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Students log on to a whole new world

A NEW kind of college is creating opportunities for young people with learning disabilities who have a passion for all things digital.

DISC (Digital Independent Specialist College) offers young people aged 16 – 24 across Manchester the chance to learn web development, videography, photography, graphic design, coding, animation and project management.

The college was set up by Digital Advantage, a charity that has delivered digital work experiences to over 5,000 young people of all ages and abilities across the North West.

The Supported Internship is a year-long, full-time programme for young people with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

Andy Lovatt, CEO of Digital Advantage, said: “It’s shocking that only 29% of autistic adults in the UK are in paid employment, and that figure is just 4.8% for adults with learning disabilities.

“Young people with disabilities are still guided towards traditional supported internships in retail, hospitality or healthcare and for some people this is right, but for many, these roles limit their aspirations.

“DISC helps young people with a passion for digital get their dream job.”

Dylan O’Brien, 19, who has autism and dyspraxia, said: “I left school in Year 8 because I got no support, it was overwhelming, and I struggled to get in on time.

“When I went to a mainstream college it was the same: no support, the work was too easy, and I ended up not going in. Things are different with Digital Advantage.

“There aren’t big classrooms or hundreds of students. Every day I go to their studio and make websites, edit videos and take photos. I’m really happy with the progress I’ve made.”

Tel. 07568 116 353.

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