Promoting Our Abilities in Victoria

left to right) Sheenagh Morrison, Michelle Goos and Charlene Barns inform the business community about the value of inclusive employment.

(left to right) Sheenagh Morrison, Michelle Goos and Charlene Barns inform the business community about the value of inclusive employment.

By Sheenagh Morrison

I’m Sheenagh Morrison from Victoria and I would like to tell you about a fun and important employment project called Promoting Our Abilities.

The idea behind Promoting Our Abilities began at an Employment Summit in Vancouver in 2012. Everyone was talking about ways to increase employment opportunities for people with diverse abilities. Then a self advocate named Ashley Baker said, “How can we be leaders and promote ourselves?” This led to a partnership with CLBC and the B.C. Self Advocacy Foundation to empower and support self advocate leaders around B.C. to create presentations for the business community.

The project is important to me because our message is aimed at employers. Our goal is to help employers become aware that people with diverse abilities want and need to be working. The project is also important to me because the presentations are led and written by self advocates, people with diverse abilities who are speaking up for themselves.

Our team in Victoria includes me, Michelle Goos, and Charlene Barns. Our presentation shares employment success stories and gives examples of why we can and need to be working. On May 20th we were invited to present at the Legislature in Victoria. We encouraged MLAs to hire someone with diverse abilities in their constituency office. They really liked our message and are helping us get connected to business leaders in our community.

I hope our presentation will inspire employers and businesses to be aware that we are just as capable to work and we work just as hard as everyone else.

To find out more about Promoting Our Abilities, or to book a presentation in your community, contact Karla Verschoor from the BC Self Advocacy Foundation: KVerschoor@inclusionbc.org 

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