfinished ones 121
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ • arranges the finished wood objects on shelves • displays some of the sculptures in front of the shop and brings them into the shop at night Sweeping and cleaning of the workshop • sweeps and cleans the workshop after work • collects the rubbish into waste bin • brings the refuse to a dumping ground • dusts the finished products and the furniture in the shopNecessary tools and investmentsChisel, hammer, axe, knife, hatchet, scissors, and a gouge which wouldnecessitate investments up to 400 000 Cedis at present prices if the helper isengaged in the sculpting itself.Take home shareThe helper can earn between 200 000 and 300 000 Cedis per month. Thisdepends on the market demand for the products and how well they are sold.Risk of injuriesDepend on the type of work done. Sanding and polishing are not risky but, ifthe helper also shapes the wood, he can cut himself with an axe or an chisel.Safety measuresThe helper must be trained to deal with sharp objects. A first aid box shouldbe available.Gender factorsThis job is customarily performed by men, but there is no reason why awoman could not also help in a carver’s workshop.SeasonalityWood carving is an all year round activity, although sales are more frequentin the tourist season.122
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.4.8. Chew stick maker’s assistantHelps make chew sticks for cleaning teeth out of the wood of the charpia treeMain activities • gathering and carrying wood from the forest to the house • cutting and splitting the wood into short pieces • bundling the sticks for sale • tidying the workplacePrerequisite skillsAs the helper will not be in contact with the public, only a limited amount ofcleanliness as well as communication skills are necessary (social competence,self help skills). Functional academics can be minimal, but orientation andtravel skills must be developed in order to gather and transport the woodfrom the forest. As the person will go out in the bush, he must be aware ofthe dangers of wild animals and also be able to use sharp object safely. Acertain degree of physical strength and agility is necessary, as well as well asgood motivation and work behaviour.Main task areas Gathering and carrying wood from the forest to the house • bundles the pieces of wood that has been cut • ties them together for transporting • carries the pieces home Cutting and splitting the wood into short pieces • cuts or saws the wood into pieces of about 4 inches length • places a knife or short cutlass on the length of this piece • hits the back of the knife with a piece of strong wood so that the charpia wood splits • continues to split lengthwise until he has small pieces about one half inch in diameter Bundling the sticks for sale • groups the chewing sticks in bundles of ten • ties a string around each bundle 123
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ • places them in a basket or container for sale Tidying the workplace • brings the wood back to the storage place • stores the cutlass or knife in its proper place • sweeps the floor and burns the rubbishTake home shareThe assistant is paid for the number of chew sticks he has manufactured andcan earn up to 100 000 Cedis a month.Necessary tools and investmentsCutlass, knife and scissors with investments below 50 000 Cedis at presentprices.Risk of injuriesAre low, but the person can hurt himself with a cutlass or a knife.Safety measuresThe person must be trained to handle a knife and cutlass safely.Gender factorsMaking chew sticks is suitable for both men and women.SeasonalityChew sticks can be made during the whole year.124
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.4.9. Door mat weaver’s helperAssists in making doormats for sale using corn husks.Main activities • gathering and sorting corn husks • preparing and dying the husks for weaving • cleaning the shop and its surroundingsPrerequisite skillsAs the helper will not be in contact with the public, only a limited amount ofcleanliness as well as communication skills are necessary (social competence,self help skills). Functional academics can be minimal, except for being ableto distinguish equal length. Orientation and travel skills must be developed sothat the person can go out to gather the husks. The person must be able towork with hot water and to use sharp object safely (safety awareness). Acertain degree of physical strength and agility is necessary, as well as goodmotivation and work behaviour.Main task areas Gathering and sorting corn husks • goes from house to house to collect the corn husks from neighbors • carries the husks home and sorts out the straight and unblemished ones • separates the husks into individual leaves • places the leaves into a large bowl Preparing and dyeing the husks for weaving • pours water on the leaves in the bowl to soften them • after some time removes and dries them on a clean surface • boils some water for mixing the color • adds salt and starch to the mixture for dyeing • soaks the leaves in the color mixture until they are completely dyed • removes leaves and dries them on a clean surface 125
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ Cleaning the shop and its surroundings • sweeps the waste husks from the shop and its surroundings • stacks the woven mats in bundles • helps carry them to the market for saleTake home shareThe helper can earn around ¢100,000 each month, depending on the numberof mats sold.Necessary tools and investmentsIf the helper is directly involved in weaving he needs scissors, pins, awl,(bent needle) needles, thread, nails, board, knife with investments not over50 000 Cedis at present prices.Risk of injuriesAre low, but the person can hurt himself while placing or removing leaves inthe boiling coloring solution.Safety measuresThe person must be trained to handle knife, scissors and needles safely aswell as to deal with fire and boiling water.Gender factorsBoth sexes can weave doormats.SeasonalityDoor mats of varied materials are manufactured all year round.126
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.4.10. Dressmaker’s helperHems, helps with alterations and irons both new and old dresses as well ashelps maintain the shop.Main activities • undoing stitches and hemming and sewing precut clothing • ironing dresses • cleaning and oiling sewing machines • keeping the shop clean and going on errandsPrerequisite skillsA dressmaker’s assistant needs to be relatively clean (self care skills) andhave a neat appearance. If she has dealings with customers, she must showsome social competence such as in communicating and greeting and goodsocial behavior. She needs to be able to handle an electric or box iron and arazor blade (safety awareness). She also needs to be able to find and walk tofamiliar places, such as the market, when sent on errands (orientation andtravel). Functional academics except for the use of a measuring tape are ofslight importance as is physical strength and agility. On the other hand, goodmotivation and work behavior are essential.Main task areas Undoing stitches and hemming and sewing precut clothing • undoes the stitches on old dresses which need to be altered with a razor blade • treads needles for the mistress and for herself • hems finished dresses for the mistress • stitches materials cut by the mistress by hand Ironing dresses • plugs in the electric iron or puts and lights charcoal in box iron • regulates the heat according to the type of fabric • first irons the collar, then other parts, making sure to avoid wrinkles • puts dresses on hangers to avoid crumpling • makes sure the iron is switched off or box iron set on a safe surface 127
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ Cleaning and oiling sewing machines • uses a dry duster to clean the machines each evening • picks up and removes pieces and threads of material • adds a small drop of machine oil on the screw areas as instructed Keeping the shop clean and going on errands • sweeps the shop every morning and evening • removes cobwebs from the ceiling and walls • dusts the chairs and tables in the shop • weeds and sweeps around the shop when instructed • goes on errands to buy thread, needles and buttonsTake home shareA dressmaker’s helper could be paid about ¢5,000 per day so at the end ofthe month, the assistant will receive about ¢150,000.Necessary tools and investmentsScissors, thimble, needles, a razor blade with investments of less than 50000 Cedis at present prices. If the assistant needs and uses a sewingmachine, investments of up to 500 000 Cedis will be necessary.Risk of injuriesConsist of being burnt while ironing or pricking or cutting oneself while usinga needle or a razor blade.Safety measuresNo specific safety measures are needed except training to be careful with aniron and while sewing and undoing stitches.Gender factorsBoth sexes can be trained to do this job.SeasonalityDresses are sewn all year round.128
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.4.11. Envelope maker’s helperAssists in making pharmaceutical and postal envelopes.Main activities • assisting in buying and preparing materials • cutting, folding and gluing paper • sorting and storing envelopes for sale and keeping the workshop cleanPrerequisite skillsA medium level of social competence and self help skills is desirable as theperson will need to deal with the public. As he will be working with others heneeds to be able to function in a group (social behavior) and needs goodmotivation and work behavior. As for safety awareness, dealing with sharpobjects is essential and he needs to be able to find familiar environments(orientation and travel skills). The helper should be able to count up to 20and sort objects according to size (functional academics). Not a great amountof physical strength agility is needed; however, fine motor skills must bedeveloped.Main task areas Assisting in buying and preparing materials • goes to the market with the master to buy the necessary materials for the envelopes • carries the materials to the workshop • gets the workshop ready for the day by arranging tools and material Cutting, folding and gluing paper • uses a cardboard form to cut the papers to the correct size for an envelope • folds the paper as directed by the master along lines to arrive at the right shape • applies glue at the edges to stick the flaps together Sorting and storing envelopes for sale and keeping the workshop clean • sorts envelopes according to size and color • bundles them in groups of 10 or 20 and puts bands around them 129
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ • stacks the envelopes into boxes • picks up the litter, sweeps the floor • washes the glue brushes with water • brings the rubbish to the refuse binTake home shareDepend on the amount of envelopes sold but can go up to 200 000 Cedis amonth.Necessary tools and investmentsPaper cutter, scissors, knife, guillotine, a ruler, pen and pencil, and a gluebrush with investments up to 400 000 Cedis.Risk of injuriesConsist of being cut by a knife or scissors but are quite low.Safety measuresNo specific safety measures are needed except training to deal carefully withsharp tools.Gender factorsBoth sexes can be trained to do this job.SeasonalityEnvelope making is an all year occupation.130
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.4.12. Leather bag maker’s helperAssists in curing hides and in cutting, sewing and gluing of leather bagsMain activities • fetching necessary materials for fabrication • curing hides and dyeing leather • cutting leather by using a cardboard pattern • gluing and sewing leather into bagsPrerequisite skillsAs the helper will not be in contact with the public, only a limited amount ofcleanliness as well as communication skills are necessary (social competence,self help skills). Functional academics can be minimal but orientation andtravel skills must be so developed that the person can go on errands. Theperson must be able to deal with chemicals (saltpetre) and to use sharpobject safely (safety awareness). A certain degree of physical strength andagility is necessary, as well as well as good motivation and work behaviour.Main task areas Fetching necessary materials for fabrication • goes to the market to purchase animal hides • carries or transports them to the shop • goes on errands to buy needles, thread, glue etc. Curing hides and dyeing leather • fetches water in a basin • soaks skin for three days in water and saltpeter solution • removes skin and scrapes hairs off with a blunt knife or a sharp stone • dyes leather by soaking it into a dye mixture • dries leather and kneads it so it remains smooth Cutting leather using a cardboard pattern • helps the master in the cutting of the hide into the desired shape by holding it in place for cutting • cuts along the outline of the cardboard shape provided using a pair of scissors 131
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ • cuts leather in fine strips for sewing Gluing and sewing leather into bags • scrapes the portion that will be glued and applies glue • glues parts together as directed by the master • punches holes into the leather with an awl or pins for sewing • sews pieces of leather togetherTake home shareThe helper can earn between ¢100,000 to ¢200,000 each month.Necessary tools and investmentsA pair of scissors, a knife, needles and a flat hard board with investmentsaround 20 000 Cedis at present prices.Risk of injuriesAre low, but the person can hurt himself while cutting or stitching. Inaddition, saltpeter and super glue need to be handled with care.Safety measuresThe person must be trained to handle knife, scissors and needles safely.Gender factorsBag making is customary for men, but there is no reason why women couldnot work in this trade.SeasonalityLeather bags can be manufactured all year round.132
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.4.13. Mat weaver’s helperAssists in weaving mats made of raffia (keti).Main activities • cutting and gathering of raffia • preparing and dyeing the raffia for weaving • preparing the frame and weavingPrerequisite skillsAs the helper will not be in contact with the public, only a limited amount ofcleanliness as well as communication skills are necessary (social competence,self help skills). Functional academics can be minimal, except for being ableto distinguish equal length. Orientation and travel skills must be developed sothat the person can go out to gather the raffia. The person must be able towork with hot water and to use sharp object safely (safety awareness). Acertain degree of physical strength and agility is necessary, as well as goodmotivation and work behaviour.Main task areas Cutting and gathering of raffia • distinguishes between raffia and other grasses • wades into the water and uses a sharp knife to cut the raffia at a low point • bundles the cut raffia and brings it to the shore • ties the raffia with a string and carries it home Preparing and dyeing the raffia for weaving • sets a fire and fetches water • boils water and adds color solution using a measuring cup • adds salt and starch to the mixture for dyeing • soaks the raffia in the color mixture for about 15 minutes • removes raffia and dries it on a clean surface Preparing the frame and weaving • sets up the rectangular frame (6 by 4 feet) with 16 equidistant nails at the top and bottom crossbar 133
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ • ties string between the bottom and top frame nails • pass three or four lengths of raffia through the strings so that they will appear on the front and back • passes colored raffia through the mat at given distances to make a pattern • after weaving half way turns the frame upside down and continues • joins the strands of raffia together by pressing and trims the edges with a sharp knife • ties the bottom and top strands tightlyTake home shareThe helper can earn up to ¢200,000 each month, depending on the numberof mats sold.Necessary tools and investmentsKnife, frame, stool, colors with expenses not exceeding 100 000 cedis.Risk of injuriesAre low, but the person can hurt himself while placing or removing raffia inthe boiling coloring solution and wading in the water can lead to disease if itis contaminated.Safety measuresThe person must be trained to handle knife, scissors safely as well as to dealwith fire and boiling water. Use Wellington boots to wade in the water.Gender factorsBoth sexes can weave mats.SeasonalityMats are mostly woven in the dry season.134
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.4.14. Paper flower maker’s helperAssists in making flowers out of paper for decoration.Main activities • helping buy the required types of paper and coloring it • cutting, papers into the required shapes and sizes, binding and gluing them into a flowerPrerequisite skillsA medium level of social competence and self help skills is desirable, as theperson will need to deal with the public. As he will be working with others, heneeds to be able to function in a group (social behavior) and needs goodmotivation and work behavior. As for safety awareness, dealing with sharpobjects is essential, and he needs to be able to find familiar environments(orientation and travel skills). Not a great amount of physical strength agilityis needed; however, fine motor skills must be developed.Main task areas Helping buy the required types of paper and coloring it • goes on instruction to the nearest stationery shop or store to buy the required papers and colors • brings the papers and colors home • colors them as instructed • allows the colored paper to dry in the shade Cutting papers into the required shapes and sizes, binding and gluing them into a flower • cuts the papers into the desired shapes • glues paper shapes together to form flowers • binds them together with string or wireNecessary tools and investmentsA pair of scissors, a knife, paintbrush, needle, paper cutter. Some of thesewill be furnished by the master so personal investments will not be above 50000 Cedis at present prices. 135
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________Take home shareDepend on the amount of flowers sold but can go up to 200 000 Cedis amonth.Risk of injuriesConsist of being cut by scissors or stuck with a needle but are quite low.Safety measuresNo specific safety measures are needed except training to deal carefully withscissors.Gender factorsBoth sexes can be trained to do this job.SeasonalityPaper flowers can be manufactured all year.136
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.4.15. Polythene bag maker’s helperAssists in sorting and distributing bags as well as keeping the shop clean.Main activities • sorting and packaging the bags • keeping the shop clean and going on errandsPrerequisite skillsIf the person is in contact with customers, he must be to be relatively clean(self care skills) and have a neat appearance as well as show some socialcompetence in communicating and greeting. The person needs to be able towork around machines (safety awareness) and to find and walk to familiarplaces such as the market when sent on errands (orientation and travel).Functional academics in counting up to 10 and distinguishing colors arenecessary. No particular physical strength and agility are needed, but goodmotivation and work behavior are essential.Main task areas Sorting and packaging the bags • sorts the polythene bags into different groups according to size and color • counts 10 bags for packaging • binds them in bundles with a string • packs them into cartons • distributes the cartons and bags to clients as instructed Keeping the shop clean and going on errands • sweeps the shop every morning and evening • removes cobwebs from the ceiling and walls • dusts the chairs and tables in the shop • removes spoilt polythene bags • carries the refuse to the rubbish dump • weeds and sweeps around the shop when instructed • goes on errands when asked 137
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________Take home shareA polythene bag maker’s helper could be paid about ¢5,000 per day so at theend of the month, the assistant will receive about ¢150,000.Necessary tools and investmentsScissors or a razor blade for cutting the string which cost between 1 000 and15 000 Cedis at present prices.Risk of injuriesAre low, if the person is careful working around the machines (cuttingmachine).Safety measuresNo specific safety measures are needed except training to be careful aroundthe machines.Gender factorsBoth sexes can be trained to do this job.SeasonalityPolythene bags are produced all year round.138
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.4.16. Pure water bag packerAssists in opening the plastic sacks in which pure water bags are packed wellas keeping the shop cleanMain activities • opening the big plastic sack in which the pure water bags are packed • stacking the sacks of pure water on the ground and lifting them into a truck • keeping the shop clean and going on errandsPrerequisite skillsIf the person is in contact with customers he must be relatively clean (selfcare skills) and have a neat appearance, as well as show some socialcompetence in communicating and greeting. The person needs to be able towork around machines (safety awareness). In addition he must be able tofind and walk to familiar places such as the market when sent on errands(orientation and travel). Functional academics in counting up to 25 isnecessary. As pure water bags weigh around 25 kg, some physical strengthand agility are needed. The person needs to be able to work in a group andgood motivation and work behavior is essential.Main task areas Opening the big plastic sack in which the pure water bags are packed • holds the open end of the plastic sack between the thumb and forefinger of each hand • shakes the bag and blows air into it until it unfolds • brings the opened bags into the pure water production room for filling Stacking the sacks of pure water on the ground or lifting them into a truck • carries the sacks to the storage area and stacks them carefully • lays each bag on the side and stacks only about 5 bags on each other so they cannot burst • carries the bags from the storage area and lifts them on the back of the truck 139
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ Keeping the shop clean and going on errands • sweeps the shop every morning and evening • removes cobwebs from the ceiling and walls • removes spoilt bags • carries the refuse to the rubbish dump • weeds and sweeps around the shop when instructed • goes on errands when askedTake home shareA pure water bag packer could be paid about ¢5,000 per day so at the end ofthe month, the assistant will receive about ¢150,000.Necessary tools and investmentsNo equipment or investments are necessary.Risk of injuriesAre low if the person is careful in lifting and carrying so he does not strain hisback.Safety measuresNo specific safety measures are needed except training to in how to liftwithout back strain.Gender factorsBoth sexes can be trained to do this job.SeasonalityPure water is produced and bagged all year round.140
