United Response Launches CODA Online

CODA Online is an innovative new website that enables people with learning disabilities to demonstrate their skills, competencies, and achievements to potential employers.

The result of a two year project, CODA (Careers Opportunities with Disadvantage Awareness) is funded by EU’s Leonardo da Vinci Transfer of Innovation Lifelong Learning Programme.

Wessex Partnerships worked with United Response and its transnational partners to secure around €300,000 to support the development and piloting of the project. WP has since been involved in evaluating each stage of the project against the agreed activities, outcomes and milestones. 

The project has involved partners from the UK (United Response), Germany, Bulgaria and Portugal coming together to develop the online tool, with each country’s site tailored to the needs of people with learning disabilities, employers and support organisations in their country. 

The basis for CODA Online was the knowledge that that working can give people with learning disabilities more confidence and a more valued sense of inclusion in both their community and in wider society. There are an estimated 800,000 adults with learning disabilities of working age, of which only 11% have a paid job. Common reasons behind this are low expectations by both learning disabled job seekers and employers, coupled with lack of training and few opportunities for jobseekers to present their skills.

CODA Online addresses this by offering people an accessible online tool, ‘My CV’. By using accessible and multimedia technology, people with learning disabilities can bypass the usual hurdles of language, writing ability and recognised lists of formal qualifications, and instead show potential employers what they are capable of in a more user-friendly and person-centred way. Hosted on a secure, dedicated web portal, employers are able to view job seeker’s CV’s, helping them more accurately assess their potential as successful employees.

For employers and organisations supporting people with learning disabilities, please go to www.codaonline.com for more information. Or contact Diane Lightfoot at United Response, diane.lightfoot@unitedresponse.org.uk. 


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