“Knowing That Your Work is Making a Difference is Incredibly Rewarding”

September 8, 2021

Harvey has been a summer student at Neil Squire this year.

Computer tutoring was a natural fit for him. Having previously volunteered at the Burnaby Neighbourhood House (new window) as a computer drop-in assistant, he was drawn to the work.

“The biggest motivating factor for me was having the privilege of helping individuals with disabilities build their technical skills and improve their lives,” he explains. “I was ecstatic when I received the job offer and could not wait to get started.”

Summer at Neil Squire

Harvey has been an important part of the Distance Computer Comfort team, which delivers virtual computer, tablet, and smartphone tutoring to participants across Canada.

a person's hand using a computer mouse, with an external keyboard visible in the backgroundIn his role as a Special Education Assistant, Harvey’s role was wide-ranging. He worked one-on-one with participants to develop their digital skills, training them in general computer skills as well as assistive technologies such as Dragon Professional (new window) and JAWS (opens in a new window). He also helped complete intakes for new clients and coordinate volunteer tutor-client pairings. Earlier, he helped create tutorial videos for our Did You Know (new window) series.

“My favourite part of my work is seeing our clients’ positive outcomes,” he says. “It’s always great to hear a client express how useful the skills they learned are in their day-to day lives. Knowing that your work is making a difference is incredibly rewarding.”

He worked closely with Distance Training Coordinator Gordon and Digital Technology Specialist Khatidja.

“My experience with working at Neil Squire has been incredible,” he says. “From the moment I started, Gordon and Khatidja have been excellent mentors. They were always willing to support me in my role and have helped me develop many valuable skills. In particular, I really enjoyed learning about the various assistive technologies that we offer training in… I’m glad that I got to work with them both, they created a very positive and uplifting work environment for me.”

Harvey’s position was partially covered by the Canada Summer Jobs (new window) program. Neil Squire has been an employer under this program for over 10 years.

What’s Next

What’s next for Harvey? In the fall, he’s starting a computer science program at UBC (new window). He’s also planning to stay on as a volunteer.

“I hope to use the skills I learn from my computer science degree to help develop assistive technologies that support people with disabilities. I have seen first-hand through my work the positive impact that these technologies can have on our clients’ lives, and I hope to contribute further to the community in the future. I’m thankful that I was able to realize this goal through my work position at Neil Squire.

“I think that the Neil Squire Society does amazing work, and I am honoured to have been a part of that. I plan on staying on as a volunteer to continue supporting Neil Squire’s mission to empower Canadians with disabilities.”

Gordon adds, “Harvey is a hardworking, very knowledgeable individual who is always willing to help out. He will be sadly missed.”