“I had no idea about finding a job – what is a disability – I had no idea how to start.”
After a stroke (new window) two years ago, Séan was partially paralyzed on his left side and began using a wheelchair. He started working with an occupational therapist at GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre (new window). “It was in my best interest to get back to work. [My occupational therapist] recommended going with Neil Squire because you have the experience in working with people with disabilities.”
Séan began working with the Solutions for Employment program, which helps people with disabilities and injuries find and maintain employment. Working one-on-one with his job developer, Séan learned how to conduct an effective job search.
“I wanted a job to help me pay my bills and get me to do something involved. I found all that and a very interesting job,” he says.
The job Séan landed was as an Accessibility Assessor with the Rick Hansen Foundation (new window). As part of his role, Séan visits sites and evaluates them on a range of accessibility criteria. He then enters his findings onto a spreadsheet and comes up with a score for the site. He also provides recommendations on how to make the facility more accessible.
“It’s very interesting,” he says. “We’re trying to make Canada a little more accessible. It’s unlike anything I have done in the past, but it’s challenging and there’s a lot of variety in it, which I enjoy.”
The Neil Squire Society also completed an assessment of Séan’s workstation to make his work environment more ergonomic. He was provided with an adjustable desk and a refurbished monitor, with additional suggestions tailored to his needs.
“There were multiple suggestions that were made to help me get started with the work,” says Séan. “I purchased a compact keyboard and a trackball mouse for everyday use. [They are] quite useful to situate myself at my desk to work on my computer.”
At this point, Séan is getting used to working with his disability. But he feels better prepared for the future. “I wouldn’t have got the job if it hadn’t been for [Job Developer] Chris and the Neil Squire Society. I also took away some good skills – so next time I need to look for a job, I’ll be better situated, and I’ll be prepared to start that search.”
Séan adds, “I’m very thankful to the Neil Squire Society for helping me with my job search and the ergonomic assessment they did for my workstation and helping me get set up with that workstation at home.”