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.4.17. Rope maker’s assistantHelps make ropes out of the fibre of jute and raffia plants.Main activities • gathering and preparing fibre • twisting ropes • dyeing ropes and preparing them for salePrerequisite skillsAs the helper will not be in contact with the public, only a limited amount ofcleanliness as well as communication skills are necessary (social competence,self help skills). Functional academics can be minimal but orientation andtravel skills must be so developed that he can gather fibre plants. As theperson will go out in the bush, he must be aware of the dangers of wildanimals. He also must be able to use sharp object safely. A certain degree ofphysical strength and agility is necessary as well as good motivation andwork behaviour.Main task areas Gathering and preparing fibre • goes to the bush or farm • cuts down mature fibre plants and branches or stalks with cutlass • gathers the cut fibre stalks and branches to tie them together for transporting • carries them to a water source • soaks them in the water for about five days to make them soft • cleans jute or kanaf fibre by rubbing the fibre and removes the hard and rough parts of the fibre • rinses the clean jute or kanaf fibre in water • splits raffia to the desired thickness for twisting into ropes • dries cleaned fibre and bundles it for storage and use Twisting ropes • sprinkles a little water on the fibre to prevent it from breaking • grasps a small quantity of fibre depending on the thickness of the rope to be made 141
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ • twists the fibre between fingers and thumb • winds the twisted fibre around a firmly fixed strong stick to prevent it from unwinding • joins fibres bit by bit so that the joint area will be of the same thickness as the rest of the twisted fibre • fixes two poles firmly in the ground at a distance of his choice • ties one end of the twisted fibre to one of the poles and connects it with the other pole • twists additional fibre firmly along the first fibre • adds fibre until he obtains the desired thickness of the rope • ties knots in the rope end and cuts them with a knife Dyeing ropes and preparing them for sale • measures a given quantity of water and dye in a deep container and mixes it thoroughly • dips the ropes in the dye until they have taken the colour completely • removes the ropes from dye and dries them • sorts ropes according to colour, thickness and lengthTake home shareOne locally made rope costs from 1 000 Cedis to about 2 000 Cedisdepending on the length and thickness as well as the colour and durability ofthe rope.Necessary tools and investmentsCutlass, knife and scissors with investments below 50 000 Cedis at presentprices.Risk of injuriesAre low, but the person can hurt himself with a cutlass or a knife.Safety measuresThe person must be trained to handle a knife and cutlass safely.Gender factorsRope making is suitable for both men and women.142
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________SeasonalityRope making is an all year round work. 143
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.4.18. Shea butter extractor’s helperThe shea-butter extractor’s helper assists in preparing shea-butter out ofshea-nuts.Main activities • collecting shea nuts • pounding and roasting the nuts • carrying the nuts to the mill • mixing and whipping the paste • removing the butter and preparing it for salePrerequisite skillsEven though the job has to do with cosmetics preparation, only limitedcleanliness is needed (self help skills). Social competence as well asfunctional academics can be minimal, as the assistant will as a rule not dealwith the public. However, she needs a level of travel and orientation skills tofind the way home from the mill or collecting shea nuts. Motivation and workbehavior must be developed, and she must be able to work with fire and hotwater (safety awareness). No great amount of physical strength and agility isneeded.Main task areas Collecting shea nuts • goes round to the shea-trees in the vicinity • collects the shea-nuts from under the tress • carries them home in a basket Pounding and roasting the nuts • uses a mortar and pestle or a stone to pound the nuts into a paste • sets a fire and roasts the pounded nuts in a pot Carrying the nuts to the mill • waits for the roasted nuts to cool • puts them in a basin • carries the roasted nuts to the mill • grinds it into flour144
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ • brings the flour home Mixing and whipping the paste • adds water in a bucket • mixes the flour into a paste • whips and kneads the paste until it foams • adds more water • collects the foam from the paste into a bowl or pot Removing the shea butter and preparing it for sale • starts fire under the pot • boils the collected foam • scoops the oil waste water away • stores in a cool wet place to harden or coagulate • stores the shea butter in a calabash • takes it to the market for saleTake home shareMay earn about ¢200,000 a month.Necessary tools and investmentsMortar, pestle, whisk, basket/colander, basin, ladle and iron pot withinvestments of about 500 000 Cedis at present prices.Risk of injuriesThe helper can be burnt by hot water or oil and can hurt himself whilecracking the nuts.Safety measuresThe helper needs to be trained to deal with fire safely and to be careful whencracking the nuts. Gloves should be worn when removing the pot from thefire. Burn ointment and a first aid kit should be available.Gender factorsThis job is customary for women but can also be performed by men. 145
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________SeasonalityPreparing shea butter is a seasonal occupation.146
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.4.19. Soap maker’s helperAssists in preparing local soap made of palm oil and ash.Main activities • preparing the ingredients • preparing the soap • cleaning the site and marketing the finished productPrerequisite skillsA soap maker’s helper needs to be clean (self care skills) and have a neatappearance. If she has dealings with customers, she needs some socialcompetence such as in communicating and greeting and good social behavior.She needs to be able to handle fire (safety awareness) and to find and walkto familiar places such as the point of sale and the market. Functionalacademics are not necessary, except for the use of a measuring bottle. Ifdealing with customers, making change is of importance. A medium degree ofphysical strength and agility and good motivation and work behavior areessential.Main task areas Preparing the ingredients • prepares soda by burning dried cocoa pods and plantain peels until they turn to ashes • pours about 5 liters of water on the ash in a big bowl and stirs until well mixed • strains the ash solution into another bowl with a strainer to serve as soda Preparing the soap • sets a fire • pours twelve beer bottles of palm oil in a big pot and allows it to boil • pours three beer bottles of soda water into the boiling oil • consistently stirs the mixture until it becomes almost solid • removes the pot from the fire • pours the contents into a bowl to allow it to cool • molds the soap mixture into orange size balls 147
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ Cleaning the site and marketing the finished product • washes and scrubs the cooking utensils • sweeps the site and throws away trash • carries soap in a basin to the market and assists in sellingNecessary tools and investmentsFor manufacturing local soap two big aluminum bowls, two baskets astrainer, wooden ladles are needed with a cost of about 600 000,- cedis atpresent prices. However the assistant would only need a basket for carryingthe soap and a rag for handling the pots.Take home shareDepends on the amount of soap sold but could be up to 250 000, - cedis amonth.Risk of injuriesConsists of being burnt by fire or pouring hot oil or soap on oneself.Safety measuresNo specific safety measures are needed except training to deal carefully withfire and in pouring the hot mixture.Gender factorsBoth sexes can be trained to do this job.SeasonalityLocal soap can be manufactured all year round.148
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.4.20. Thatch weaver’s helperCollects and uses straw to weave roofing mats.Main activities • cutting and collecting grass for weaving • using dried straw to weave roofing mats • preparing the mats for salePrerequisite skillsAs cutting straw and mat weaving is a more or less solitary occupation thereis not great need for advanced social competence or a very clean and neatappearance (self care skills). However, since the person handles sharp knivesand cutlass and can encounter dangerous animals in the bush, safetyawareness is a prerequisite. Orientation and travel skills are necessary forthese excursions. Functional academics are not important in this job andsocial behavior can be rudimentary but physical strength and agility as wellas good motivation and work behavior are essential.Main task areas Cutting and collecting grass for weaving • sharpens a cutlass or a sickle • goes to the bush in the environment to cut suitable grass • bundles the grass and carries it home Using dried straw to weave roofing mats • dries the grass to turn it into roofing straw • weaves the straw into roofing mats • knots the end of the weaving Preparing the mats for sale • rolls the mats into bundles • cleans the area intermittently and after work • carries the bundles to the market for saleTake home share 149
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________Depending on the number of buyers, a thatch weaver’s helper can makebetween 100 000 and 200 000 Cedis a month.Necessary tools and investmentsCutlass and sickle with investments below 50 000 Cedis at present prices.Risk of injuriesAre low, but the person can hurt himself with a cutlass or a knife or step on ascorpion or a snake.Safety measuresThe person must be trained to handle a knife and cutlass safely and beattentive when gatherings grass in the bush.Gender factorsBoth males and females can perform this job.SeasonalityCollecting grass is usually done in the first half of the rainy seasons.150
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.4.21. Yarn spinning assistantHelps spin ropes for kente weaving.Main activities • arranging tools and material for spinning • opening the yarn package for placing the hanks • operating the spinning wheel • sweeping and cleaning the workshop • going on errandsPrerequisite skillsAs the helper does not have much contact with the public, only a limitedamount of cleanliness as well as communication skills are necessary (socialcompetence, self help skills). Functional academics can be minimal, but socialskills must be developed so that the person can work in a group. Orientationand travel skills must be developed so that the person can go to the marketto buy yarn without getting lost. No specific safety skills are needed, but theperson should be able to use sharp objects safely. If he is sent on errands,the assistant needs orientation and travel skills. A relatively low degree ofphysical strength and agility is necessary, as well but the person needs goodmotivation and work behaviour.Main task areas Arranging tools and material for spinning • mounts the spinning wheel • places the spindle in the hole of the bobbin • tightens the framework Opening the yarn package for placing the hanks • opens the yarn package • places the hank of the yarn around the skein winder • cuts the strings attached to each end of the yarn Operating the spinning wheel • places one end of the yarn on the bobbin • holds bobbin and string steady 151
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ • rotates the handle of the spinning wheel • removes the bobbin when all the yarn has been wound on it Sweeping and cleaning the workshop • brings and stores all implements for weaving such as spinning wheel, yarn etc. when asked • sweeps the floor and burns the rubbish • weeds around the workshop, when necessary Going on errands • goes to market to buy yarn as instructed • delivers kente cloth to customersTake home shareThe helper can earn up to 120 000 Cedis a month.Necessary tools and investmentsA seat, spinning wheel, spindle and skein winder with investments below 50000 Cedis at present prices.Risk of injuriesAre low, but the person can hurt himself while cutting the string.Safety measuresThe person must be trained to handle a razor blade or scissors safely.Gender factorsYarn spinning is suitable for both men and women.SeasonalityKente weaving is an all year round work.152
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.5. FOOD PREPARATION AND PROCESSINGAs many people in Ghana buy food at the roadside food preparation andprocessing can be a good way to earn a living. It is clear that any personworking in this type of job must be clean and if dealing with customers havea neat and pleasing appearance and be able to communicate effectively. FUFU POUNDING HELPER 153
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.5.1. Bean cake preparation helperAssists in preparing the beans for grinding and in frying and selling the beancake.Main activities • soaking and sieving the beans • carrying the beans to and from the mill for grinding • setting and maintaining the cooking fire • frying the bean cake • washing pots and pans and keeping the environment tidyPrerequisite skillsA helper in food preparation needs to be clean (self care skills) and, if shedeals with customers, needs some social competence such as incommunicating, greeting and good social behavior. She needs to be able tohandle fire (safety awareness) and to find and walk to familiar places such asthe point of sale and the grinding mill. Functional academics relate to the useof a measuring bowl. If dealing with customers, making change is important.A medium degree of physical strength and agility, good motivation and workbehavior are essential.Main task areas Soaking and sieving the beans • measures the beans into a basin with a bowl • covers the beans with fresh water and lets them soak for two days adding water when necessary • removes the beans from the water with a ladle and puts them on a sieve to drain off fluid Carrying the beans to and from the mill for grinding • puts the beans into a container and carries it to the mill • assists in grinding the beans and returns the bean flour to the container • covers the flour with a cloth and carries it home Setting and maintaining the cooking fire154
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ • collects wood in the forest or buys it • lights a fire and adds wood as needed Frying the bean cake • pours oil into the frying pan so the bottom is covered and puts it on the fire • forms a small ball with clean hands and places it into the pan • turns the cake frequently until it is brown on all sides • removes the bean cake from the oil and frying pan with a ladle and places it into a dish Washing pots and pans and keeping the environment tidy • scrubs pots and pans • washes dishes • sweeps the ground • carries away rubbishTake home shareThe helper will earn around 100 000 Cedis a month.Necessary tools and investmentsBowl, ladle, sieve, frying pan will demand investments of slightly more than100 000 Cedis at present prices.Risk of injuriesThe principal risk consists of working with fire and touching a hot frying panor being burnt by drops of hot oil.Safety measuresThe skillet should only be handled using a rag for hand protection, and thebody can be protected by an apron. A first aid kit with burn ointment shouldbe available.Gender factors 155
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________Customarily, this is a job performed by females, but there is no reason whymales could not assist in this task too.SeasonalityBean cake can be made and sold all year round.156
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.5.2. Biscuit baker’s assistantHelps prepare biscuits for baking and for sale.Main activities • carrying flour mixture to the mill for kneading • preparing pans for baking • removing biscuits from the oven • packing biscuits into boxes • sweeping and keeping the baking shop neatPrerequisite skillsA biscuit baker’s assistant needs to be clean (self care skills) and, if she hasdealings with customers, show some social competence such as incommunicating, greeting and good social behavior. She needs to be able towork with a hot oven (safety awareness) to find and walk to familiar placessuch as the point of sale and the mill. Functional academics except for theuse of a measuring bowl is of slight importance whereas a medium degree ofphysical strength and agility and good motivation and work behavior isessential.Main task areas Carrying flour to the mill for kneading • places biscuit ingredients in a large basin and covers it with a cloth • transports it to the mill for kneading • helps pour it into to kneading machine • helps remove the mixed dough and carries it back to the shop Preparing pans for baking • cleans the surface of the table and sprinkles it with flour • rolls out dough • cuts the dough to size • arranges biscuits in a baking sheet • places the baking sheet into the oven so that all the space is used 157
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ Removing biscuits from the oven • removes the baking sheets from the oven when instructed by the master • allows them to cool • removes the biscuits from the baking sheet making sure not to break them Packing biscuits into boxes • places a specified number of biscuits into a container (a counting form can be used to make sure the number is correct) • closes and seals the box with cello tape • carries the boxes to the point of sale or customer Sweeping and keeping the baking shop neat • removes leftover flour from the table surface • sweeps the floor • cleans the baking sheets • removes spilled dough from the oven when it is cold • brings trash to the refuse dump • stacks boxes neatlyTake home shareA helper can earn up to 10 000 Cedis a day and about 250 000 cedis amonth.Necessary tools and investmentsNecessary equipment includes an apron (30 000 Cedis) and gloves (23 000Cedis) with investments of less than 60 000 Cedis at present prices.Risk of injuriesThe primary risk consists of burning the hands by touching hot baking sheetsor the hot oven, so they must be protected.Safety measures158
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________Baking sheets and oven should only be handled using gloves for handprotection. The body can be protected by an apron. A first aid kit with burnointment should be available.Gender factorsCustomarily, this is a job performed by females, but there is no reason whymales could not assist in this task too.SeasonalityBiscuits are made and sold all year round. 159
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.5.3. Blackberry drink seller’s assistantHelps prepare this local drink, in bottling and selling.Main activities • sorting and soaking the blackberries • mixing and bottling the drink • cleaning the site and washing bottles and containers • transporting and marketingPrerequisite skillsAn acceptable level of cleanliness (self help skills) is mandatory as well associal competence to permit limited communication. The helper needs to beable to light and use a fire under supervision (safety awareness) and findfamiliar locations such as the point of sale (orientation and travel).Socialbehavior must be acceptable, but functional academics can be quite limited.Good motivation and work behavior, being able to lift weights up to 5 kg andfine motor skills for filling bottles without spilling are necessary.Main task areas Sorting and soaking the blackberries • sorts good blackberries which are firm to the touch without holes or wrinkles in the shell • removes the shell from the fruit with her nails • fetches water for soaking • soaks the blackberries that are completely covered by water in a basin for 24 hours Mixing and bottling the drink • stirs the soaked fruits for about an hour with a spoon to remove the seeds • sieves the soaked fruits to remove the chaff • adds one part sugar to 10 parts of water using a measuring cup • adds two drops of lemon juice and vanilla essence for taste • stirs the liquid to allow ingredients to mix well • pours 500 ml of the drink into each bottle and corks the bottle160
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ Cleaning the site and washing bottles and containers • washes bowls and bottles • sweeps up the blackberry shells and throws them in the trash • sweeps and tidies the work space Transporting and marketing • puts the bottles into a case • carries the case to the point of sale • assists in the selling of the drinkTake home shareThe helper can earn up to 150 000 Cedis a month.Necessary tools and equipmentThe assistant herself would need no specific equipment. The owner wouldneed to dispose of mixing bowls, measuring cups, bottles and corks a woodenladle and a sieve as well as a case for transporting the bottles. Investmentswould be in the range of 100 000 to 200 000 Cedis.Risk of injuriesThis is a job with a very low risk of injuries.Safety measuresSpecific safety measures are not neededGender factorsAlthough it is customary for women to manufacture blackberry drinks, bothmales and females could help in this job.SeasonalityThis is a seasonal activity as the fruit is harvested during the dry season 161
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.5.4. Coconut flour preparation helperAssists in cracking coconuts, removing and grating the fruit and preparing theflour.Main activities • removing and grating the dry coconut • preparing the flourPrerequisite skillsAs the job has to do with food preparation, cleanliness and a neat appearanceare essential (self help skills).Social competence, travel and orientation skillsas well as functional academics can be minimal, as the person will as a rulenot deal with the public or change locations. Motivation and work behaviormust be developed and the person must be able to work with sharp objects(safety awareness).No great amount of physical strength and agility isneeded.Main task areas Removing and grating the dry coconut • cracks the coconut by hitting it with the knife held firmly by the handle • holds the shell down firmly with one hand • scrapes out the dry fruit with the knife • washes the removed pieces of coconut fruit with clean water • holds the grater with one hand in a basin and rubs a dried coconut fruit against until only a small piece remains Preparing the flour • fills the grated coconut into a clean white (flour) sack and ties the end with string • places large stones on the sack and presses down to remove liquid • sprinkles the grated and dried coconut on a mat and places it in the sun • stores the grated coconut in containers for sale after it is dryTake home shareThe helper can earn up to 80 000 Cedis a month.162
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________Necessary tools and investmentsGrater, knife, basin, mat, sack, kitchen stool. The cost of necessaryinvestments is below 100 000 Cedis at present prices.Risk of injuriesThere is a risk of being hurt with the knife or grater.Safety measuresThe person needs to be trained to use a knife and grater safely. A first aid kitshould be available.Gender factorsThis job can be performed by both sexes.SeasonalityPreparing dried coconut flour is a year round job. 163
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.5.5. Coconut seller’s helperThe coconut seller’s assistant acquires and sells coconuts by the roadside.Main task areas • Collecting and bringing coconuts to the stall • preparing coconuts for drinking and keeping the stall cleanPrerequisite skillsAs the assistant is involved in offering drinking coconuts and dealing withcustomers, good hygiene and communication skills are indispensable (socialcompetence, social behavior and self help skills). The helper needs to be ableto use a knife and cutlass and have good orientation and travel skills becauseof working by the roadside. Functional academics except for making changeare of low importance. However, like for all professions, good motivation andwork behavior are essential. If the person is involved in climbing trees to getripe coconuts, he needs strength and agility..Main task areas Collecting and bringing coconuts to the stall • looks for mature coconuts on trees to pluck or buy • stores them in a sack and brings them to the stall or helps transport them on a push cart Preparing coconuts for drinking and keeping the stall clean • peels off the husks of the coconut • chops of the top of the shell and serves for drinking • splits open, if the customer demands this for scooping out the fruit • sweeps and collects the husks after the days work is done.Necessary tools and investmentsA cutlass which can cost up to 30 000 Cedis at present prices.Take home shareOn the average, a helper takes home about 6 000 to 8 000 Cedis a day.164
