Self advocate trainers for hire

Kayla is educating her community on the benefits of inclusive hiring.

Kayla is educating her community on the benefits of inclusive hiring.

The Community Action Employment Plan (CAEP) was developed by a B.C. network of service providers, families, self advocates and CLBC staff with a vision to have the highest rate of employment among people with developmental disabilities in North America.

One of the goals of the CAEP is to “develop a B.C.-based training and mentoring network to promote best practice and advance employment outcomes for individuals with developmental disabilities.”

People with diverse abilities, many of whom refer to themselves as self advocates, voiced their desire to be part of this training network. They believe that the power to change attitudes and assumptions about those labelled with a developmental disability lies with the people themselves.

In January of this year, five individuals from around the province, and their support teams, spent two months developing a one-hour training workshop built around personal stories and the principles of supported employment. Each trainer has a unique presentation that brings their personal perspective and lived experience. They all share the goal of promoting the message that people with diverse abilities can and want to work and, with the right support, can be just as successful as anyone else.

Shelley DeCoste from Kelowna and Kayla Finney from Kamloops are our two new trainers in the Interior.

Shelley’s presentation shares the message that people with diverse abilities are waiting for someone to believe in them and give them a chance. She is an advocate for the right kind of support and wants to share her principles for respectful employment support.

Kayla’s presentation describes her personal experience of the assumptions employers and others make because she uses a wheelchair. She breaks down these stereotypes by sharing stories of employment that no one thought was possible. Kayla talks about the difference between valued employment and charity, and challenges her audience to look beyond the wheelchair and see an employee waiting to make a difference.

Other Self Advocate Inclusive Employment Trainers include: Sherwin Strong from Comox Valley; David Johnston from Dawson Creek; and Elysa Pacos from New Westminster.

If you’re interested in booking a training session in your community, contact CLBC’s Self Advocate Advisor at: Jessica.Humphrey@gov.bc.ca.

Kayla Finney challenges stereotypes about employees who have developmental disabilities.

Kayla Finney challenges stereotypes about employees who have developmental disabilities.

 

 

 

 

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