David was a carpenter until 2000 when he suffered a spinal cord injury in a sporting accident and became a C5 quadriplegic (new window).
After his initial rehabilitation, David was keen to get back to work. He knew he couldn’t be a carpenter anymore, but he was firm in his resolve not to sit around at home indulging in self-pity. With special interest in wildlife, mapping and environmental studies, he enrolled at the University of British Columbia (new window) and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Geography. Shortly before his graduation in November 2006, he approached the Neil Squire Society and enrolled in the Employment Program for People with Disabilities (EPPD).
“I knew I had some very valuable skills to offer my employer, but I was worried about finding work given my disability and a relative lack of jobs in my area of specialization,” says David. “This is where the Neil Squire Society really made a difference. They made my transition from university to full-time paid work so much easier by giving me good advice and closely working with me to find the right position.”
The employment specialist at Neil Squire got in touch with the management at the Ministry of Forests and Range (new window) and was successful in arranging an on-the-job training position for David through the Public Service Employment Program for Persons with Disabilities. After he landed the job, Neil Squire’s occupational therapists worked in conjunction with the health department at Smithers to communicate David’s special needs and make sure his workstation is ergonomically accessible.
David is putting his education to good use in his full-time position with the Ministry doing Global Positioning System mapping (new window) and environmental inventory.
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