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________Risk of injuriesIf the helper needs to climb coconut trees to pluck the fruit, there is a highrisk of falling. Also, the helper can cut himself with the cutlass while openingcoconuts for the customers.Safety measuresThe helper needs to be well trained to use a cutlass with care and to placethe coconut so the risk of cutting oneself is low.Gender factorsBoth males and females sell coconuts in Ghana.SeasonalityThis is a year round activity 165
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.5.6. Corn dough preparation assistantHelps in drying, shelling and grinding corn. She assists in cooking, packagingand selling the finished products.Main activities • preparing the corn for grinding and cleaning leaves for wrapping • preparing the dough • packaging and sellingPrerequisite skillsAs the helper also deals with the public, the trainee needs some social skillssuch as being able to make herself understood or greeting people. Theperson needs to present a neat and clean appearance (self help skills), as sheis preparing food. She needs to be able to use a knife safely withoutexcessive supervision, light and use a fire (safety awareness).Also must shebe able to move to and find the point of sale (orientation and mobility). Goodmotivation and work behavior, as well as physical strength and agility(weights up to 15 kg must be carried) are essential to be able to perform thisjob.Main task areas Preparing the corn for grinding and cleaning wrapping leaves • uses a ladder to climb up the corn in the barn • removes the corn and brings it to the ground • separates the leaves from the shell • removes the corn from the cob and places it into a basket • separates good from bad kernels in two baskets as to quality • brings the corn to the grinding mill and waits his turn • returns with the ground corn • cleans leaves with a wet rag • cleans both sides Preparing the dough • covers the corn with water in a pan • lets it soak for one day166
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ • adds salt according to the quantity of corn and waits for about 20 minutes for it to dissolve • packs ten table spoons of soaked corn into a leaf • tightens it well, so the packed corn cannot leak • stacks the larger quantities at the bottom the smaller at the top • adds water and puts the pot on the fire when it is half full • sees to it that the fire is located directly below the pot • boils till tender • lifts the pot from the fire and allows it to cool • removes the wrapped corn dough with a ladle • cleans the pot Packaging and selling • packs the corn dough in a container • carries it to the market • assists in selling the finished productTake home shareA helper can earn up to 100 000 Cedis a month.Necessary tools and investmentsCooking utensil, ladle, leaves and thread, container for transport to themarket with expenses lower than 100 000 Cedis at present prices.Risk of injuriesMedium, with the greatest risk of being burned or scalded by boiling water orfalling off a ladder when retrieving the corn.Safety measuresThe helper needs to be careful near the fire and boiling water and use a ragto hold a hot pot.Gender factorsCustomarily, this is a job performed by women but of course males could alsodo it. 167
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________SeasonalityPreparing corn dough is a year round activity.168
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.5.7. Corn mill assistantIs an attendant helping in a corn mill. He mills grains into flour to preparedough for his customers.Main activities • keeping the room and corn mill clean • charging the mill with grain and keeping the flour safe for the customers • helping with maintenance of the corn millPrerequisite skillsSince the assistant will be dealing with customers, he needs a relatively highskill level in social competence (communication and reaction to criticism), aneat and pleasing appearance (self help skills) and should be able to dealwith electrical hazards and sharp objects (safety awareness).As to functionalacademics, he needs to be able to use a measuring bowl and, if possible, givecorrect change. Orientation and travel skills can be quite low but, as with alljobs, good motivation and work behavior, as well as medium physicalstrength and agility are important for succeeding at this job.Main task areas Keeping the room and corn mill clean • sweeps up spilled grains • wipes the machine clean • mops the floor Charging the mill with grain and keeping the flour safe for the customers • measures the grains in a special bowl for charging purposes • follows the instructions of the owner into what form the grains should be ground • mills the maize into flour or dough • keeps the milled items safe until their owners come for them Helping with maintenance of the corn mill • is able to check the oil gage, insures that the belt is in place before starting the machine to grind 169
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ • informs the owner about shortage of oil or other problems detected • informs customers in the case of breakdownsNecessary tools and investmentsSpanners, screwdrivers, hammer, file and metal brush with a necessaryinvestment at present prices at less than 100 000 Cedis.Take home shareUp to ¢250,000 a month.Risk of injuriesIf the person has learned to clean or reach into the mill, when it is not inoperation, the risk of injury is low.Safety measuresThe person must be cautioned not to reach into the mill while it is inoperation. He should be aware of electrical hazards and only clean themachine when it is shut off.Gender factorsThis job could be done by both sexes.SeasonalityThis is an all year round job.170
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.5.8. Fish descaler’s helperRemoves scales from the fish brought in from the sea for smoking and frying.Main activities • fetching the fish after the shares have been distributed • removing the scales with a knife • washing the fish and carrying it to the point of salePrerequisite skillsThe person can perform this job with limited communication skills (socialcompetence) and reduced orientation and travel skills, functional academicsand social behavior. Except for the use of sharp objects (knife), safetyawareness can be limited. An awareness of the dangers of the sea isnecessary, whereas self help skills can be quite elementary. Medium physicalstrength and agility are needed while good motivation and work behavior areessential.Main task areas Fetching the fish after the shares have been distributed • walks or wades to the boat carrying a basin • places the fish in the basin and carries it to the shore • sits on a stool in a clean and shady location and places the basin next to herself so it can be reached easily Removing the scales with a knife • holds the end of fish with one hand and places it on an even surface • grasps the handle of the knife firmly • scrapes the side of the fish with the sharp edge of the knife (moving away from the body) to remove the scales • cuts off unwanted parts such as the tail Washing the fish and carrying it to the point of sale • fetches water from the tap or a bucket • washes fish thoroughly and removes scales he has missed • throws dirty water away • carries cleaned fish to the point of sale 171
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________Take home shareWith this job she can earn about 2 000 Cedis a day or 60 000 Cedis a month.Necessary tools and investmentsKnife, stool, basin. The total investment will be below 50 000 Cedis atpresent prices.Risk of injuriesThe only danger in this job is the risk of cutting oneself with a knife.Safety measuresThe person should be taught how to use a knife safely by descaling andcutting away from the body. A first aid kit is recommended.Gender factorsIt is customary for women to perform this job even if there is no reason whymen could not do it.SeasonalityFishing and removing fish scales is a year round activity.172
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.5.9. Fish smoking assistantHelps in the preparation of fish for smoking and selling.Main activities • fetching and preparing the fish • preparing the fish oven and smoking the fish • arranging the smoked fish for salePrerequisite skillsSince the helper will be dealing with the public she should be able to makeherself understood to customers and be able to greet and respond togreetings of the people she interacts with. A relatively neat and pleasingappearance is necessary in dealing with food. Safety skills such as using aknife and dealing with fire is necessary element and as the job includesmoving from one are to the other and carrying loads, some orientation andtravel skills as well as medium physical strength and agility are a must. If thehelper is involved in selling she must be able to make change. Goodmotivation and work behavior are essential.Main task areas Fetching and preparing the fish • goes to the seashore to buy fish • carries the fish to the fish smoking site in a basin • removes dirt from the fish by washing with salty water • throws away the dirty waterPreparing the fish oven and smoking the fish • cleans the grill by scraping it with a knife • wipes palm leaves and arranges them on the grill • arranges fresh fish on the grill so that they cover the whole expanse • places about six grills with fish one over the other in the oven • lights a fire that does not burn strongly • pulls wood back leaving only the embers and place coconut musk on top to produce smoke • covers the top grill with cardboard to capture heat and smoke • regulates fire for even and constant heat and smoke 173
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ • turns fish over to smoke them on both sides • Depending on the size of the fish allows it to grill for at least four hours until it is brown and well smoked • allows the fish to cool and removes it from the grill Arranging the smoked fish for sale • places the fish carefully in a basket • caries it to the market or point of sale • arranges the smoked fish into quantities of three or four depending on the size and price • assists in selling the fishTake home shareA fish smoking helper can earn about 80 000. - Cedis a month.Necessary tools and investmentsThe owner of the fish smoking oven may need quite a number of implementssuch as smoking grills, basins, firewood, polythene bags for wrapping thesmoked fish etc. However the helper will need only a knife, a tray for carryingthe fish and some rags with costs of about 45, 000 cedis.Risk of injuriesThere is the risk of being burnt by fire or in handling the hot grill or being cutby the knife.Safety measuresThe person should be taught how to use a knife safely by cutting away fromthe body. A rag or napkin is recommended when handling the grill and theperson should be instructed to position herself in a way that avoids standingin the smoke or near open flames. A first aid kit is recommended.Gender factorsIt is customary for women to perform this job even there is no reason whymen could not do it.174
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________SeasonalityFish smoking is a year round activity even though the catch can varyseasonally. 175
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.5.10. Groundnut paste maker’s helperThe helper assists in roasting groundnuts and extracting the oil.Main activities • preparing the groundnuts for roasting • roasting the groundnuts and removing the shells • milling the roasted groundnuts into paste • packaging and preparing for salePrerequisite skillsDespite the fact that job has to do with food preparation only a limitedamount of cleanliness is required. Depending on the tasks assigned, theperson may need some social competence and travel orientation skills. Theperson may need to move around and communicate for example from thepreparation site to the mill. Even though only a minimal amount of physicalstrength is needed he must develop safety precautions since work with fire isinvolved.Main task areas Preparing the groundnuts for roasting • picks out rotten nuts, stones and other unwanted materials from the groundnuts • washes fine sand, removes stones and sticks and places the clean sand in a shallow basin Roasting the groundnuts and removing the shells • sets a fire • heats the sand in the basin to a required temperature • pours a quantity of groundnuts to be roasted into the shallow basin and stirs to prevent burning • stirs to get brown roasted nuts within 25 to 30 minutes • spreads the sand and groundnuts on a flat tray to cool and sieves the contents of the basin to separate the groundnuts from the sand • removes the peel from the nuts and lets the peels blow off by the wind176
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ Milling the roasted groundnuts into paste • pours the roasted and peeled groundnuts in a container and carries it to the grinding mill • mills the groundnuts in the grinding mill • adds a quantity of groundnut oil to soften the paste to the desired texture Packaging and preparing for sale • mixes the paste until it becomes smooth and creamy by stirring vigorously • washes containers carefully • fills the required amount into a screw top container • brings the containers with groundnut paste to the point of sale.Take home shareThe helper will earn between 80, 000 to 100, 000 Cedis depending on thesales.Necessary tools and investmentsBroad shallow basin, sieve, ladle with current prices below 100 000 Cedis.Risk of injuriesThe main risk consists of working with fire and touching the hot pan duringthe roastingSafety MeasuresThe basin should only be handled with a glove or rag when on the fire andthe person should use and apron to protect the body. A first aid kit with burnointment must be available as well.Gender factorsBoth males and females could assist in the preparation of groundnut paste.Seasonality 177
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________Groundnut paste can be prepared for sale all year round.178
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.5.11. Groundnut chips ‘Kulikuli’ preparation helperAssists in drying, shelling roasting and milling of the groundnuts and inpreparing and packaging the finished product.Main activities • preparing the groundnuts for milling • preparing the groundnut paste • packaging and selling of KulikuliPrerequisite skillsAs the helper also deals with the public the trainee needs some social skillssuch as being able to make herself understood or greeting people. Theperson needs to present a neat and pleasing appearance (self help skills) asshe is preparing food. She needs- without excessive supervision- to be ableto use a knife safely and light and use a fire ( safety awareness).Functionalacademics can be limited except for money skills but she must be able to findthe point of sale ( orientation and travel skills). Good motivation and workbehavior as well as medium physical strength (weights up to 10 kg) need tobe carried) are essential in order to perform this job.Main task areas Preparing the groundnuts for milling • cuts open a bag of groundnuts and pours the contents into a container • shells the groundnuts and removes unwanted material • sets a fire • places a pan with clean sand mixed with groundnuts on the fire • roasts groundnuts until they are an even brown color • uses a sieve to separate groundnuts from the sand • allows the roasted nuts to cool • brings the groundnuts to the mill and awaits own turn Preparing the groundnut paste • sets a fire and pours hot water on the paste to cook it • stirs gradually until oil comes to the surface • skims oil from the pot until it the contents form a paste • uses a clean board to roll paste into rings with the hands 179
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ • puts oil in a frying pan and fries the rings until they are hard • removes the chips with a sieve and drains the oil • cleans the board and frying pan and saves oil in a container Packaging and selling of Kulikuli • puts quantities of chips into white polythene bags • uses a measuring cup or counting board to assure even numbers • carries the bagged chips in a container to the market • assists in selling the finished productTake home shareThe helper can earn up to 150 000 Cedis a month.Necessary tools and investmentsFrying pan, chop board, ladle and container for transport to the market willdemand investments of slightly less than 200 000 Cedis at present prices.Risk of injuriesThe principal risk consists of working with fire and touching a hot frying panor being burnt by drops of hot oil.Safety measuresThe skillet should only be handled using a rag for hand protection, and thebody can be protected by an apron. A first aid kit with burn ointment shouldbe available.Gender factorsCustomarily, this is a job performed by females, but there is no reason whymales could not assist in this task too.SeasonalityGroundnut chips can be made and sold all year round.180
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.5.12. Kenkey seller’s helperHelps prepare kenkey for sale.Main activities • accompanying the madam to the market to buy the necessary materials for preparing kenkey • soaking and sieving the corn and bringing it to the mill for grinding • preparing the dough and letting it ferment • removing the kenkey and preparing it for sale • washing pots and pans and keeping the environment tidyPrerequisite skillsA kenkey seller’s assistant needs to be clean (self care skills) and, if she hasdealings with customers, needs some social competence. Examples includecommunicating and greeting and good use of social behavior. She needs tobe able to handle fire (safety awareness), to find and walk to familiar placessuch as the point of sale and the grinding mill. Functional academics can belimited except for the use of a measuring bowl. If dealing with customers,making change is of slight importance. A medium degree of physical strengthand agility, and good motivation and work behavior are essential.Main task areas Accompanying the madam to the market to buy the necessary materials for preparing kenkey • goes to the market to buy corn and transports the corn home • assists in buying firewood and carries it home • helps to buy corn husks and brings them home Soaking and sieving the corn and bringing it to the mill for grinding • selects and removes bad corn out of the lot • soaks the rest for 2 or 3 days • sieves the corn from the water • washes corn well to avoid foul odor • carries the corn to the mill and brings it home after milling 181
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ Preparing the dough and letting it ferment • prepares the dough • leaves it to ferment • prepares the porridge • mixes the porridge with fresh dough to make a paste Removing corn husks into singles and molding paste into the husks • removes the corn husks into singles • selects the best ones and washes them • soaks them in water • moulds the paste into the corn husks Setting a fire and boiling the kenkey • stacks the kenkey into a pot • adds water to so that the kenkey is covered • sets fire under the pot • helps to put the kenkey on the fire • covers the pot and feeds the fire Removing the kenkey and preparing it for sale • removes the pot from the fire when it is well boiled • carries the kenkey to where it will be sold and helps to sell the kenkey Washing pots and pans and keeping the environment tidy • scrubs pots and pans • washes dishes • sweeps the ground • carries away rubbishTake home shareThe helper will earn around 100 000 Cedis a month.Necessary tools and investmentsBowl, ladle, sieve, iron pot will demand investments of slightly more than 150000 Cedis at present prices.182
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________Risk of injuriesThe principal risk consists of working with fire and touching a hot pot or beingscalded by hot waterSafety measuresThe pot should only be handled using a rag for hand protection, and the bodycan be protected by an apron. A first aid kit with burn ointment should beavailable.Gender factorsCustomarily, this is a job performed by females but there is no reason whymales could not assist in this task too.SeasonalityKenkey can be made and sold all year round 183
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.5.13. Local corn drinks preparation helperAssists in preparing for fermentation, making and marketing the corn drink(Yorkshire cooling Nneda).Main activities • preparation of the corn for fermentation • preparation of the Yorkshire cooling Nneda • packaging and selling the drinkPrerequisite skillsA helper in food preparation needs to be clean (self care skills) and, if shedeals with customers, needs some social competence such as incommunicating, greeting and good social behavior. She needs to be able tohandle fire (safety awareness) and to find and walk to familiar places such asthe point of sale and the grinding mill. Functional academics relate to the useof a measuring bowl. If dealing with customers, making change is important.A medium degree of physical strength and agility, good motivation and workbehavior are essential.Main task areas Preparation of the corn for fermentation • fetches the corn from the barn with a ladder • separates the leave and removes the corn from the cob • sorts the good from the bad kernels and places them in separate baskets • cleans the platform on which corn is fermented with soap and water • measures the quantity of corn ( one American tin) • sprinkles water on the corn to make it sprout and covers it • leaves the watered corn to sprout for one week • spreads the wet corn on the platform to dry and for aeration Preparation of the Yorkshire cooling Nneda • puts the dried sprouted corn into a container and carries it to the mill • assists in coarsely grinding the corn, cover the container with a cloth and carries it home • mixes the ground corn with four gallons of water in a big pot184
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ • lights a fire and adds wood as needed • boils the desired quantity of the mixture for about 30 minutes until it turns brown • strains the mixture and allows it to cool • cleans the pot and tidies up the work place Packaging and selling the drink • washes a gourd and pours the drink in it • adds ice cubes and covers the gourd with a lid • carries the gourd to the point of sale • uses a measuring cup for filling the drink into rubber bags • adds milk to the chilled drink for saleTake home shareThe helper will earn around 100 000 Cedis a month.Necessary tools and investmentsThe assistant’s tools will usually be provided by the owner and includealuminum pots, ladle, wooden spoon, strainer, an ice chest and a big gourdfor the drink. The cost of manufacturing the drink will be about 200 000, -Cedis for one batch.Risk of injuriesThe principal risk consists of working with fire and touching a hot pot or beingscalded when pouring the hot drink.Safety measuresThe pot should only be handled using a rag for hand protection. A first aid kitwith burn ointment should be available.Gender factorsCustomarily, this is a job performed by females, but there is no reason whymales could not assist in this task too.Seasonality 185
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________Yorkshire Nneda can be made and sold all year round.186
