“Kyla is always enthusiastic, willing to take on new things and supportive to everyone in the team,” says Laura Hockman, Executive Director at Independent Living Vernon (opens in a new window).
Kyla has been an asset to Independent Living Vernon (ILV), a resource centre for people with a variety of disabilities. Through their peer support program, information and referral services, and one-on-one advocacy, they empower people with disabilities to make choices in their lives. They manage all of this with the help of 2.5 full-time equivalent staff.
“I have Spina Bifida (opens in a new window) as well as depression and anxiety,” says Kyla. “I require the use of a wheelchair to get around and complete daily tasks. I take medication to manage my depression and anxiety and seek help from counseling and the medical community, as well as family when needed… [Working at ILV] benefits me by keeping me busy and helps better control my depression and anxiety.”
With ILV’s Moving for Independence (opens in a new window) fundraiser coming up in May 2019, Kyla was looking for more hours to better assist in the office. That’s when the Neil Squire Society’s Working Together Program came in.
After a “very easy and smooth” process, ILV was able to increase Kyla’s hours with the help of a wage subsidy through Working Together. Now, ILV is able to offer services on Fridays as well.
As part of her duties, Kyla directs callers and visitors to the right resource to get the help they need, whether it be within the office or one of the other community resources in Vernon. She also issues Disability Parking Permits (DPP), distributes mail, and assists with fundraising activities.
Kyla is looking forward to learning new skills and brushing up on her existing ones. With the wage subsidy, she says, “I have been able to work more hours which has given me a sense of purpose and accomplishment and in turn has helped with my mental health.”
Laura says, “We would absolutely recommend the Working Together Program, because of the seamless support to get a staff person in place and have them ready to go.”