Jordan is no stranger to Neil Squire. He had joined an employment program in 1996, after which he had a number of jobs in different industries. In 2019, he was re-acquainted with Neil Squire when he joined the Working Together Program to look for a role in communications.
“I was born with Spina Bifida (opens in a new window),” says Jordan. “It basically means I am paralyzed from the waist down, so I use a wheelchair.”
Jordan had just completed the Employment Mentorship Support Project with the ConnecTra Society (opens in a new window) when he learned that the Disability Foundation (opens in a new window) was looking for a Development and Communications Assistant.
The Disability Foundation is a partner organization of Neil Squire through the BC Spinal Cord Injury Network, along with Spinal Cord Injury BC, BC Wheelchair Sports, and BC Wheelchair Basketball.
The Disability Foundation, through its six affiliated societies, has been fostering meaningful experiences for people with disabilities across Canada through outdoor recreation, social connectedness, and innovative adapted devices. ConnecTra is one such society, and some of the societies have been in existence for more than 30 years.
At Working Together, Jordan found the interview practice especially beneficial. He was able to reflect on his past work experiences and think of stories and anecdotes to reference for different interview questions. He did well in his interview with the Foundation and landed the job!
As a Development and Communications Assistant, Jordan has wide-ranging duties. He says, “A day might be writing a grant application or some support of funding for a project that we’re operating, or writing social media posts, or meeting with different stakeholders, or developing processes where we’re recognizing supporters of our programs.
“One of the things I’ve really enjoyed is that every day is very different. You get to try out different skills and different experiences… There’s never a dull moment!”
Ruby Ng, Executive Director of the Disability Foundation and Jordan’s direct manager, says, “The Working Together program and our experience with it thus far fits perfectly with the Disability Foundation’s core message – to create opportunities and re-imagine what is possible.
“Jordan works with both our communications and funds development teams where his writing skills have helped us create and publish content and grant applications; two areas where we are seeing important growth. However in addition to this, his can-do attitude, team player approach and commitment to the cause brings added value to his work and also to our organization as we continue to evolve and grow to respond to the needs to the community.”
David Fong, Director of Operations at the Disability Foundation, calls the hiring process “easy to understand and participate in”. He adds, “It’s a win-win. With the wage subsidy, our organization assumes low financial risk while being able to assess the candidate’s skill level, fit into our culture, and of course ability to keep up with our demanding work environment. Without the wage subsidy, we may not have been able to hire for the role needed.
“I would absolutely recommend trying the program to any business: non-profit, government, or for-profit. Neil Squire’s Working Together Program is one of our valued resources when we are in need of people in our operations.”
Jordan says, “I have a job I really enjoy. I’m learning a lot. And I’m supporting initiatives that are really important to me. All in all, I think my life has changed a lot, for the better! I feel like I’m more focused on engaging with the world, because I have more possibilities and things to follow through on, and that’s a good feeling.”