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.5.14. Palm oil preparation helperAssists in extracting palm oil from the palm fruits.Main activities • removing fruits from the stock and cracking of palm kernels • washing and drying nuts • boiling and pounding of palm kernels • mixing paste and extracting the oilPrerequisite skillsEven though the job has to do with food preparation, only a limited amountcleanliness is needed (self help skills).Social competence, travel andorientation skills, as well as functional academics can be minimal since theperson will generally not deal with the public or change locations. Motivationand work behavior must be developed and sshe must be able to work withfire and hot water (safety awareness).No great amount of physical strengthand agility is needed.Main task areas Removing fruits from the stock and cracking of palm kernels • places the kernel on a firmly fixed flat stone on the ground • hits the kernel with a heavy stone gripped in the stronger hand • repeats process until all the kernels are cracked • removes all the nuts from shell Washing and drying nuts • fetches water in two containers • places nuts into one of the containers and washes them with water • transfers nuts into second container for thorough and final washing • dries nuts in the sun on a cemented ground Boiling and pounding palm kernels • lights a fire and places an iron pot on it • puts the kernels in the pot and adds some water almost to the brim for boiling 187
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ • when the kernels are soft takes the pot off the fire and sieves the kernels out of the water • pounds the boiled kernels into a paste using mortar and pestle Mixing paste and extracting the oil • pours a small quantity of water on the paste in a basin • uses a whisk to stir the mixture until it is well distributed and soft • pours more water on until the oil forms above the water • removes the oil from the top of the mixture with a ladle into a pot • places the iron pot on the fire and allows it to boil for a short time • uses a small basket to sieve the oil and removes particles • after sieving places the pot on fire again for about 45 minutes • adds salt and spices to taste and allows the oil to cool • pours the oil into containers for saleTake home shareDepending on the skill of the person on the job and the amount sold earningscan be between 100 000 and 200 000 cedis monthly.Necessary tools and equipmentMortar, pestle, whisk, basket/colander, basin, ladle and iron pot withinvestments of about 500 000 Cedis at present prices.Risk of injuriesThe helper can be burnt by hot water or oil and can hurt himself whilecracking the nuts.Safety measuresThe helper needs to be trained to deal with fire and boiling oil safely. Glovesshould be worn when removing the pot from the fire. Also burn ointment anda first aid kit should be available.Gender factorsThis job is customary for women but can also be performed by men.188
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________SeasonalityPalm Oil preparation is a year round occupation. 189
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.5.15. Palm wine tapper’s assistantHelps in preparing and distributing palm wine to distillers and sellers.Main activities • felling palm trees and preparing them for tapping • assisting in the tapping of palm wine • assisting in the distribution and selling of palm winePrerequisite skillsThe following skills make it likely that a person can be successfully trained forthis job: a relatively high level of physical strength and agility for choppingdown trees and good motivation and work behavior. Social competence as tolanguage and interaction with others can be quite low, but the person mustbe ready to respond to criticism and instructions. A neat appearance (selfhelp skills) is only desirable if the person is involved in meeting clients. If hehelps with marketing the product, he must have good travel and orientationskills. Safety awareness is important as to dealing with sharp objects (cutlassand axe) and reaction to dangers in the bush. Functional academics are of noimportance to becoming a palm wine tapper’s assistant.Main task areas Felling trees and preparing them for tapping • cuts the roots of a palm tree using an axe • aligns the tree so it falls in the desired direction • leaves the trunk for about a week and then removes the branches • cleans the pots used to collect the palm wine when it is dripping Tapping the palm wine • inserts bamboo tubes in the holes drilled by the palm wine tapper • sets the pots beneath the palm trees so that the bamboo tubes can directly drip fluid into them • after about two days heats the surface of the holes with a burning torch to make way for more fluid Assisting in the distribution and selling • cleans and prepares the collection barrel for storage and distribution190
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ • carries fresh palm wine to local customers for sale • transports palm wine to a distillery.Take home shareThe tapper’s assistant can receive up to 150 000 Cedis at the end of themonth.Necessary tools and investmentsCutlass, axe, knife, chisel, hammer, drill with investments amounting toabout 150 000 Cedis at present prices.Risk of injuriesMedium. the person needs to be able to judge the direction in which a treewill fall and be able to deal with sharp object such an axe and cutlass.Safety measuresSturdy boots should be worn when felling trees.Gender factorsTapping is a male dominated occupation in Ghana.SeasonalityThere is no particular time for palm wine tapping so it can be a year roundoccupation. 191
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.5.16. Pito brewing assistantHelps prepare this local alcoholic drink from malt.Main activities • preparing material necessary for brewing • soaking grain and bringing it to the mill • setting and tending fire • cleaning the site and washing the calabashesPrerequisite skillsAn acceptable level of cleanliness (self help skills) is mandatory as well associal competence to permit limited communication. The helper needs to beable to light and use a fire under supervision (safety awareness) and findfamiliar locations such as the mill (orientation and travel).Social behaviormust be acceptable, but functional academics can be quite limited. Goodmotivation and work behavior, as well as good physical strength and agilityare necessities.Main task areas Preparing material necessary for brewing • goes to the forest or market to gather or buy firewood and carries it home • fetches water for soaking and brewing • soaks grain and brings it to the mill • covers grain in a bowl with clean water • allows it to soak and germinate for several days • adds fresh water when necessary so the grain is always well covered • removes the germinated grain puts it into a container and carries it to the mill • helps pour the grain into the mouth of the mill and places basin underneath for collecting the powder • covers the basin with a cloth and carries the milled germinated grain home Setting and tending a fire • lights and feeds a fire192
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ • places pot on fire and fills it with fresh water • stirs the powder into the boiling water and continues to stir • pours the brewed pito through sieve into a container to cool Cleaning the site and washing the calabashes • washes the pot for brewing • washes and dries the drinking calabashes • sweeps and tidies the drinking barTake home shareThe helper can earn up to 200 000 Cedis a month.Necessary tools and equipmentPots, basins, calabashes, seats for customersInvestments would need to be in the range of 100 000 to 500 000 Cedis.Risk of injuriesThere is a risk of being burnt by fire or scalded by hot water.Safety measuresThe helper must be trained to be cautious with fire, grip the hot pot with arag and pour carefully. A first aid kit and burn ointment should be available.Gender factorsAlthough it is customary for women to brew, both males and females couldhelp in this job.SeasonalityBrewing is a year round activity. 193
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.5.17. Plantain griller’s helperAssists in preparing plantains for sale at the roadside.Main activities • fetching charcoal and plantains • setting and tending the fire • peeling and grilling the plantains • sweeping and cleaning the workplacePrerequisite skillsAs the assistant is involved in food preparation and dealing with customers,good hygiene and communication skills are indispensable (social competence,social behavior and self help skills). She needs to be able to use a knife anddeal with fire safely (safety awareness). And if she works in front of thehouse, limited orientation and travel skills are possible. However, she needsto find familiar places for buying charcoal or plantains. Functional academicsexcept for making change are of low importance but, like for all professions,good motivation and work behavior are essential.Main tasks Fetching charcoal and plantains • carries charcoal and plantains to the workplace • sorts and store plantains Setting and tending the fire • lights fire • fans the embers • adds charcoal when needed Peeling and grilling the plantains • peels the ripe plantain using a knife • throws the peel into a dustbin • cuts the ripe plantain into smaller and required sizes with a knife • puts the peeled plantains onto a mesh for grilling • removes grilled plantain from the mesh and hands it to the customer194
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ Sweeping and cleaning the work place • sweeps the sales area • gathers up the rubbish in a dust bin • cleans the grilling mesh with a rag • carries the refuse to a refuse dumpTake home shareEarnings vary between 2 000 Cedis and 4 000 Cedis each day so that thehelper can earn up to 120 000 Cedis a month.Necessary tools and investmentsA knife or cutlass costing less than 30 000 Cedis at present prices.Risk of injuriesThere is a risk of burns from the fire and of cutting oneself with a knife whilepeeling or slicing.Safety measuresThe helper needs to be trained to work with a grill and a knife. A first aid kitshould be available.Gender factorsIt is customary for females to work in this profession.SeasonalityAs plantains are available all year round there is no specific season for thisoccupation. 195
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.5.18. Porridge making assistantPrepares the millet and helps cook and sell porridge.Main activities • preparing millet and bringing it to the grinding mill • preparing flour for fermentation • cooking porridge • cleaning dishes and sweeping the groundsPrerequisite skillsAs this job has to do with customer service and food preparation, a neat andpleasing appearance and good social skills are essential (social competence,self help skills).Orientation and travel skills can be limited to finding familiarenvironments such as the flour mill and the location where the porridge issold. If the person is to participate in selling, she must be able to makechange. Measuring the quantities for porridge is another functional academicskill. The person must be able to function in a group and have goodmotivation and work behavior. Besides being able to deal with a cooking fire,there are no specific safety hazards involved. Medium physical strength andagility are necessary prerequisites of performing this job.Main task areas Preparing millet and bringing it to the grinding mill • uses a bowl to measure the quantity of millet • fills the bowl with water so that the millet is completely covered • soaks in the water for two days and drains in a basket • pours the dirty water away Preparing flour for fermentation • carries the soaked grains to the flour mill • pours the millet into the grinding pan • puts the basin under the mouth of the mill to collect the flour • pays the mill owner • covers the basin of flour with a cloth to prevent the wind from blowing it away and carries it home196
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ Cooking of porridge • starts a fire and fetches water • puts a pot filled with water on the fire • pours a measured quantity of flour into the boiling water while constantly stirring • keeps stirring until the porridge is ready for eating Cleaning dishes and sweeping the grounds • washes dishes and spoons after use • cleans and scrapes pot • keeps the area were porridge is sold tidyTake home shareCan earn up to about 100 000 Cedis a month.Necessary tools and investmentsCooking pot, spoons, dishes, bowl with investments amounting to about 100000 Cedis at present prices.Risk of injuriesThe assistant can be burnt by fire or scalded by hot water if she is notcareful.Safety measuresMust be well trained to work with fire. Burn ointment and first aid kit shouldbe available.Gender factorsCustomarily this is a job for femalesSeasonalityPorridge is prepared and sold all year round 197
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.5.19. Soya bean kebab seller’s helperHelps prepare soya bean kebab for sale.Main activities • preparing the beans for grinding • preparing the kebab • packaging and sellingPrerequisite skillsA kebab seller’s assistant needs to be clean (self care skills) and, if she hasdealings with customers, needs some social competence. Examples includecommunicating and greeting and good use of social behavior. She needs tobe able to handle fire (safety awareness), to find and walk to familiar placessuch as the point of sale and the grinding mill. Functional academics can belimited except for the use of a measuring bowl. If dealing with customers,making change is of slight importance. A medium degree of physical strengthand agility, and good motivation and work behavior are essential.Main task areas Preparing the beans for grinding • goes to the market to buy soya beans and transports them home • assists in buying firewood and carries it home • removes pebbles and dirt from the beans • washes the beans and covers them with water in a pan • soaks the soy beans for one day • removes the soaked beans from water and puts them in a bowl • brings the beans to the grinding mill • returns with the ground beans Preparing the kebab • mixes the ground beans with water • strains the mixture through a flour sack • pours the resulting soy milk into an iron pot • sets a fire and boils the milk • adds strained Epsom salts solution by sprinkling it on the boiling milk to make it curdle198
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ • strains the mixture with a colander and puts the curdled milk in flour sack • and ties the sack with a thread and places the a stone one the sack over night to remove excess fluid • removes the curdled soy bean milk paste and cuts it into pieces of the same size • grinds spices and mixes them with fresh water • soaks the soy bean pieces into watery spices for half an hour • sets a fire and fries the pieces in oil until golden brown • removes the fried kebab and presses and shapes it onto kebab sticks with clean hands • sprinkles kebab powder on the Soya kebab Packaging and selling • places the Soya kebab in a closed plastic container • carries the kebab to the different points of sale • assists in selling the productTake home shareDepends on the number of kebabs manufactured and sold but can go up to200 000 cedis a monthNecessary tools and investmentsThe usual cooking utensils will be provided by the owner and include a bigpot, colander, grinding stone for spices, cutting board etc. The assistant mayhave to own a knife for cutting the soya bean paste and a flour sack forstraining the milk with investments lower than 50 000 cedis.Risk of injuriesThe principal risk consists of working with fire and touching a hot pot or beingscalded by hot waterSafety measuresThe pot should only be handled using a rag for hand protection, and the bodycan be protected by an apron. The helper will need to learn to use a knife 199
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________carefully when cutting the kebab pieces. A first aid kit with burn ointmentshould be available.Gender factorsCustomarily, this is a job performed by females but there is no reason whymales could not assist in this task too.SeasonalitySoy bean kebab can be made and sold all year round200
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.5.20. Tea seller’s helping handAssists in preparing breakfast for travelers on the roadside of busythoroughfares.Main activities • carrying utensils for roadside catering to location • setting and tending to fire for boiling tea water • assisting in preparing breakfast for customers • washing dishes and keeping the environment tidyPrerequisite skillsAs the assistant is involved in food preparation and dealing with customers,good hygiene and communication skills are indispensable (social competence,social behavior and self help skills). The helper needs to be able to use aknife and deal with fire safely (safety awareness) and have good orientationand travel skills because of working by the roadside. Functional academicsexcept for making change is of low importance. As is the case for allprofessions, good motivation and work behavior are essential.Main task areas Carrying utensils for roadside catering to location • carries table, benches, pots, pans and dishes to the location • fetches water and charcoal for cooking Setting and tending to fire for boiling tea water • lights and feeds fire • puts the pot on the fire and boils water • pours hot water into a thermos Assisting in preparing breakfast for customers • washes and chops tomatoes and onions • slices bread • spreads margarine on bread slices • cracks and stirs eggs in a bowl for making omelets 201
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ Washing dishes and keeping the environment tidy • scrubs pots and pans • washes and dries cups and plates • sweeps the ground and carries away rubbishTake home shareA tea seller’s helping hand can earn up to 100 000 Cedis a month.Necessary tools and investmentsWater bucket, pots and pans, a knife, plates and cups, stove, table and seatsfor customers. The necessary investments can range from 100 000 to 500000 Cedis depending on the amount of equipment bought.Risk of injuriesThere is a risk of burns from the cooking fire and being scalded by hot wateror cutting oneself with a knife.Safety measuresThe helper needs to be trained to work with a stove and a knife. She shouldwear an apron when working and use a rag to lift a hot pot or skillet off thefire. A first aid kit should be available.Gender factorsThe helper could be female or male.SeasonalitySelling breakfast by the roadside is a year round activity.202
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.6. SERVICES AND COMMERCEAlmost every Ghanaian woman is involved in trading so there are a lot ofactivities in this sector where a person with a mental handicap can help in thefamily business. Services are another activity area where a school leaver canbe useful. SERVICE/COMMERCE Housegirl SERVICE/COMMERCE Cobbler 203
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.6.1. Bookman’s assistantHelps at a Lorry Station where tickets are being sold to passengers, helpscharge luggage and loads goods onto the vehicle.Main activities • sorting luggage according to size and collecting the charge • loading goods onto the vehiclePrerequisite skillsThe main consideration for the selection of persons that could be trained forthis job is a high degree of physical strength and agility. Good safetyawareness is necessary to avoid getting hit by moving vehicles. Since theassistant will be dealing with customers, he needs a relatively high skill levelin social competence (communication and reaction to criticism) and anacceptable appearance (self help skills). Functional academics should be atthe level of giving correct change to small amounts of money. He must beable to work in a team (social behavior) and demonstrate good motivationand work behavior. Since this job is performed under time pressure, goodmoney skills and flexible dealing with customers are important, only fewgraduates will be able to perform this activity.Main task areas Sorting luggage according to size and collecting the charge • sorts passengers’ luggage and estimates size and weight • charges luggage that does not exceed 6 000 Cedis Loading goods onto the vehicle • loads goods into boots of cars and onto carriages of lorries • puts heavy and bulky goods on the bottom and lighter goods on top • makes sure that they fit into the space and that other goods are not crushed • carries loads from passengers to the vehicle • lifts the load up to the driver’s mate on top of vehiclesTake home shareHe takes home about 10 000 to 12 000 Cedis a day.204
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________Necessary tools and investmentsNo equipment or investments are needed.Risk of injuriesThe person can strain his back and tear muscles when lifting heavy weights.In addition, he must be able to recognize badly packed goods so their contentwill not spill.Safety measuresThe bookman’s assistant should be taught how to lift heavy goods (squattingdown and moving upward with the whole body instead of bending over). Alsothe bookman and driver’s mate should be instructed to help with heavygoods. Drivers must be careful when driving inside the station, so thataccidents can be avoided.Gender factorsThis job could be done by both sexes but is customary for men.SeasonalityIt is an all year round job. 205
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.6.2. Car washer’s assistantHelps in a car washing bay in cleaning the car’s interior and washing the bodyand tiresMain activities • cleaning the inside of the car • cleaning the tires • washing the body of the carPrerequisite skillsA car washer’s assistant needs to be relatively clean (self care skills) in orderto attract customers. As he has dealings with customers, he must show somesocial competence such as in communicating and greeting and good socialbehavior. As there are no electrical appliances involved, the person does notneed a high degree of safety awareness (unless a pressure hose is beingused). He needs to be able to attain familiar places (for example for buyingsoap and sponges) and, if involved in errands, (orientation and travel).Functional academics, except for the use of a measuring bowl for washingpowder, are of slight importance. On the other hand, medium physicalstrength and agility and good motivation and work behavior are essential.Main task areas Cleaning the inside of the car • takes out removable objects such as cushions, plastic flowers, rubber mats etc. • places them in a safe place and on a clean surface • dusts the interior and wipes plastic surfaces with a wet rag • brushes out the carpet and cleans rubber mats • cleans the car windows from the inside with soapy water and rinses and dries them • when the car body and the tires have been washed brings all the objects from the interior to their proper place Cleaning the tires • prepares soapy water in a bucket • wipes tires and rims with a sponge and soapy water206
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ • uses a brush to rub out dirt if necessary • rinses with clean water and lets tires dry in the sun Washing the body of the car • prepares soapy water in a bucket • uses a sponge to clean the car body • rinses the body with clear water • wipes the sides with a rag • polishes the metal parts if necessary • cleans the car windows and car lights with soapy water, rinses and dries themTake home shareAre on a daily basis and between 15 000 and 30 000 Cedis per daydepending on the number of customers.Necessary tools and investmentsBrushes, bucket, Wellington boots, duster, sponge with investments below100 000 Cedis at present prices.Risk of injuriesAre low, but he can slip and fall on wet ground.Safety measuresNo specific safety measures are needed but he must learn to be aware if thevehicle is not securely parked.Gender factorsBoth sexes can be trained to do this job, but it is customarily a maleoccupation.SeasonalityCars are washed all year round. 207
