Since Dale got sick in the mid-90’s and had to leave the workforce, the world has changed a lot.
“I’ve tried to get different jobs, and I find one stumbling block — technology,” she explains. “It’s a different world than what I left.”
Before the world had become reliant on computers for everyday use, Dale, who lives in Toronto, Ontario, was a teacher and an academic.
In 1996, she fell ill with an autoimmune disorder (new window), which was further exacerbated by complications from surgery meant to try and correct it. She has suffered from periods of flare-ups since then.
“At one point I was just completely bedridden with one of the flare-ups, I couldn’t even walk to the washroom, so it’s been really been quite a journey to wellness and putting my life back together,” Dale shares.
However, now she feels that she’s “the healthiest [she’s] been in a 20 year haul.”
Dale wanted to re-enter the workforce and find full-time work, but her lack of computer skills were a barrier.
“Like people would even say, ‘desktop,’ and, believe it or not, I didn’t even know what a desktop was,” she laughs.
She had found the Neil Squire Society’s Distance Computer Comfort program after being referred from a web design course she had enrolled in to sell products online. She still needed her basic computer skills first.
Her initial goals coming into the Distance Computer Comfort program included learning how to manage her files.
“[My goals were] just to learn file management, because my files are all over the place, just to learn some of the terminology,” she explains.
“I knew basics, like how to type, but now I know a lot of the different [features],” Dale says. “It just makes things look so much more professional. Like a resume, now I have the best looking resume I’ve had in my life because of the course.”
Saying that her tutors were “really nice and really supportive,” and that the lesson plan was very “structured” and “systematic,” Dale would recommend Distance Computer Comfort to others.
“I feel more confident, I feel really hopeful, I feel like if I go to an interview, I know the computer. I can bring in a Power Point (new window). I feel I’m in a really good place, I feel this was really a missing piece in my life since being sick,” she exclaims.
“I’m really lucky to find your organization,” Dale concludes. “I’m going to let people know [about it].”
The Working Together with Employers and Enhancing Employability
program is funded by the Government of Canada’s
Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities