John came to the Employ-Ability program with minimal computer skills and steadily decreasing eye sight. He was somewhat overwhelmed not only with the physical challenges he faced, but also with having to try so hard to reach out for support.
Employ-Ability staff came to the agreement with John that he needed to improve his computer skills before he could advance his goal of gaining employment. We introduced him to Betty Noble at Vancouver Community College (new window) and the Vision Impairment course she teaches there. John, now enrolled in class, is rapidly learning to use the screen reading software JAWS (new window) as well as other tools to aid his decreasing vision. He continues to practice his typing and is happy with his success in this area.
In the meantime, with the help of Employ-Ability staff, John landed a part time job selling calendars for the Pivot Legal Society (new window) as a fund raiser for the residence of the Downtown East Side (new window). Additionally, he has been asked to volunteer as a cross country skiing coach for the visually impaired—something that he is very much looking forward to doing this coming winter.
Recently, John dropped by our offices with his latest gadget in hand—a hockey stick that flashes and blinks. This is a useful tool now that John plays on a low vision hockey team! Sporting his number 4 hockey jersey (for Bobby Orr (new window) ), John tells us that he has plans to contact Don Cherry (new window) for sponsorship and to consider his marketing plan for his visually impaired hockey stick.
If you would like to make a donation to support others like John, you may do so here.