More awareness is needed in the community about the benefits of inclusive hiring, Rose Marie Enright says.
Hiring people who have an intellectual disability is a good business decision because they’re excellent contributors, the employment specialist with the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion’s (BACI) employment support and training (BEST) notes.
“They work hard and they want to feel like they’re contributing just like everyone else.
“(Employment) gives them a feeling of success, just like it does us,” she says.
Rose Marie brings this message to potential employers as she seeks to cultivate work opportunities for people supported through BACI.
BEST has been very successful in connecting the people it supports to employment opportunities in the community, she notes.
The aspiration is always “real work for real pay.”
People are employed in a range of organizations, from the local Superstore to dog daycares to Home Depot.
As an example, one young man has found great success as a receiver in a retail store and is now looking to add to his work hours so that he can live independently in the community.
Rose Marie’s role involves a lot of networking, visiting job sites where people have said they would like to work and talking to employers about potential job opportunities.
If a job interview is arranged, she will help prep for that and also join, providing support if needed.
Once someone is on the job, she is on-hand, learning the job along with the person, taking notes, job coaching and also helping the supervisor train.
Rose Marie’s intent is also to establish a rapport with the workplace managers, “so that we’re all working as a team.”
She loves her work, she says.
To support people with developmental disabilities who want to work in their communities, Community Living British Columbia (CLBC) is launching a three-year Community Action Employment Plan. In conjunction with the Employment Program of BC, this plan focuses on working with employers to increase job opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities.
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