Assistive Technology and Employment
"During my time as an Employment Facilitator for young job seekers with disabilities, it is very rare that I hear one speak about themselves and highlight their strengths. Many are quick to internalize these negative labels and identify their disability as the most important defining characteristic of their life, instead of just one aspect of them as a whole person. To challenge this negative trend, I have identified the need for strong self-advocacy, self-disclosure, and increased self-empowerment lessons throughout our program delivery to instil positive thinking among participants; with the end goal of promoting a more holistic sense of self, that focuses more on their strengths, weaknesses, and their disability to create a more well-rounded sense of self. Throughout our workshops, we encourage participants to share about their lived experiences and to discuss their areas of improvement, which aids to breaking down the barriers that can come with identifying with a disability. From these lessons, we can reinforce participants identified areas of interest and encourage continuous learning and growth inside and outside of the received employment support that fosters a framework for one’s future employment opportunities. A specific challenge that stands out to me is when I was to provide a virtual group-based learning environment for an individual that was blind. Not only was this a challenge for my team and I, in delivering material but the participant had to learn how to navigate the online system all while receiving support virtually. We were able to use our online learning content which had been re-created using Microsoft Word to accommodate this individual and ensure the same level of learning was offered. An innovative approach we also took with this individual involved obtaining an accommodation for an assistive device, specifically the OrCam MyEye. This is a small device that attaches to a pair of glasses that can instantly read text off a variety of surfaces, as well as recognize faces to help increase independence. The participant described the accommodation as life-changing, quoting “It’s like getting my sight back again”. This device has had a significant impact on this individual as they are now able to achieve a greater sense of independence and feel confident in navigating everyday life. Being a part of this accommodation process and experience has left an impression not only on myself, but on this participant as they have attributed much of their success to the employment services they received through CCRW. This participant was able to secure employment within the music industry, with the help of his OrCam MyEye device and the support from CCRW. " - Brianne Dallas
We are grateful to have incredible Employment Facilitators like Brianne work at our organization. Members of our team, like Brianne, are working every day to open doors to employment for job seekers with disabilities.
“Brianne Dallas, one of our Employment Facilitators in Scarborough, ON, is sharing the difference that assistive technology made to her client in securing employment.”