Two particular challenges when involving service users and carers are first, making sure the job suits the skills and experiences of the person involved and second, providing the right kind of support to help the person concerned (as well as the students) get as much out of the experience as possible. The Open University (OU) has developed a number of job descriptions which tell people what the job is about, why it’s important, what they will be asked to do and what kind of support they will be given. You can find examples in the sections of this Guide on student selection and assessment.
It’s important that these job descriptions are helpful and informative, so, in partnership with the Scottish Consortium for Learning Disability (SCLD) we held a workshop to pilot them and make sure people were happy with them. Service users and carers from across a range of services attended. In the morning we told them about the range of opportunities available at the OU and had presentations from service users and carers already involved. In the afternoon we split into groups and discussed the job descriptions. The feedback we got will help us make sure the job descriptions are fit for purpose and also enable us to present them in alternative formats, e.g., easy-read, Braille, audio etc.