Alice is proud of the work she’s doing with the Disability Foundation (opens in a new window), applying her skills in marketing and communications to a new nationwide initiative by the organization.
But she wasn’t always confident in her ability to find such meaningful work.
Alice has a visual impairment with symptoms including glare vision and a reduced ability to see in her central vision. She also suffers from chronic pain from a car accident seven years ago, making it difficult to sit or walk for over an hour.
“I first experienced my vision loss 12 years ago. As I felt that it was hard for me to find a job and didn’t know about workplace accommodation, I decided to start my own business,” she explains. “However, a couple of years later, my vision had quickly deteriorated until I felt that I could no longer handle my job. Therefore, I closed down my business and relocated back to Canada. I felt helpless and incompetent in doing anything.”
After taking an assistive technology training program at a local college and volunteering with CNIB (opens in a new window), where she also joined a peer support group, she decided to turn to Neil Squire’s Working Together program to find employment.
Alice was particularly looking for a role in a non-profit organization, saying, “I have a passion for serving our youth and our community.”
Working Together staff worked with Alice on improving her resume and cover letter skills, as well as with helping her develop a long term career plan.
Her hard work paid off when she landed a role with the Disability Foundation as a coordinator of their Youth Leadership Initiative (opens in a new window), a three-year project analyzing the barriers postsecondary students with disabilities encounter entering the workplace and finding solutions.
Alice is primarily responsible for marketing and communications for the initiative, which includes creating and implementing communications plans and designing eye-catching promotional materials. She also conducts outreach and stakeholder engagement
“[I’m] glad to be able to re-join the workforce and make a positive impact on people. Most importantly, I’ve landed a job that perfectly fits my criteria: a position at a non-profit organization that allows me to learn project management while brushing up the marketing skills that I’ve acquired in university,” she explains.
And just as Alice is happy to have found such a great workplace, the Disability Foundation is happy to have found a great member of their team.
“We really see the Working Together program as a two-way, win-win. Our organization is given the opportunity to increase capacity so that we can reach and help more people with our programs, and we are able to provide meaningful work experience,” says Disability Foundation executive director Ruby Ng. “Alice’s time thus far with the Youth Leadership Initiative is a great example of that win-win. While Alice has the opportunity to work with our Communications team and build on her marketing skills with communications planning, logo development and social media, we are benefitting from Alice’s diligence and passion to advance this new project.
“Her ability to work well collaboratively both with internal team members and external community partners is helping to get this project to help identify and address attitudinal barriers youth face while transitioning to the workforce off the ground.”
Neil Squire Society is a founding member of the BC SCI Network which includes the following organizations: BC Wheelchair Basketball Society(new window), BC Wheelchair Sports(new window), Disability Foundation(new window), Spinal Cord Injury BC(new window).