Volunteering is a noble venture yet people with disability, and those who need additional support are excluded from volunteering. Statistics has it that around 35% of people with long term illness or disability are part of formal volunteering when compared to 42% that are disable-free. With poor access support and opportunities, people that need additional support are excluded from volunteering services. The organization and the volunteers can benefit as the latter can gain confidence, enjoyment, skills and get to make new friends. Additional needs volunteers can bring with them exclusive skills that make them dedicated volunteers.
Volunteering needs support, and this can bring out the maximum potential of the volunteers. Volunteer managers play a vital role especially for those with additional needs. Their role is to provide recruitment and implementation. They also help to identify their specific needs. Having another volunteer for support can help those with specific needs. Proper assistance helps them learn their role quickly. Volunteer managers are a welcome support for volunteers with special needs. Remember that no similar approach fits all. Since it involves human beings, there needs to be person requirements. Each person has their own problems, and this has to be attended to personally.
Those with additional needs often hesitate to apply for volunteering. Moreover, it is important to address issues like the language used. For instance, it is easier to collect more information through an informal chat that through traditional means of communication like interviewing. Getting to know the process can help identify adjustments in advance thereby making volunteering easy. Promotional material that is used for volunteer advertising should be available to all. The format should be simple and easy to understand, video/audio format, big font size with background images and colours that suits the content.
The materials can be in any form like a handbook, training instructions, application form, role description and more. Remember that not everyone will have access to online resources it is better to have materials available as hard copies and media format for easy access. Organisations that advertise should be clear about the tasks and responsibilities so that the volunteers are able to understand their role better.
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