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.6.3. Chop bar assistantSupplies water for the customers, cleans the table, washes dishes and helpskeep the chop bar clean.Main activities • helping carry and stock supplies • providing customers with water to wash their hands as well as water to drink • clearing the table and washing the dishes • sweeping the bar and the surroundingsPrerequisite skillsAs the assistant is involved in food preparation and dealing with customers,good hygiene and communication skills are indispensable (social competence,social behavior and self help skills). The helper needs to be able to workaround sharp objects, fire and electrical appliances safely (safety awareness).But orientation and travel skills can be limited, as he works in a constantenvironment. Functional academics are of low importance, except for beingable to match the number of persons to the number of objects such as bowlor sachets of water. However, as for all professions, good motivation andwork behavior are essential.Main task areas Helping carry and stock supplies • transports the foodstuff bought from the market into the chop bar • stacks them in the appropriate place • fetches supplies as needed Providing customers with water to wash their hands as well as water to drink • fetches water from a tap in a bowl for hand washing • hands them soap and a towel • serves drinking water in a bottle with a clean glass • fetches chilled water (pure water) for customers upon request208
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ Clearing the table and washing the dishes • clears the table after the customers have finished their food • washes cups, plates and cutlery • stacks dishes in their appropriate places Sweeping the bar and the surroundings • sweeps the bar early before work starts • weeds around the location • removes cow webs from wall and ceiling • stores all objects in their appropriate place in the evening • collects the rubbish in a bin and brings it to the refuse dumpTake home shareA chop bar assistant earns a monthly allowance between ¢150,000 to ¢200,000 depending on the income of the owner.Necessary tools and investmentsNone.Risk of injuriesLow.Safety measuresNo specific safety measures are necessary.Gender factorsThis job can be performed by both sexes.SeasonalityThis is a year round occupation. 209
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.6.4. Clothes washer’s assistantHelps collect dirty clothing form the customer’s homes and in washing,ironing and bringing them backMain activities • collecting soiled clothing for washing • washing and drying clothing • ironing clothing and returning it to the customerPrerequisite skillsA clothes washer’s assistant needs to be relatively clean (self care skills) andhave a neat appearance. If the person has dealings with customers, she mustshow some social competence such as in communicating, greeting and goodsocial behavior. She needs to be able to handle an electric or box iron (safetyawareness). Also important are abilities to find and walk to familiar placessuch as the customers homes when sent on errands (orientation and travel).Functional academics, except for the use of a measuring bowl for washingpowder, are of slight importance. However, medium physical strength andagility and good motivation and work behavior are essential.Main task areas Collecting soiled clothing for washing • accompanies the washman to the customer’s houses • carries clothing to the wash place in a basket or a bundle • sorts clothing as to colour Washing and drying clothing • fetches water from a stream or the tap • soaks the white clothing in an omo solution or bleach to remove stains • washes clothing with soap vigorously rubbing the dirty parts together • rinses in a separate bowl until all traces of soap are removed • dries rinsed wash on a clothes line or placing them on bushes210
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ Ironing clothing and returning it to the customer • plugs in the electric iron or puts and lights charcoal in box iron • regulates the heat according to the type of fabric • first irons the collar then other parts, making sure to avoid wrinkles • folds clothing neatly avoiding wrinkles • makes sure the iron is switched off or box iron set on a safe surface • bundles the washed clothing and returns it to the customerTake home shareDepend on the number of clients, but the assistant can earn about 10 000Cedis on a working day.Necessary tools and investmentsWater bucket, washing bowls, clothes line and clothes pegs with investmentsof less than 50 000 Cedis at present prices.Risk of injuriesConsist of being burnt while ironing.Safety measuresNo specific safety measures are needed except training to be careful with aniron.Gender factorsBoth sexes can be trained to do this job.SeasonalityClothing must be washed all year round but normally, this is a weekly task. 211
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.6.5. Cobbler’s helperHelps to mend and polish old and damaged shoes and other leather wares fora fee. He can either walk around soliciting customers or be seated at thesame location at the roadside and accomplish repair tasks as instructed bythe cobbler.Main activities • repairing shoes and sandals • polishing shoes, sandals and beltsPrerequisite skillsIn order to attract customers, the helper must have a neat and pleasingappearance (self help skills) and communicate well (social competence). Hemust show good social behavior and needs some skills in travel andorientation as he will need to move around in his job. There are almost nosafety risks in this job and functional academics relate to dealing with moneyand making change. Physical strength and agility can be limited but goodmotivation and work behavior is a must.Main task areas Repairing shoes and sandals • uses hammer and nails to fix the loose sole or leather • uses needle and strong thread to sew damaged leather • roughens leather with sandpaper and applies glue to stick pieces of leather or a sole together • cuts out pieces of leather of the same size and shape to replace those that need to be repaired Polishing shoes, sandals and belts • uses a brush to remove dust and dirt from shoes and other leatherwear • applies shoe polish with a rag and spreads it evenly • works shoe polish into to leather by rubbing vigorously • uses a rag to shine the leather so it gleams212
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________Take home shareThe persons earns from 1 000 to 5 000 Cedis per small repair so thatmonthly earnings can come to about 150 000 cedis.Necessary tools and investmentsNeedle, thread, hammer nails and anvil, shoe polish and rags, shoe soles andpieces of leather, glue. The investments amount to a little over 70 000 Cedisat present prices.Risks of injuriesVery low except for pricking fingers with a needle or hitting the hand with ahammer.Safety measuresNo specific measures except supervision.Gender factorsAlthough this is a male dominated occupation, there is no reason why afemale could not work in this profession.SeasonalityThis is an all year round job. 213
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.6.6. Cocoa bean dryer’s assistantHelps to dry cocoa beans bought by the company, bag them and load themonto the company’s cars or truck.Main activity • drying cocoa beans in the sun • bagging cocoa beans and sewing them shut • loading and unloading company’s vehicles • keeping the cocoa shed and surroundings cleanPrerequisite skillsEven though the assistant does not deal directly with customers, he needs arelatively high skill level in social competence (communication and reaction tocriticism), an acceptable appearance (self help skills) and the ability to workin a group (social behavior). Except for dealing with needle and thread whensewing shut bags, safety awareness can be quite low. Only a minimal level offunctional academics is needed. Orientation and travel skills can be quite lowbut, as with all jobs, good motivation and work behavior and mediumphysical strength and agility are important for succeeding at this job.Main task areas Drying cocoa beans in the sun • spreads the drying mats in the sun • carries beans from storeroom in a basket or container • spreads beans evenly on the mats • stirs beans every now and then to ensure all parts of beans are dried • brings beans back to the storeroom at the end of the day or in case of bad weather Bagging cocoa beans and sewing them shut • fills sacs with the dried beans • threads a needle with a coarse string • holds bag end in one hand • passes needle and thread through the bag’s top until it is sewn shut • stacks the closed bags in the storeroom214
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ Loading and unloading company’s vehicles • with the help of another employee, carries the filled bags to the truck • heaves the bags up on the back of the truck • unloads vehicles that bring the fresh cocoa pods Keeping the cocoa shed and surroundings clean • sweeps the shed and the drying area • shakes out and stores the drying mats • throws away the rubbish • burns the trash or brings it to the refuse dumpNecessary tools and investmentsSacks, needles, thread, drying mats are supplied by the company so noinvestments are needed.Take home shareThe assistant can earn up to 500 000 Cedis a month during bumper harvestand 300 000 Cedis during the lean season.Risk of injuriesAre low, except for straining ones back while lifting and carrying or prickingones finger while sewing.Safety measuresNo specific safety measures are needed, but the person must be taught howto lift and carry without straining his back.Gender factorsThis job is usually reserved for men, although there is no reason why womencould not do it.SeasonalityAs varieties of cocoa beans are now being grown that can be harvested threetimes a year, this can be a year round job. 215
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.6.7. Female house helperCleans the house and assists in preparing the family’s meals and taking careof the children.Main activities • sweeping the house and its surroundings • dusting of furniture and making beds • going to the market and helping to prepare the family’s meal • washing, drying and ironing clothes • washing and feeding the children and getting them ready for schoolPrerequisite skillsAs the house helper is working in an environment which must be clean anddeals with family members, good hygiene and communication skills areindispensable (social competence, social behavior and self help skills). Thehelper needs to be able to deal with electrical hazards (safety awareness),and needs to be able to find and return from familiar places such as themarket (orientation and travel skills), even though she works mostly in thesame environment. Functional academics are of low importance but, like forall professions, good motivation and work behavior are essential.Main task areas Sweeping the house and its surroundings • sweeps the yard and entrance of the house • sweeps the floor • mops up the bathroom and kitchen floor Dusting of furniture and making beds • dusts the furniture in the living room • removes cobwebs from the ceiling and the walls • changes sheets and pillow cases and makes the beds Going to the market and helping to prepare the family’s meal • goes to the market and buys required foodstuff as instructed • washes and slices vegetables • grinds pepper and tomatoes216
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ • sets fire and put pots to boil • assists in cooking as needed • washes pots, pans and dishes after the meal has been served Washing, drying and ironing clothes • fetches water from the tap • soaks the white clothing in an Omo solution or bleach to remove stains • washes clothing with soap vigorously rubbing the dirty parts together • rinses in a separate bowl until all traces of soap are removed • dries rinsed wash on a clothes line or placing them on bushes • plugs in the electric iron or puts and lights charcoal in box iron • regulates the heat according to the type of fabric • first irons the collar then other parts, making sure to avoid wrinkles • folds clothing neatly avoiding wrinkles • makes sure the iron is switched off or box iron set on a safe surface Washing and feeding the children and getting them ready for school • fetches water in a bucket • helps small children to wash and dry themselves • helps the smaller children get dressed • feeds smaller children with a spoon and gives them water to drink • accompanies smaller children to school and fetches at closing timeTake home shareA household helper can earn between 60 000 and 100 000 Cedis a month andgets meals and sometimes old clothing as well as a place to sleep.Necessary tools and investmentsNone as all the implements are provided by the family which she serves.Risk of injuriesMinimal but the person can cut herself while peeling or chopping vegetablesor burn herself when cooking or ironing.Safety measuresSupervision is needed, and a first aid kit should be available. 217
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________Gender factorsBoth sexes can work as a household helper, but this occupation is morecommon for women especially when it concerns caring for smaller children.SeasonalityIt is an all year round job.218
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.6.8. Garden boyTakes care of a garden. He cuts, shapes and waters hedges and flowers andhelps grow vegetables.Main activities • weeding and sweeping the compound • pruning and watering the hedges and flowers • making seed beds for nursing of seedlingsPrerequisite skillsFor this job communication (social competence) and self help skills can bevery limited. As the person is neither dealing with fire, electrical appliances orsharp objects, safety awareness can be elementary. This also applies tofunctional academics and social behavior as well as travel and orientationskills. However, good motivation and work behavior is important and mediumphysical strength for carrying water can and the ability to work in a bent overposition for some time is necessary.Main task areas Weeding and sweeping the compound • weeds, rakes and sweeps the compound • rakes the leaves and burns them when necessary • sweeps the compound and throws away the rubbish • burns the trash or brings it to the refuse dump Pruning and watering the hedges and flowers • uses a cutlass or pruning shears to cut the hedges to equal height • collects the cuttings and carries them to the dump • uses a watering can or a hose to water hedges and flowers • sees to that the ground is moist but not waterlogged • uproots unwanted growth to avoid competition for nutrients Making seed beds for nursing of seedlings • digs nursing beds to specific sizes as instructed • manures and mulches beds • plants seeds in given distances using a measuring stick 219
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ • waters the beds with a watering can or with a hose • transplant the seedlings from the nursing beds after some weeks onto the designated spotTake home shareA garden boy may earn a monthly allowance of about ¢150,000 to ¢250,000.Necessary tools and investmentsCutlass, hoe, knife, watering can, garden fork, hand trowel with expenses atcurrent prices not over 200 000 Cedis. These tools could also be supplied bythe master.Risk of injuriesAre low, but he can hurt himself with a cutlass and should be taught to watchout for scorpions and snakes when working with the soil.Safety measuresHe should wear Wellington boots and learn to watch out for scorpions andsnakes.Gender factorsThis job can be performed by men and womenSeasonalityThe garden boy can work throughout the year220
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.6.9. Hairdresser’s assistantWashes customers´ hair, helps in braiding, keeps the place clean andmaintains the objects used in a hairdressing place.Main activities • washing hair • washing towels and rollers • helping in braiding and combing out old weave • keeping the shop clean and going on errandsPrerequisite skillsA hairdresser’s assistant needs to be clean (self care skills) and have a neatappearance. As she has dealings with customers, she must show some socialcompetence such as in communicating, greeting and good social behavior. Inorder to use a hair dryer, she must be aware of electrical hazards (safetyawareness). Also important are the abilities to find and walk to familiar placessuch as the market when sent on errands (orientation and travel). Functionalacademics except for distinguishing colors and length of objects are of slightimportance, as is physical strength and agility. However, good motivation andwork behaviors are essential.Main task areas Washing hair • positions the head of the client so that no water or soap can get into the eyes or face • pours some water on the hair • pours some shampoo on the hair and rub gently with the finger tips until it is well lathered • rinses and removes foam • if necessary, repeats several times • adds conditioner and rubs it into hair and scalp • combs hair gently • rinses with water and dries with a towel Washing towels and rollers • fetches water in a bucket 221
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ • soaks towel in water • rubs soap on the towel and rubs dirty parts against each other until they are clean • rinses in a separate bowl until all traces of soap are removed • dries rinsed towels on a clothes line, a rack or placing them on bushes Helping in braiding and combing out old weave • holds strands of weave in left hand firmly • uses a comb to part the weave • removes weak or split strands of artificial hair • divides strands of weave into three equal parts • braids by passing one strand over the other in a regular pattern Keeping the shop clean and going on errands • sweeps the shop every morning and evening • removes cobwebs from the ceiling and walls • dusts the chairs and tables in the shop • weeds and sweeps around the shop when instructed • goes on errands to buy soap, weave and other itemsTake home shareA hairdresser’s helper could be paid about ¢5,000 per day so at the end ofthe month, the assistant will receive about ¢150,000.Necessary tools and investmentsAs the equipment is provided by the Madam, the assistant needs a uniformand apron with the cost not exceeding 100 000 Cedis at present prices.Risk of injuriesAre low, but by constant immersion of the hands in water and chemicalproducts the skin may become irritated.Safety measuresNo specific safety measures are needed.Gender factors222
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________It is customary for females to work in this job.SeasonalityWomen go to the hairdresser all year round. 223
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.6.10. HouseboyHelps take care of the immediate surroundings of the house and generallymakes himself useful.Main activities • weeding around the house and watering the garden • sweeping the compound • opening and closing the gate • washing the carPrerequisite skillsSince the houseboy interacts with visitors and family members, he needs arelatively high skill level as concerns social competence (communication andreaction to criticism), a neat and pleasing appearance (self help skills), andhe needs to be able to deal with electrical hazards and sharp objects (safetyawareness). Orientation and travel skills can be quite low as he mainly worksaround the house. But, as with all jobs, good motivation and work behavior,as well as medium physical strength and agility are important for succeedingat this job.Main task areas Weeding around the house and watering the garden • removes weeds around the path and flower beds with a cutlass • waters the flowers with a watering can • uses a water hose to sprinkle the grass Sweeping the compound • rakes the leaves and burns them when necessary • sweeps the compound and throws away the rubbish • burns the trash or brings it to the refuse dump Opening and closing the gate • welcomes and announces visitors • opens and closes gates for the master’s car • keeps a watchful eye on the house224
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ Washing the car • fetches water and adds soap • washes the body of the car with soapy water • removes rubber mats and brushes the interior • washes the car windows and wipes off the interior • scrubs the tires with a brushTake home shareA house boy may earn a monthly allowance between ¢100,000 to ¢300,000depending on the wealth of the family he serves.Necessary tools and investmentsCutlass, hoe, rake, bucket, brush watering can and hose are supplied by themaster, so there is no need for investments.Risk of injuriesAre low, except for possible accidents while weeding.Safety measuresNo specific safety measures are needed but, in general, a first aid box shouldbe available in the house.Gender factorsThe job of a house boy, as the name suggests, is an occupation for boys orfor men. Girls or women also work in this field but are more occupied inhelping with cooking and the children (see house girl).SeasonalityIt is an all year round occupation. 225
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.6.11. Refuse collector’s helperMoves from house to house and from street to street to collect refuse into acart and transports it to a suitable site for dumping.Main activities • collecting refuse from house to house and from street to street • depositing trash at a refuse dumpPrerequisite skillsA refuse collector’s helper can have only limited social skills (ex. cancommunicate by gestures) but needs to be willing to assist and accept somecriticism. He needs only limited self-care a skills, as the job itself is not clean,but must be able to wash carefully after work. The only safety hazards couldbe cutting oneself with sharp objects such as broken glass. Orientation andtravel skills are important, as the helper roams about gathering rubbish.Functional academics are of no importance, however, responsibility,motivation and work behavior must be given and a certain degree of physicalstrength and agility is needed for pushing or dragging the cart.Main task areas Collecting refuse from house to house and from street to street • pushes a wheelbarrow round in the community to collect refuse or pulls a cart from house to house • lifts the dustbin and empties the trash into the cart • makes sure there is no refuse left in the trash bin and sweeps the ground around the dustbin Depositing trash at a refuse dump • when the vehicle is full wheels it to the refuse dump • empties the refuse into the dump making sure there is none left in the cart • pushes or pulls the cart to the next house where trash has not yet been emptied • collects his fees at the end of the week or month226
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________Take home shareDepends on the number of houses served but can go up to 200 000 Cedis amonth.Necessary tools and investmentsWheelbarrow or cart, shovel, broom, nose mask, refuse pincher, hand gloveswith investments of up to 350 000 Cedis at present pricesRisk of injuriesLow, but collecting refuse can be a health risk if it contains diseasedorganisms or broken bottles and glass.Safety measuresDuring collection and transport he must avoid direct contact with refuse bywearing gloves. In the case of strong odors or extreme dust he should wearmouth and nose protection and be instructed to wash thoroughly after work.Gender factorsThis job could be done by both sexes.SeasonalityCollecting rubbish is an all year round job. 227
