Dairy Queen worker Cory Sulin is an example of the possibilities available if employers and those with disabilities work together.
And he was very excited to be seen as such last Wednesday during a planned meeting between himself and Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation Don McRae, who was touring the province to check in on Community Living BC programs (CLBC).
McRae was unable to make the date, but that didn’t stop Sulin’s boss, Chrissie Gertzen, from discussing the advantages of the CLBC employment program and her feelings toward Sulin.
“I love his work — he’s an awesome part of the team. He’s always so happy and the staff love him,” said Gertzen, whose background was in social work before becoming a business owner.
Gertzen said she believes it’s very important that people with disabilities have the same opportunities to work in their community as anyone else.
“Just because someone may learn differently doesn’t mean they can’t do the same work.”
She said a successful work partnership lies in keeping routines and making an effort as a staff to communicate.
“Treating them equal, but different,” she said.
Gertzen wonders if some employers are hesitant to hire people with disabilities due to the belief of added costs in training, which she said just isn’t true.
“With the job coach, there really is no additional cost.”
The job coach program is a program provided by Community Living where staff shadow a client in their new job until such time as they are able to work independently in their new role.
Anyone interested in hiring someone with disabilities or to learn more about the program, can contact Williams Lake Association for Community Living at 250-398-8677 and ask for Sharon.