Collin Overcomes Accessibility Hurdles

Employ-Ability Participant Colin at his deskCollin, though visually impaired since 2001, has earned his PhD in psychology and is working towards building a career as a consultant. He is a highly motivated self started and he has many goals for the future, including designing and leading professional workshops in a variety of teaching environments as well as becoming a Registered Psychologist in order to start his own practice.

That’s where the Neil Squire Society’s Employ-Ability team came in. Collin had been receiving employment coaching through the Employ-Ability program and actively began pursuing contracts offered at the provincial level through various ministries. It wasn’t long and Collin was offered a contract through the Ministry of Health to do assessments of on-line tools for a training program for health care providers, however, Collin ran into some barriers. This job was going to need specialized tools in order that he be able to fully access and assess the training materials. He needed software and training to help him read and make notations on the web and convert documents into a readable format for his software.

After some investigation, and with the help of the Neil Squire Society, Kurzweil was identified as software (new window) that would read both PDF and scanned materials and translate them into audio for the visually impaired, allowing him to make notations on web content. Meanwhile, debt from education was pressing and was adding urgency to all of Collin’s goals.

When he began looking into becoming a legally registered Psychologist, it became apparent that the materials would not be accessible to him and no accommodation was available to study the content he was required to analyze. This new software has removed this issue and has allowed him to get on with his life and career.

Collin is now able to earn income and save up to take his psychology license exams and expects to be a fully registered psychologist soon, ready to fulfill his dream of one day running his own practice.

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