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.6.12. Sales assistantHelps in unpacking boxes, storing wares on the shop’s shelves, carryingcustomers´ packages to their cars, sweeping and cleaning the store.Main activities • unpacking and storing goods in the shelves • putting items for customers into bags and carrying them to a taxi • keeping the store neatPrerequisite skillsSince the assistant deals with customers, a neat and pleasing appearance(self help skills), good communication (social competence), and positivesocial behavior are a must. As there are no specific hazards, the need forsafety awareness is low, except for being able to deal with sharp instrumentssuch as razor blades or knifes. A medium level of functional academics, suchas picture reading and counting quantities up to 20 is an advantage.Orientation and travel skills as well as physical strength and agility can bemoderate. But, as in all occupations, good motivation and work behavior area must in order to find work.Main task areas Unpacking and storing goods on the shelves • carries boxes and bundles into the store • uses a razor blade or a knife to slit open the cello tape seal • removes the content of the box and stacks it into the appropriate shelves • brings the empty boxes outside and stores them in a designated place Putting items for customers into bags and carrying them to a taxi • stands beside the cashier and places items into a rubber bag • avoids packing too many items into a bag, so it will not tear • carries the bags to the customers car or a roadside taxi Keeping the store neat • sweeps the shop every morning and evening • removes cobwebs from the ceiling and walls228
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ • dusts the shelves and tables in the shop • weeds and sweeps around the shop when instructedTake home shareA sales assistant could be paid about ¢5,000 per day so at the end of themonth, the assistant will receive about ¢150,000.Necessary tools and investmentsAll the equipment, such as broom, duster or ceiling brush as well as a razorblade or scissors is provided by the shop owner.Risk of injuriesAre low, but the person can cut himself when opening boxes with a sharptool.Safety measuresNo specific safety measures are needed.Gender factorsMales and females can work in this job.SeasonalityShops operate all year round. 229
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.6.13. Second hand shoe seller’s helperWashes, dries and polishes imported second hand shoes for sale at themarket.Main activities • washing and drying shoes in the sun • polishing the shoes • exhibiting shoes for sale and storing them for the nightPrerequisite skillsIn order to attract customers, the helper must have a neat and pleasingappearance (self help skills) and communicate well (social competence). Hemust show good social behavior and needs some skills in travel andorientation as he will need to move around in his job. There are almost nosafety risks in this job, and functional academics are only important asconcerns dealing with money and making change. Physical strength andagility can be limited but good motivation and work behavior is a must.Main task areas Washing and drying shoes in the sun • fetches water from a tap in a bucket • cleans the shoes with a rag dipped in soapy clean smelling water • sets the shoes on a clean surface to dry Polishing the shoes • applies shoe polish and when necessary leather die with a rag • spreads the polish smoothly all over the surface leather • rubs the polish into the leather with a rag • uses brush or rag to polish shoe leather until it shines230
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ Exhibiting shoes for sale and storing them for the night • puts the shoes in rows on the pavement in the market • stuffs the shoes with newspaper to smooth out the wrinkles in the leather • sets them up in pairs and categories: children’s, women’s and men’s shoes • bundles the shoes in bags for the night and stores them in a safe placeTake home shareMonthly earnings can come to about 150 000 Cedis.Necessary tools and investmentsBucket, soap, polish, brush, rags, a chair. The investments without the costof used shoes amount to a little over 100 000 Cedis at present prices.Risk of injuriesNo risks.Safety measuresNo specific measures necessary except being attentive.Gender factorsBoth sexes can sell second hand shoes.SeasonalityThis is an all year round job. 231
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ 5.6.14. Ward assistantKeeps a hospital ward or community centre clean by making beds, sweepingand mopping floors and dusting the furniture.Main activities • sweeping and mopping the floor • dusting and cleaning furniture • dressing beds • weeding and keeping the surroundings tidyPrerequisite skillsAs the assistant is working in an environment which must be clean and dealswith customers or patients, good hygiene and communication skills areindispensable (social competence, social behavior and self help skills). Thehelper needs to be able to deal with electrical hazards (safety awareness).However, his orientation and travel skills can be quite limited, as he will beworking in the same environment. Functional academics are of lowimportance, but, like for all professions, good motivation and work behaviorare essential.Main task areas Sweeping and mopping the floor • sweeps the wards rooms and surroundings of the centre • scrubs gutters and floors • mops the floor Dusting and cleaning furniture • dusts the furniture and the louvers • washes the louvers with soap and water when needed • removes cow webs from the ceiling and walls Dressing beds • makes the beds • removes the dirty linen • carries the soiled bed sheets to the laundry232
  • AN ANALYSIS OF VOCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED SCHOOL LEAVERS________________________________________________________________________________________ Weeding and keeping the surroundings tidy • weeds around the building • sweeps the paths to the ward • empties rubbish bin • carries the trash to the refuse dumpTake home shareA ward cleaner in a hospital or community centre can earn up to 300 000Cedis a month.Necessary tools and investmentsThe following implements are provided by the hospital or community centreso no investments are needed: broom, rags, plastic buckets, disinfectant,mop, rubber gloves and soap.Risk of injuriesThe person can slip on a wet floor or hurt himself weeding but, in general,risks are low.Safety measuresSupervision is necessary and the ward assistant must learn to be carefularound wet and slippery surfaces.Gender factorsBoth sexes can become ward cleaners.SeasonalityThis is an all year round job. 233
  • ORGANIZING TRANSITION AND SUPPORT________________________________________________________________________________________VI. ORGANIZING TRANSITION AND SUPPORTFollowing the American example, there have been numerous descriptions ofsetting up a transition team and developing a written IndividualizedVocational Transition Plan (IVTP) (Thressiakutty & Rao, 2001, 41-45).Inthese publications, emphasis is put on the multidisciplinary composition ofthe transition team and a written plan, which specifies long t and short-termobjectives.In frequent meetings, these persons are to work out and follow up a plan forindividual transition, a strategy which sounds compelling. However, under thegiven circumstances on the ground in Ghana, this can lead to cumbersomeand ineffective procedures. Arranging meetings for a large number of personsand demanding written documents can be time consuming. Often the personschosen to attend will not actually give any practical support for solving theproblems at hand. Medical, therapeutic, special education and social servicesas well as vocational training options or employment opportunities from localbusinesses are usually quite limited for mentally handicapped school leaversin the community. In addition, some of these persons will want compensationfor their time as well as travel expenses. Typing and distributing a writtentransition plan can be an extra burden. This is why we suggest a pragmaticprocedure that reduces meeting time and written documents to a practicalminimum. 6.1. Transition TeamThe people discussing the vocational options of the handicapped school leavershould obviously be those who know the person best and who have a realstake in his future.Ideal core team members include: • the special educator who has taught the person for some time • the parents or guardians • the young person himself • and, if possible the person who will guide the graduate on the work site.In some cases advice must be sought from professionals, i.e. what type ofwork is not dangerous for a person with epileptic seizures, what technical aids234
  • ORGANIZING TRANSITION AND SUPPORT________________________________________________________________________________________can help a person with low vision in performing a specific job, etc. In manycases, however, this information can be organized before the meeting by thespecial educator so that the professional person will not need to spend timeand money to attend the meeting.This book is written with the assumption in mind, that the person with adisability visits a special class in a regular school in the community and hascontinued to live with his family. This implies that the special educator is inrelatively frequent contact with the family and is aware of the jobopportunities in the community.Transition from a segregated boarding school is a different and complexissue, especially if the parents live far away, do not see their child often andmeetings with additional travel costs are involved. 6.2. Information neededThe process of transition starts from the special class in which the graduate isbeing taught. The special educator can bring in specific information: • Results of the assessment of interests and abilities based on the students performance in the classroom as well as varied vocational activities. • What support the person needs when working ( see check list in the annex)The parents or guardians of the child can add their contribution to thisassessment and give additional information as to: • What kind of work is available in the extended family setting (see check list in the annex) which the handicapped school leaver could fit into. • Which person could be asked to train and supervise the individual on the work siteThe handicapped school leaver himself can express his own point of view ifpossible and describe his preferences, hopes and dreams. 235
  • ORGANIZING TRANSITION AND SUPPORT________________________________________________________________________________________ 6.3. Results and discussionIf all persons concerned agree on the interests, abilities and opportunitiesavailable for the handicapped school leaver, a stepwise procedure fortransition can be arranged.This could be done according to the following schedule: • The special educator visits the future job site- if he has not already done so before- to look at the tasks that must be accomplished. • Using task analysis, he carefully analyses the different main activities (see the procedure for task analysis in this handbook and look at the examples given for different vocational options). • In his analysis he concentrates on core work routines that occur very frequently or daily in a job in order to see which of these skills must still be trained. • In addition, he notes which work behaviors expected from a worker such as punctuality, getting along with co-workers, being able to stand time pressure, etc. are necessary for the job at hand. • Also work related skills associated with successful performance but not directly linked to the job itself must be analyzed. For example, as already mentioned, someone working in agriculture must be able to find his way to the outlying fields where yams are being planted (orientation and mobility skills), must be capable of identifying labels that signal “Poison” when spraying plants (functional academics), etc. • After this visit and an analysis of the job, a suggestion can be made as to which specific tasks the young person can handle and a person identified who will monitor and support the job activity. • It is especially important to emphasize that the tasks assigned should be within the ability of the person so that he will achieve success. Also, the work should not be too heavy or unpleasant so the person will not lose heart. If only extremely heavy and dirty work is assigned, and the person is frequently scolded and criticized, we need not be surprised, if he gives up easily.236
  • ORGANIZING TRANSITION AND SUPPORT________________________________________________________________________________________The individual transition planJust like a weekly lesson plan which teachers are accustomed to, theindividual transition plan outlines: • where the training takes place • what skills are being trained and • who is responsible for the trainingAgain the intention is to sketch out a framework that eliminates unnecessarypaperwork but makes clear: • what should be done • by whom • where and • in which amount of time.Let us take the example of a young girl, who is going to learn how to helpher mother with grilling plantains (see Plantain griller’s helper in thechapter 5.5. FOOD PREPARATION AND PROCESSING).A simple IndividualizedVocational Transition Plan could look like this:Name of Trainee: Comfort Age: 16 YearsTraining duration: 1 Year Job site: Before House No 3 Chartey streetPerson responsible at school: DavidPerson responsible at work site: Mother AgathaTraining Schedule 1st Term 2nd Term 3rd Term RemarkssiteSchool Duration Four days a Two days a One day a week week week Objectives Safety Equal length Safety measures, measures and money equal length, skills money skillsJob site Duration One day a Three days a Four days a week week week Objectives Lighting fire, Tending fire, Tending fire, fanning the peeling and peeling plantains, embers, cutting grilling plantain adding plantain to and dealing with charcoal equal pieces customers ** These activities do need to be accomplished simultaneously. It is desirable thatthe trainee masters all these skills but, in order to be useful in this job, one ortwo skills could be sufficient. 237
  • ORGANIZING TRANSITION AND SUPPORT________________________________________________________________________________________It is obvious that such a schedule will only work, if there is communicationbetween the school and the job site in order to deal with any problems thatcome along. In community based schools this is relatively easy to achieve asthe distance between the home and the school is not great.Basically the job of the school consists of checking if the prerequisite skillswhich the young person needs on this specific job have been acquired foreach task. These skills can be reinforced by discussing proper behavior forexample safety skills, by setting tasks at school that practice these skills andfinally by observing the person on the job to give additional hints andfeedback.Very often people expect a young person not to learn a task in small stepssuch as we have shown in task analysis but to grasp the whole procedure inone complete process. If there is no immediate success even teachers ofmentally retarded children often conclude: “This person cannot learn anythingat all!” It is the job of the teacher to demonstrate to the coworkers thatthrough teaching a skill step by step complex tasks can be learned.In addition the teacher can introduce simple techniques for learning some ofthe skills.For example the trainee can be taught to cut pieces of plantain of equallength by marking a given length on the cutting board. The child is thenshown how to align the peeled plantain to the cutting board and use themarks to measure the desired length of plantain.An empty tin can be used to measure the amount of charcoal to be added tothe fire etc. etc.Last not least there still exists a tendency to believe that by frequentcriticism, shouting and even caning a person will acquire skills. Children areseen as inherently lazy that must be forced to learn. This is obviously nottrue.The teacher should be a model of patience, of being able to judge, how big astep a child can learn and what techniques can be used to give assistance tothe acquisition of a skill. He should demonstrate by his behavior therespect for the efforts of the pupil and show optimism for the trainee’s abilityto learn and do worthwhile work.238
  • ORGANIZING TRANSITION AND SUPPORT________________________________________________________________________________________Finalizing transitionIn the preface to this handbook we stated, that decent work was the goal oftransition. This can be achieved by carefully guiding young mentallyhandicapped school leavers in analyzing their abilities, their interests and theopportunities open to them.As we spend most of our waking hours at work, integration into society is toa large extent defined by actively pursuing some activity which is of use tothe people around us. Being active in whatever small way and helping withthe tasks at hand increases the self esteem of the person and the acceptanceby others.Only those persons familiar with the school leaver and the person himself candecide at what point in time transition from school to work has beenachieved. Usually a period of one year should be sufficient to reach this goal.In some cases the time could be shorter and in a few cases where a lot ofback up and support is needed time could be extended.However, a regular contact and follow up of former pupils by the schoolshould be the norm. In a community-based school, this can be achieved bycasual encounters at the market in the streets or just passing by the parents’home. In addition, a school could invite former pupils to certain events suchas game activities, festive occasions such as Christmas or Easter etc. It is notthe task of a school to keep mentally handicapped adults in special schoolsforever. However, schools do have a responsibility for seeing to it that theirformer pupils live a decent life. 239
  • AN OUTLINE OF PRE-VOCATIONAL TRAINING________________________________________________________________________________________VII. AN OUTLINE OF PRE-VOCATIONAL TRAININGIt has been underlined many times over, that a school for mentallyhandicapped children in Ghana should not attempt to train pupils in specificprofessions in which they must perform independently after graduation. Unitsor schools for mentally handicapped children have neither the resources northe skilled personnel who would be able to train for specific professions. Thistraining cannot be done in a school environment .A real life situation isneeded where goods are produced and sold to customers in a competitivemarket or services rendered in a community setting. It does not seemfeasible to train for the role of a helper in all the numerous activities we havedescribed. We need to take into account the setting in which these jobs willbe performed and the persons with whom the school leaver will work.This is especially true for residential schools that have very limited contactwith parents and the community of origin. After leaving school, the graduatewill necessarily go back to the community and will need to be fitted into hisfamily’s economic activities.However, quite a number of prerequisite skills for many of the job activitiesthat have been listed can be trained at school as well as the majority of basicskills that are the core elements of many of the simple jobs we havedescribed in the preceding chapter.The procedure of identifying these prerequisite, readiness skills and coreskills for many vocational activities will be explained in the following chapter. 7.1. An analysis of basic vocational skillsIn the description of job activities available to persons with a mental handicapwe have distinguished between prerequisite and task skills.Prerequisite skills are those which make it likely that a person can betrained for a certain job. Examples include physical strength andcommunication skills. It has been the experience of many teachers andparents that there are limits to development. A person who is quite frail in hisphysical build will not be able to work as a blacksmith’s helper. A person whohas speech difficulties will not be able to succeed in a job in which240
  • AN OUTLINE OF PRE-VOCATIONAL TRAINING________________________________________________________________________________________communication with customers is essential. This applies to any human beingwhether handicapped or not and is probably the reason why some havedecided to become a teachers and not nuclear scientists or professionalfootball players.Prerequisite skillsThe Winneba Vocational Readiness Scale (Kniel, A. & Kniel-Jurka, C.2006) that is modeled after the work of Cornelius & Ruckman (1998) containsa list of eight subscales that measure the extent of readiness in areas thatare prerequisite for many practical vocational activities in the informal sectorin Ghana.This scale can be used to assess the level of readiness of an individual pupilin different skill areas as well as in defining objectives which should beachieved so that the future graduate can follow a certain vocation. It can alsobe used to eliminate vocational activities for which the young person does nothave the necessary prerequisite skills and where even when trained is notlikely to achieve the necessary level of competence. For example, no matterhow much we train a pupil with cerebral palsy it is not likely that this childwill be able to perform well in a job that demands accelerated fine motorskills.No matter how well we educate a mentally handicapped school leaver with anadditional hearing impairment, a job which demands constant verbalcommunication with customers is not suited for this person.All the vocations we have looked at are characterized by specific demands onreadiness skills which make it likely that a person can be trained on site forthis activity. But we can still generalize as to those prerequisite skills that arecommon for the six vocational domains we have described in detail: • Animal rearing • Crop farming • Crafts involving light physical labor • Crafts involving heavy physical labor • Food preparation and processing • Services and commerceWe can distinguish between three levels of importance of prerequisite skillsfor animal rearing: 241
  • AN OUTLINE OF PRE-VOCATIONAL TRAINING________________________________________________________________________________________ • those abilities where a low level of skill is possible and which are not so important • those skills that are important for some but not for all jobs, and • those abilities which are important in any type of animal rearing and where a sufficient skills level is necessary.242
  • AN OUTLINE OF PRE-VOCATIONAL TRAINING________________________________________________________________________________________ 7.2. Prerequisite skills in animal rearingNot so important Important for some Important sufficient levellow skill level possible but not all jobs necessarySocial interaction Social interaction (willingness to(communication and help and social behavior)greeting)Self care (toileting, Self care (personal hygiene)eating, grooming)Safety awareness Safety awareness (use of sharp(electrical & fire objects, threats by animals)hazards)Orientation and travel Orientation and travel Task behavior(direction and (orientation in the (responsibility, reaction tosignboards, public community, traffic instruction, criticism)transport) hazards)Functional academics Functional academics Functional academics(reading & writing, (money skills) (measurement)number skills) Motivation and work behavior (perseverance, willingness, punctuality, remaining in workplace) Physical strength and agility (lifting and carrying, walking and running, holding and grasping, bending and balancing)Quite simply, we can conclude that those persons will probably succeed inworking with animals that: • show good motivation and work behavior, • have the necessary safety awareness for dangers associated with the job, • are of medium physical strength and agility, • have a grasp of numbers and • are willing to help, follow instructions and show responsible behavior and accept criticism. 243
