When Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo asked CLBC how to go about hiring someone with a developmental disability for his local constituency office, CLBC Facilitator Lori Skinner jumped at the opportunity.
“I was excited to hear that MLA Kyllo was interested in hiring someone that CLBC supports,” said Lori. “We have such a great customized employment program here at CLBC and our local service provider Shuswap Association for Community Living (SACL) has an excellent track record at finding the right person for the job that I knew this was going to be a great opportunity for both MLA Kyllo and the person who would be working there”.
Lori reached out to SACL’s vocational counsellor Vicki Donnelly who worked with MLA Kyllo’s constituency assistant, Holly Cowan to find out more about the expectations of the workplace and together they were able to find the right person to fit their needs. That person was Ellen Zilkie.
Ellen loves to work (she has three jobs!) and has taken well to her duties at MLA Kyllo’s office. Ellen sorts out news paper clippings and organizes things around the office. “When Ellen see’s something that needs to be done, she just does it,” said Holly.
“I really like working at MLA Kyllo’s office. It’s important to work and learn new things,” said Ellen.
“We value the work that Ellen is doing and are happy to have her as our new team member,” said MLA Kyllo. “Ellen is funny, she works hard and brings a great energy to the office. I couldn’t be more pleased.”
Customized employment means modifying the employment relationship between employees and employers in ways that meet the needs of both. It is based on an individualized assessment of the strengths, needs, and interests of the person with a disability. It is also designed to meet the specific needs of the employer and is free to the employer. For more information on how to become an inclusive employer, please contact your local CLBC office by clicking here.