MA is a young woman with cerebral palsy. She is in a wheelchair and she requires a Care Attendant. MA had limited exposure to employment. She has attended VIU, taking sociology and philosophy course and is currently taking the Applied Business Technology Program online through VIU.
In March 2014, MA started participating in Customized Employment at VIVRS. She participated in Discovery assessment and attended Job Club workshops. During the process, VIVRS arranged for her to volunteer at the Art Council to gain some practical experience in the admin support field. She participated in this for 4 months while she continued to access workshops at VIVRS such as effective communication and time management skills. Then, her Employment Specialist sought a job carve that would enable her to develop and utilize her training. A position was negotiated at the Nanaimo Art Council with the assistance of a wage subsidy through the Neil Squire Foundation. This is an Admin Support position which involes organizing files, developing a staff and volunteer manual, various types of data entry as well as social media responsibilities. Specific adjustments modifications and aids were required: her physical work space had to be adjusted to accommodate her wheelchair and her work dog. Support and teaching was required for communicating with her supervisor effectively. Neil Squire Society provided her with other aids such as head phones and a smaller key board. MA received job coaching that allowed her to succeed during her training period. Job retention services are in place and her job coach continues to meet with her once a week to ensure all is well. This has been an amazing opportunity for MA as she is developing the ability to be as independent as is possible. Her world has expanded and her network of acquaintances has increased; and she feels hopeful for a productive future.