  • AN OUTLINE OF PRE-VOCATIONAL TRAINING________________________________________________________________________________________Formal academics skills, verbal competence and sociable behavior as well asa pleasing, neat appearance and good hygiene are desirable but not essentialfor this type of job. 7.3. Prerequisite skills in crop farmingAs the following table shows, the prerequisite skills for vegetable farming areidentical to those of animal rearing.Not so important Important for some Important sufficient levellow skill level possible but not all jobs necessarySocial interaction Social interaction (willingness(communication and to help and social behavior)greeting)Self care (toileting, Self care (personaleating, grooming) hygiene)Safety awareness Safety awareness (use of sharp(electrical & fire objects, threats by animals)hazards)Orientation and travel Orientation and travel Task behavior(direction and (orientation in the (responsibility, reaction tosignboards, public community, traffic instruction, criticism)transport) hazards)Functional academics Functional academics Functional academics (number(reading & writing) (money skills) and measurement skills) Motivation and work behavior (perseverance, willingness, punctuality, remaining in workplace) Physical strength and agility (lifting and carrying, walking and running, holding and grasping, bending& balancing)We can conclude that in the majority of cases, those pupils that are likely tobe able to do farm work can learn to raise animals and grow vegetables aswell.244
  • AN OUTLINE OF PRE-VOCATIONAL TRAINING________________________________________________________________________________________ 7.4. Prerequisite skills in crafts: light or heavy physical laborWe can easily see the difference in prerequisite skills as they relate to craftswhich involve light or heavy physical labor:Prerequisite skills in crafts involving light physical laborNot so important Important for some Important sufficient levellow skill level possible but not all jobs necessarySocial interaction Social interaction (willingness(communication and to help and social behavior)greeting)Self care (toileting, eating,grooming)Safety awareness Safety awareness (fire Safety awareness (use of(electrical hazards) hazards, threats by sharp objects) wild animals)Orientation and travel Orientation and travel Task behavior(direction and signboards, (orientation in the (responsibility, reaction topublic transport) community, traffic instruction, criticism) hazards)Functional academics Functional academics Functional academics(reading & writing) (measurement and (numbers) number skills)Social Behaviour Motivation and work behavior (perseverance, willingness, punctuality, remaining in workplace) High degree of physical strength and agility (lifting and carrying, walking and running, holding and grasping, bending& balancing) 245
  • AN OUTLINE OF PRE-VOCATIONAL TRAINING________________________________________________________________________________________Prerequisite skills in crafts involving heavy physical laborNot so important Important for some Important sufficient levellow skill level possible but not all jobs necessary Social competence Social interaction (willingness (communication and to help and social behavior) greeting) Self care (toileting, personal hygiene, eating, grooming) Safety awareness (fire hazards, threats by wild animals)Orientation and travel Task behavior(direction and signboards, (responsibility, reaction topublic transport) instruction, criticism)Functional academics(reading & writing,addition, subtraction) Motivation and work behavior (perseverance, willingness, punctuality, remaining in workplace) Physical agility (holding and grasping, bending and balancing)Most crafts involving light labor feature some contact with the public so thatsome social competence in communication and greeting, as well as a neatand acceptable appearance, seem necessary. These aspects do not seemvery important for most crafts involving heavy physical labor. In addition,there are a variety of safety hazards of which a person in these jobs must beaware, whereas in most forms of light physical labor workers only need to bealert to one type of hazard.It is quite obvious that the main distinction between these two forms of worklies in the area of motor skills demanded. Crafts involving heavy physicallabor demand a high degree of physical strength and mastery of gross motor246
  • AN OUTLINE OF PRE-VOCATIONAL TRAINING________________________________________________________________________________________skills. In crafts which involve light physical labor, fine motor skills are more inthe foreground. 7.6. Prerequisite skills in food preparation and processingNot so important Important for some but Important sufficient levellow skill level possible not all jobs necessary Social competence Social interaction (communication and (willingness to help and greeting) social behavior) Self care (toileting, Self care (toileting, personal hygiene, eating, personal hygiene, eating, grooming) groomingSafety awareness (fire Safety awareness (use ofhazards, threats by animals) sharp objects, fire hazards)Orientation and travel Orientation and travel Task behavior(direction and signboards, (orientation in the (responsibility, reaction topublic transport) community, traffic instruction, criticism) hazards)Functional academics Functional academics Functional academics(reading & writing) (measurement and (number skills) money skills) Motivation and work behavior (perseverance, willingness, punctuality, remaining in workplace) Physical strength and agility (lifting and carrying, walking and running, holding and grasping, bending and balancing) 247
  • AN OUTLINE OF PRE-VOCATIONAL TRAINING________________________________________________________________________________________In contrast to the other vocational areas we have analyzed up to now, theprerequisite skills that have to do with self care are most important whenpreparing food. The person needs to be clean and have a pleasingappearance in order to attract customers. This area involves using a knife orscraper, setting and cooking on a fire, as well as lifting and carrying mediumweights. Only pupils who have a certain degree of competence in these areascould be oriented towards working in food preparation and processing. 7.7. Prerequisite skills in services and commerceNot so important Important for some but Important sufficient levellow skill level possible not all jobs necessary Social interaction (communication and greeting, willingness to help and social behavior) Self care (toileting, personal hygiene, eating, groomingSafety awareness Safety awareness (use of Safety awareness (use of sharp(threats by animals) sharp objects, fire & objects, fire hazards) electrical hazardsOrientation and travel Orientation and travel Task behavior(direction and (orientation in the (responsibility, reaction tosignboards, public community, traffic instruction, acceptance oftransport) hazards) criticism)Functional academics Functional academics Functional academics (number(reading & writing) (measurement and skills) money skills) Motivation and work behavior (perseverance, willingness, punctuality, remaining in workplace) Physical strength and Physical strength and agility agility (walking and (lifting and carrying, holding running, bending and and grasping) balancing)248
  • AN OUTLINE OF PRE-VOCATIONAL TRAINING________________________________________________________________________________________As commerce and services for the most part includes dealing with the public,social competence and good self care skills are important in order to attractclients. Physical strength and agility again is mainly important in the finemotor domain. The areas of functional academics that are especiallyimportant concern, dealing with money and making change, as well asmeasuring skills. This, by the way, is exactly the same for the majority ofthose Ghanaians who are illiterate and are working successfully in commerceand services in the informal sector. 7.8. The school curriculum and prerequisite skills for vocationsIf one of the primary goals of school is to prepare pupils for a productive life,we can draw some interesting conclusions from our analysis of prerequisiteskills for those jobs that are accessible for mentally handicapped schoolleavers.It is evident, that for any type of job the following three prerequisite skillareas seem very important:Task behavior • Responsibility, i.e. being careful with equipment that is used for the job • Following instructions • Tolerance of criticism, i.e. accepting criticism and correcting work behavior as instructedMotivation and work behavior • Perseverance, i.e. being able to work without stopping for longer periods of time • Willingness, i.e. being open to take up any assignment given • Punctuality • Remaining in the workplace 249
  • AN OUTLINE OF PRE-VOCATIONAL TRAINING________________________________________________________________________________________Social Interaction • Offering help when asked either when prompted or spontaneously • Showing age and culturally appropriate behavior towards othersThose children who have learned these skills at school have the best chancesof satisfying their employer at work.So any activities offered at school that foster these skills are of great benefitfor the future.In fact in the aforementioned study of Suresh & Santhanam (2002), it wasfound that a strong positive relationship exists between these work traits andsuccess at given tasks in a vocational setting for mentally handicappedpersons in India.This is not to say, that other prerequisite skills should not be developed in theschool context. Good communication skills, physical strength and agility,travel and orientation skills , safety awareness and functional academics (numbers, measurement and money skills) are also important as prerequisitesfor certain jobs. But given the competition for simple jobs in the Ghanaianlabor market, the most obvious advantage a mentally handicapped personwould have are willingness to work hard and continuously, carefully followinginstructions and being ready to help whenever asked.In fact, these are the traits which encourage employers in industrializedcountries to hire mentally handicapped workers for simple jobs. They seem tobe more dedicated to their work if treated well than some of thenonhandicapped competitors.In order to prepare pupils in units or schools for the mentally handicapped,we should select elements of the curriculum that fit the demands of theirfuture life situation. This means that instead of copying letters, we wouldneed to concentrate on reading common sight words which the pupils willencounter in the community. Instead of attempting to teach formal writtennumber work, counting and sorting objects as to size and shape as well asmoney skills should be in the foreground. In sports and physical educationbuilding strength and agility is a priority.In the following chapter we will attempt to show how these skills can bedeveloped in a two year pre-vocational training program. This program doesnot aim to train for a specific profession but tries to develop interests andabilities by offering a variety of different projects in the last two school years.250
  • AN OUTLINE OF A PREVOCATIONAL TRAINING PROGRAM ________________________________________________________________________________________VIII. AN OUTLINE OF A PREVOCATIONAL TRAINING PROGRAM Not much has changed since Hayford (2001) studied pre-vocational activities offered in four schools for mentally handicapped children in Ghana. Schools are still mostly active in the following areas: basketry, farming, batik and envelope making. Let us first look at the basic skills involved in the activity areas we have just analyzed: farming (animal rearing and vegetable growing), crafts, food preparation/processing, commerce and services. After looking at the basic skills in these five work areas we will present a selection of activities for prevocational training. These are basic work processes which could be inexpensively offered at every unit or special school for mentally handicapped children in Ghana in a two-year pre-vocational program. Please look carefully at the table to judge, what basic elements all these vocational activities have in common even though different specific skills are necessary to perform each job. 8.1. Task skills common to all vocational areas 251
  • AN OUTLINE OF A PREVOCATIONAL TRAINING PROGRAMAnimal Rearing Vegetable growing Crafts Food preparation Services/ commerceSorting and Sorting seeds and plants Sorting materials as Sorting food materials as to Sorting materials as to size,distinguishing different according to type, size, to size, color, length quality, soaking and sieving color, length, shape and qualitymaterials (foodstuff, maturity etc. Identifying shape and quality grains, flourleaves, etc.) plants ripe for harvestingMeasuring and mixing Measuring and mixing Measuring and Measuring and mixing using a Measuring sewing, gluing,materials (feed, manure quantities and assisting in mixing quantities of measuring bowl, to add specific braiding, cutting out shapesetc.) so that they are fertilizing material quantitiesevenly distributedCarrying, fetching and Carrying and storing Carrying, loading, Carrying materials to a specific Carrying, loading, storing andstoring feed, water and tools and crops, watering storing and stacking location, i.e. the grinding mill. stacking bundling, finishedproducts, i.e. eggs plants bundling, finished Packaging, stacking, bundling, products and raw material products and raw storing finished products and materials raw materialCleaning and sweeping Clearing the land and Cleaning and Cleaning and sweeping and Cleaning brushing, sweeping,and bringing away waste weeding sweeping and bringing bringing away waste materials weeding, dusting mopping andmaterials away waste materials bringing away waste materials Washing, rinsing, and dryingCutting grass and other Planting seeds, seedling Cutting, splitting, Cutting, peeling, chopping,feed in an even distance and sanding, polishing scraping, cracking food materials depth of hole shaping materials to a given sizeSetting and using a fire Setting and using a Setting and using a fire for Using a charcoal or electric ironfor preparing feed fire for burning frying, cooking and bringing Lighting charcoal for a box iron charcoal or for boiling water to a boil oil, water, wax etc. 252
  • AN OUTLINE OF A PREVOCATIONAL TRAINING PROGRAM________________________________________________________________________________________It seems clear that even though specific task skills make up each occupation,some generic task skills that are common to the different vocational areascan be identified. Sorting, for example, refers to distinguishing differentmaterials depending on whether the person is engaged in: • farming (seedlings, grains, etc.), • crafts (i.e., pieces of glass in different colors in bead making), • food preparation (good from spoilt corn) or • services (dirty or clean clothing) .This skill seems to be necessary for task success in most jobs. So inpracticing these skills by being exposed to a number of different activities inthe pre-vocational phase of schooling, the pupil not only can test his abilitiesand interests in different fields but also learn to generalize skills over severalareas.However the reader should be aware, that one of the specific traits ofmentally handicapped persons is that learning is situation specific.Generalization, i.e. transferring learning from one setting to the other forexample from the classroom to the home that we do easily in most cases isnot accomplished naturally (for a detailed discussion see Berkson, 1993, 149-172, Graziano, 2002, 204-214). That is why the same skills must bepracticed over and over again in different settings such as those differentvocational activities which we suggest should be included in the pre-vocational program. 8.2. Criteria for selecting pre-vocational activities in the Ghanaian settingIf we select a number of pre-vocational activities to be offered on a regularbasis in units and schools, we need to select these according to the followingcriteria: • Low cost of materials and tools • Local raw material easily available • No specific skill or knowledge necessary for teachers 253
  • AN OUTLINE OF A PREVOCATIONAL TRAINING PROGRAM________________________________________________________________________________________ • Relatively easy tasks which can be subdivided into specific tasks for children of all ages and abilities • Products can be used in the school or consumed by the children themselves • Several basic skills can be acquired in each activityUnits or schools for the mentally handicapped receive almost no subsidiesfrom the government, and in the majority rely on funds from NGOs ordonations. It is not an easy task to offer a variety of activities which candevelop those generic skills which are important for future jobs. In additionactivities that can be offered depend on the location and amount of land, theavailability of water etc. in the unit or school.Following the criteria we have outlined, the following activities could beconsidered for a two- year pre-vocational training program: • Crop raising (tomatoes, beans, peppers) • Animal husbandry (snails, rabbits) • Crafts: (broom making, soap making) • Domestic services (clothes washing and mending, regular cleaning of the classroom and compound) • Food preparation (groundnut roasting, preparing a simple meal once a week with the older children)All these activities are simple, and the materials can be gathered for free orbought at low cost. Most teachers know how to teach these skills and will notrequire specific training. Parents could be encouraged to contribute some ofthe necessary materials.Some of the skills taught in each of these activities are listed in the followingtable:254
  • AN OUTLINE OF A PREVOCATIONAL TRAINING PROGRAM________________________________________________________________________________________Activity Task SkillsGrowing Sorting seeds and plants according to type, size, maturity etctomatoes, Measuring size of nursery bed, distance and depth of planting seeds.beans, Mixing top soil and fertilizer, manure or black earthpepper Carrying watering can and tools Clearing the land and weeding Cutting branches for making a shade roofRaising Sorting different types of feed (grass, leaves, peels, kitchen left-overs)snails or Measuring of pit, quantity of feed and waterrabbits Mixing feed Carrying water and feed Cleaning washing food trays, removing feces and old food Cutting grass and collecting leavesBroom Sorting branches as to length and strengthmaking Measuring length of risps, length of string for tying Carrying branches from the bush, brooms to the market Cleaning work area, sweeping the floor Cutting length of broom sticks, length of stringGroundnut Sorting groundnuts as to qualityroasting Measuring Necessary amount of sand, of groundnuts to be roasted Mixing sand and groundnuts for roasting Carrying sand, charcoal, groundnuts for roasting Cleaning removing groundnut shells, burnt charcoal, sweeping the worksite Setting fire for roastingClass Sorting dirty and clean clothing, clothing that is in order or must beclothes mendedwashing, Measuring the amount of water and soap, the length of thread, size ofmending buttons etc. to be usedand Carrying water to the wash siteironing Cleaning rubbing clothing until it is cleanday Setting charcoal aglow for ironingDepending on the school facilities, the geographical location of the school, aswell as the available ground for gardening or farm work, other simpleactivities could also be chosen for pre-vocational training. 255
  • AN OUTLINE OF A PREVOCATIONAL TRAINING PROGRAM________________________________________________________________________________________A possible schedule with increasing levels of difficulty could be as follows: Clothes Vegetable Raising a).Groundnut Crafts: washing growing snails roasting broom day or rabbits b).Meal making cookingBeginners Washing Watering Cleaning a).Shelling Removing and groundnuts sticks form drying b).Cleaning the palm pots and pans frondsIntermediate Washing Planting Watering a).Preparing Cutting and and and fire, roasting branches in ironing weeding feeding b).Working with the bush, fire removing branchesBefore Washing, Making Mixing feed a).Preparing Measuring,graduation ironing nursery etc. paste, whole shaping, and beds, watering, cycle tying the mending selecting feeding, b).Preparing a broom plants, mending complete meal harvesting fences etc. etc.All pupils independent of their age should participate according to their levelof skill in the weekly clothes washing and mending day.All other pre-vocational activities could follow a sequence. Vegetable growing,animal raising, crafts and food preparation and crafts such as broom makingcould be offered to a small group of pre-vocational students. These studentscould move on to another area after three to four months so that at the endof these two years, their interests and abilities in these different occupationswould be quite clear to them, their families and the teachers.It should again be underlined that the goal of this pre-vocational phase is notto make the pupils proficient in all these skill areas and then send them onthe job market to work independently. The intention is to train the basic skillscommon to most vocational activities and help parents and the pupilsthemselves test their abilities. By this method, the choice of a futureoccupation will be based on experience.256
  • AN OUTLINE OF A PREVOCATIONAL TRAINING PROGRAM________________________________________________________________________________________ 8.3. Time FrameA pre-vocational training program with the intention of fitting the child intothe available job structure of the family and community environment shouldconsist of several steps:1. A two- year period where the majority of school time is devoted to the projects previously outlined (School based vocational project phase).2. A job shadowing program, where children are attached for a short period to real life activities in the community to see what they are capable of and where their interests lie.3. An onsite training program where in the third year, future graduates are trained in a vocational skill in a real life situation in the community and slowly progress from part-time to full-time work. 8.4. School based vocational project phaseIn this phase, all the children age 15 and above would successively beintroduced to the activities described above. The goal consists of trainingthem in the basic skills that are at the root of most vocational activities.Depending on the individual school setting, other activities could beintroduced. For example, if palm oil is cheaply available in the region, soapmaking could be practiced in the school and the soap cakes used for theschool washing day. The area used for growing vegetables or raising snails orrabbits needs to be fenced in order to prevent theft and destruction. In this,case pupils could learn to make fences out of sticks or erect a compound wallwith mud bricks. It is clear, that the school based vocational project phasedepends on local circumstances. Parents can also be asked to make acontribution of their knowledge and skills as well as donate the necessarymaterials.In addition, in the school-based vocational project phase on-site visits withsmall groups of pupils to different jobs locations in the community should be 257
  • AN OUTLINE OF A PREVOCATIONAL TRAINING PROGRAM________________________________________________________________________________________organized. The pupils could spend some time watching parents or othercommunity members at work to get an idea of different professions. Parentsand other community members could be asked to explain their work to thepupils so that other activities than those in the vocational projects of theschools would be experienced. 8.5. Job shadowing programJob shadowing permits an individual student to spend one or two daysobserving (shadowing) a person or a team at work. Depending on the level ofdifficulty, the student may even be given an opportunity to try his hand atspecified tasks. The person to whom the student is assigned must be willingto supervise these activities. Job shadowing can be used as a method toimprove decision-making when choosing among several alternative jobs. Byobserving the pupil’s interest and abilities on the job site, the student himselfand his environment can come to a conclusion as to what is suitable for theindividual.As individual job shadowing will usually take place among members of theextended family it will also be possible to observe with whom the pupil getsalong well. Job shadowing also allows one to note which family memberunderstands and is able to deal with the future graduate.Job shadowing therefore serves a triple purpose: • it is an additional opportunity to assess abilities and interests • it increases the number of job options available and enables real life experience outside of the classroom, and • it permits us to observe who gets along with the pupil and to whom the pupils relates well. 8.6. Onsite training programIn the onsite training program, the pupil works full-time for a progressivenumber of days at a selected job for one year. At the end of the third year,the graduate will leave school and work full-time in the chosen field.258
  • AN OUTLINE OF A PREVOCATIONAL TRAINING PROGRAM________________________________________________________________________________________As McDonnell, Mathot-Buckner & Ferguson (1996) underline, job trainingneeds to focus on three main objectives:establishing a level of performance that is acceptable to the people who areworking together on the jobcreating a support system that deals with problems arising in the course ofworkseeing to it, that the graduate observes informal and formal rules that applyto the job at hand.As stated before, the expected level of performance should be clear forthe trainee as well as his co-workers. Care should be taken, that the personshould not be limited to unduly heavy or dirty work that no one else will todo. On the other hand, the trainee should be able to work at a certain level ofspeed and the accuracy necessary for this type of work in order to beaccepted as a co-worker.This means that in the beginning, following the principles of behaviormodification, praise and reinforcement, as well as prompts for “good workbehavior” should be frequent. This can be faded out over time, as the traineeprogressively masters the task.In some cases job modifications will be necessary. As we have seen in ourtask analysis of jobs available in the community, these can be broken downinto main task areas. A job modification could consist of limiting the task ofthe person to one area for example, watering and weeding the nursery bedsin plant growing. Or a modification could be limiting the work to poundingbroken glass bottles for bead making instead of expecting the person to dothe whole sequence of tasks. Another strategy would be to think ofadaptations that would reduce the difficulty of the task. Again taking up thesame example in the beginning, the area that should be watered with onefilling of the watering can could be marked. The person could be taught todistinguish earth that is sufficiently wet from that which is too dry or too wet,by touching the earth and observing its color. It is the job of the teacher tothink of such adaptations to make it easier for the person to learn to do thejob properly.Creating a support system involves finding persons on the job site who willbe friendly and help the trainee when needed. If the work is in the extendedfamily context, as is usually the case, such a “guardian angel” will probablyalready have been identified. Prinstain & Aikins (2005) studied howfriendships of mentally retarded adolescents can benefit psychological 259
  • AN OUTLINE OF A PREVOCATIONAL TRAINING PROGRAM________________________________________________________________________________________adjustment and Turnbull, Pereira & Blue-Banning (2000) examined howteachers can facilitate friendships of mentally handicapped pupils.Asher & Gottman (1981) have identified three conditions under whichfriendships develop: • There must be a shared interest; for example, the persons involved may like the same type of music, be interested in sports, etc. • There must be frequent contact with the potential friend, which means that friendship is more likely if you work together, live in the same neighborhood, etc. • Last not least, you need the social skills to initiate and maintain the relationship, which means the person needs to be able behave in the way that is expected by others, i.e. joking with peers, share typical topics of conversation, offer assistance, be polite and aware of others feelings, etc.Preaching to the co-workers and outlining the deficits of the individual:“He is mentally retarded, sometimes forgets to bathe and does not speakclearly but you have to love him as a human being” is not recommended.Giving lectures on mental retardation and showing that you are an expertserves only to underline the distance between the co-workers and the newperson who is going to join them in their job. We should focus on solvingexisting problems instead of creating new ones.The teacher should be available and easy to reach whenever there is aproblem and use his ideas and experience with former pupils to solve them.For example, if the person shows up regularly late at work the teacher cantalk to the people where he lives, find out why he is often late and get themto send him to the work site on time, etc.Observation of formal and informal rules on the job by the trainee canbe monitored by visits to the job sites and conversations with co-workers andthe trainee himself. The most important aspect here again is that the teacherwho is responsible for the onsite job training of his pupil is in loose informalcontact with the work site and is easily available for any necessarydiscussions.260
  • A FINAL WORD________________________________________________________________________________________IX. A FINAL WORDThis handbook cannot pretend to have an answer to the employmentproblems of persons with an intellectual disability in Ghana. Even inindustrialized countries, a large number of persons with a disability arewithout jobs.However, • by analyzing existing job opportunities, • assessing abilities and interests of mentally handicapped pupils • job matching and job training on site in the communitywe can take a decisive step towards our goal.With our support despite a handicap young school leavers can contribute totheir family’s well being. Through decent work they can become an acceptedmember of the communityHopefully the reader will take up the procedures outlined in this handbook. Asmore community based schools for mentally handicapped children arecreated in Ghana transition from school to work will also increase. 261
  • ANNEXE________________________________________________________________________________________ X. ANNEXE 10.1. WINNEBA VOCATIONAL READINESS SCALE (WVRS) Kniel, A. & Kniel-Jurka, C.262
  • ANNEXE________________________________________________________________________________________ 10.2. WINNEBA SUPPORT NEEDS CHECKLIST Adrian & Christiane Kniel-JurkaWith this informal list, the job coach can analyze and determine in whichareas the school leaver with a mental handicap needs assistance forsucceeding on the job. In the list please check why and in what area theperson needs support, and then identify who could help and what should bedone. 9Why and in what area is support yes no Who can What should beneeded? help? done?Needs help to improve work qualityNeeds help to improve work quantity(speed)Needs help in being regular and punctualat workNeeds help in safety skillsNeeds help in making himself understood(communication)Needs help in cooperating with co-workers (working together)Needs help with money (making change,getting his share)Needs help in presenting a neat andpleasing appearanceNeeds help with in taking medication andmedical checkups (seizures, skin diseaseetc.)Needs help in adapting to changes andstress9 The following example can illustrate the procedureWhy and in what area is support yes no Who can What should be done?needed? help?Needs help in safety skills Co worker Needs to learn to use a rag to lift a hot skillet X AMA off the fire. Needs to stand away from the direction of the wind near a fireNeeds help with in taking Mother Needs to take medication before going tomedication and medical checkups work. Pill box with one compartment for every(seizures, skin disease etc.) day of the week must be made, so that X regular intake can be checked 263
  • ANNEXE________________________________________________________________________________________ 10.3. WINNEBA ACTIVITY LIST OF FAMILY MEMBERS (WALFM) Kniel, A.& Kniel-Jurka, C.:The purpose of this list is to identify those members of the extended familythat could use extra help in their activities and to describe briefly what taskswould be involved.In a second step in talking with the teacher who knows the child best, it couldbe ascertained if abilities and interests of the child match the tasks thatwould be performed as a helper. What additional training on the job site/home and community setting would be necessary if any?1. Name of Child: ............. Age ....... Gender: .....................2. Name of Father: ............. Occupation: ................................ Self-employed: Yes no Could additional help be used in this occupation? Yes no What tasks would the additional help consist of? ................................................................................................ Address of father:........................................................................ Precise location: ..........................................................................3. Name of Mother: ............. Occupation: ................................ Self-employed: Yes no Could additional help be used in this occupation? Yes no What tasks would the additional help consist of? ................................................................................................ Address of mother: ...................................................................... Precise location: ..........................................................................4. Name of Guardian: ............. Occupation: ................................ Self-employed: Yes no Could additional help be used in this occupation? Yes no What tasks would the additional help consist of? ................................................................................................ Address of guardian:.................................................................... Precise location: ..........................................................................264
  • ANNEXE________________________________________________________________________________________5. Siblings /Aunties/ Uncles/ Grandparents etc.Name Occupation Self- Additional help What tasks would the employed? necessary? additional help consist y/n y/n of?6. Churches / NGOs Is church/ NGO undertaking any project in which the trainee could be integrated? Yes no If yes, please specify....................................................................7. List of activity areas of family members helping role of the trainee is possible ................................................................................................ ................................................................................................ ................................................................................................8. According to family member interviewed which of these persons could be approached or can they approach to discuss a helping role in their job activities? ................................................................................................ ................................................................................................ ................................................................................................9. Other observations and comments gathered from the chat with the parents or person who brought the future graduate to school. ................................................................................................ ................................................................................................ ................................................................................................ Date, Signature........................................................................... 265
  • REFERENCES________________________________________________________________________________________XI. REFERENCES 10African Economic Outlook2004/2005: Ghana(www.oecd.org/dev/aeo)Asher,S.R.& Gottman,J.M. (1981): The development of children’s friendships.New York (Cambridge University Press)Berkson, G. (1993): Children with handicaps: A review of behaviouralresearch. Hillsdale, New Jersey, Hove and LondonChadsey-Rusch, J., Gonzalez, P., & Tines, J. (1987). Social ecology of theworkplace: A study of interactions among employees with and without mentalretardation.(www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0825/is_n1_v58/ai_12382047/pg_9)Chant S & Jones, G.A. (2005): Youth, Gender and livelihoods in West Africa:Perspectives from Ghana and the Gambia. Children’s Geographies, Vol. 3 No2, 185-199, August(http://personal.lse.ac.uk/chant/ChantPublications.htm)Cornelius, J.K & Ruckman, S (1998): An instrument for assessment ofvocational readiness of persons with mental retardation. Asia Pacific DisabilityRehabilitation Journal, Vol. 9, No. 1also available under (http://aifo.it/english/apdrj/apdrj.htm)DeFur, S. (2000): Designing individualized Education Program (IEP)Transition Plans. ERIC EC Digest #E598.(http://ericec.org/digests/e598.html)Dragoo,K.(2006): NICHCY Connections to transition for students withdisabilities. National dissemination Center for children with disabilities.(http://www.nichcy.org/resources/transition_disab.asp)10 To make these references accessible to the reader every effort has been made to selectbooks and articles that are available in the World Wide Web. This is why literature hasbeen chosen which can be downloaded instead of material that is not commonly availableeven in university libraries in Ghana266
  • REFERENCES________________________________________________________________________________________Economic Commission for Africa. Youth and Employment in Africa.2002(www.uneca.org/eca_resources/Conference_Reports_and_Other_Documents/espd/2002/YouthandEmployment.PDF)EFA Global Monitoring Report: Literacy for life. Regional overview Sub-Saharan Africa 2006(portal.unesco.org/education/en/ev.php-URL_ID=43289&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html)Elwan, A. (1997): Poverty and disability. A survey of the literature.Washington(siteresources.worldbank.org/.../Resources/Poverty/Poverty_and_Disability_A_Survey_of_the_Literature.pdf)F. Fluitman: Working but not well. Notes on the nature and extent ofemployment problems in Sub-Saharan Africa. International Training Centre ofthe International Labour Organisation. Occasional Papers.2001(www.ilo.org/public/english/employment/skills/informal/gpe/download/brief/6.pdf )Ghana Statistical Service (1999): Ghana Demographic and Health Survey1998Graziano. A.M. (2002): Developmental Disabilities. Introduction to a diversefield. Boston etc.Hagner,D. (1992): Facilitating natural supports in the workplace: strategiesfor support consultants. Journal of Rehabilitation, Jan-March(www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0825/is_n1_v58/ai_12382047)Hayford, S.K. (2001): An Evaluation of vocational programmes of specialschools for individuals with mental retardation in Ghana. ZeitschriftBehinderung und Dritte Welt (Journal of Disability and InternationalDevelopment) 3, 90-93(also available under http://www.uni-kassel.de/ZBeh3Welt) 267
  • REFERENCES________________________________________________________________________________________Heron,R. (2005): Job and work analysis. Guidelines for identifying jobs forPersons with disabilities. ILO Skills and Employability Department.(www.ilo.org/publns)Heron,R.&Murray,B. (1997 ):Assisting disabled persons in findingemployment: A practical guide. International Labour Organization(www.ilo.org/publns)Inge, K.J, Strobel, W. & Shepherd, J. (1998): Transition from School to work:facilitating employment using assistive technology and supports.(http://www.vcu.edu/rrtweb/techlink/iandr/art/ref.html)International Labour Office (1998): Vocational Rehabilitation and theEmployment of Disabled Persons. International Labour Conference, 86Session.International Labour Organization (2004): Achieving Equal EmploymentOpportunities for People with Disabilities through Legislation. GuidelinesKniel, A. (1995): The present situation of former pupils from schools for thementally retarded: experiences from four countries in western and centralAfrica. International Journal of Rehabilitation Research 18, 357-361Lattimore, L.P., Parsons, M.B & Reid, D.H. (2006): Enhancing job site trainingof workers with autism. A reemphasis on simulation. Journal of appliedBehaviour Analysis. 39(1): 91–102(http://seab.envmed.rochester.edu/jaba/toc/2006/jabaSpring06.php)Levinson,E.M. & Palmer, E.J ( 2006): Preparing Students With Disabilities forSchool-to-Work Transition and Post school Life. Principal leadership,January 2006(http://www.iseek.org/sv/81002.jsp?textOnly=Y)McDonnell,J.,Mathot-Buckner,C. & Ferguson,B.(1996): Transition programsfor students with moderate/severe disabilities. Pacific Grove etc.(Brooks/Cole)268
  • REFERENCES________________________________________________________________________________________Mont,D. (2004): Disability Employment Policy. Social Protection UnitHuman Development NetworkThe World Bank (http://www.worldbank.org/sp.)Neufeldt, A.H. and A. Albright, Eds. (1998): Disability and Self-DirectedEmployment: Business Development Models. Captus University Publications,International Development Research Centre, York, Ontario, Canada.(www.unescap.org/esid/psis/disability/decade/otsujapan2002/doc/apddp_3.pdf)Parent,W. (1994): The role of job coach:orchestrating community andworkplace supports. American Rehabilitation, Atumn.(http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0842/is_n3_v20/ai_16025445)Prinstein, M & Aikins, J.W. (2005): The benefits of friendship for psychologicaladjustment among adolescents with mental retardation.(http://www.bestbuddies.org/site/c.ljJ0J8MNIsE/b.1169413/k.AA97/Program_Research.htm)Sarbah,A.L. & Gidiglio, G.P. (2003): Factors blocking transition from school towork for youths with intellectual disabilities. A case study at Echoing HillsVillage Ogbojo-Accra. Unpublished Long Essay University of EducationWinneba.SERC Library (2003): Bibliography Friendship. January 1990 to May 2000 andAddendum 2003. 1-860-632-1485(www.ctserc.org)Suresh, A. & T. Santhanam, T. (2002: A study of vocational skills of peoplewith mild and moderate mental retardation. Asia Pacific DisabilityRehabilitation Journal 13, (2)(www.aifo.it/english/resources/online/apdrj/apdrj202/contents.htm)Swedish International Development Authority (1995): Poverty and Disability:A Position Paper, SIDA, Health Division, Ingrid E. Cornell, Apr..(http://siteresources.worldbank.org/DISABILITY/Resources/Poverty/Poverty_and_Disability_A_Survey_of_the_Literature.pdf) 269
  • REFERENCES________________________________________________________________________________________Technical Assistance guide vol. 3 April 1999. Helping students with cognitivedisabilities find and keep a job(http://www.nichcy.org/pubs/stuguide/ta3book.htm)Thressiakutty, A.T. & Rao, L.G. (2001): transition of persons with mentalretardation from school to work-a guide. National Institute for the MentallyHandicapped, SecunderabadTimmons, J, Hamner, D. &Bose,J (2003) :Four strategies to find a good job :Advice from job seekers with disabilities. Tools for Inclusion No 2, Vol. 11(http://www.communityinclusion.org/article.php?article_id=57)Timmons, J, Podmostko, M. Bremer, C., Lavin, D. & Wills, J. (2004): Careerplanning begins with assessment: A guide for professionals serving youthwith educational and career development changes. Washington, D.C. Nationalcollaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth, Institute for EducationalLeadership.(http:// www.ncwd-youth.info/)Turnbull, A.P., Pereira, L., & Blue-Banning, M. (2000). Teachers as friendshipfacilitators. Teaching Exceptional Children, 32(5), 66-70.Brief summary in: Beach Center on Disability. Research Highlights.(2000)Topic: Person Centered Planning and Friendships(www.beachcenter.org/Research%5CQuickDownloads%5CQckPCPF4Turnbulletal2000.pdf)United Nations: Youth unemployment and regional insecurity in West Africa.United Nations Office for West Africa UNOWA December 2005(www.iydd.org/documents/iydd_docs/unemployment-insecurity%5B1%5D.pdf)Wadsworth, J. (2004): Career development of adolescents and young adultswith mental retardation. Professional School Counseling Career developmentfor adolescents and young adults with mental retardation.(http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0KOC/is_2_8/ai_n8580065)270
  • REFERENCES________________________________________________________________________________________Xaba, J., Horn, P & Motala, S. ( 2002) The informal sector in sub-SaharanAfrica. Working Paper on the informal economy. International Labororganization(www.nctad.org/en/docs/ldc2006p2ch4_en.pdf) 271
  • Dr Adrian Kniel is a professor at the Faculty of Social Services, University of Kassel (Germany) and the Department of Special Education, University of Education, Winneba. He has been active in the education of children with a mental handicap in Africa for 20 years. As initiator and educational director of the system of integrated schools for children with an intellectual disability in Togo he organised and chaired the first meeting of teacher of schools for the mentallyhandicapped in West and Central Africa. Together with teachers from schoolsin Togo and Ghana he developed the first curriculum for mentally handicappedchildren in this region and organised and taught sandwich courses forspecialist teachers from the francophone countries. Prof. Kniel served as seniorexpert in the development of a program for transition from school to work formentally handicapped school leavers in Algeria.Presently Dr. Kniel is attached to the Special Education Division of GhanaEducation Service as an integrated CIM expert. He is responsible for thepartnership program of the German Technical Cooperation (gtz) “Support toSpecial Education” with the goal of increasing access of children with anintellectual disability to education, improving specialist teacher education andenhancing transition from school to work.