LOADING...

Posts Tagged "Living"

6Oct

Cost of Living puts privilege of all kinds under the microscope

by admin

Cost of Living

 When: Oct. 10-Nov. 3

Where: BMO Theatre Centre

Tickets: from $29 at artsclub.com

In Martyna Majok’s 2018 Pulitzer Prize-winning play Cost of Living, John is smart, arrogant and wealthy; he is also confined to a wheelchair by his cerebral palsy. Ani is angry and caustic; she too is confined to a wheelchair, having been made a quadriplegic in a car accident. Both are portrayed by actors who share certain aspects of their conditions.

Not all of them, however.

“The way I can not relate to John is that he is very, very rich,” said Christopher Imbrosciano. “I have yet to experience the wealth that John has.”

Imbrosciano also has cerebral palsy, though not as severely as his character — it mostly affects the actor’s gait. Teal Sherer, who plays Ani, is a paraplegic. In the play, the focus is as much on their caregivers as it is on John and Ani. Rounding out the cast are Bahareh Yaraghi and Ashley Wright, as respective caregivers Jess and Eddie.

The different financial circumstances between the characters adds another layer to Cost of Living, Imbrosciano notes. “Hiring caregivers is not something John has to think about. Whereas Ani struggles to get the assistance she needs.”

While Imbrosciano and Sherer bring a certain amount of lived experience to their roles, neither has had to hire a caregiver.

“That’s something we’ve had to discover,” Sherer said. “I think that’s one thing that drew me to the play.”


Teal Sherer and Ashley Wright star in Cost of Living at the BMO Theatre from Oct. 10 to Nov. 3. Photo: Pink Monkey Studios 

PNG

Cost of Living is about privilege in its many forms, says director Ashlie Corcoran.

“The play explores the privileges of those who are able-bodied, but at the same time it’s looking at privilege through the lens of socioeconomic status,” she said.

Homelessness, gender, and what it means to be a first-generation American (in the case of Jess) are other themes that come up.

“In prepping for the play, I put different lenses on and tried to say, ‘Well who is more privileged at this moment, and what are they doing with it?’ It keeps shifting. John says, ‘I can do anything I want, except for the things that I can’t.’ And I think you could say that for all of the characters.”

The Vancouver run marks the play’s Canadian premiere. A co-production with Citadel Theatre, Cost of Living will move on to Edmonton in the new year.

Whether identity politics, the #metoo movement, or the environment, theatre is often at the forefront of cultural issues. Recognizing this, the Arts Club has created a role, that of creative cultural consultant, that lets the organization call in experts. For Cost of Living, they’ve consulted with James Sanders, founding artistic director of Real Wheel Theatre. The company is dedicated to inclusion, integration, and understanding of disability.

“Because they (the actors) have their own lived experience, his role has been more about working with the Arts Club as a whole to make sure our spaces and attitudes are as accessible as possible,” Corcoran said. “We’ve learned a lot and made lots of changes. What excites me the most is when we’re in meetings and people bring up these topics.”

Sanders is also collaborating with the Arts Club, in partnership with Bard on the Beach, on an upcoming symposium, Theatre and Accessibility in a Digital World (Oct 20-22 at the BMO). “We’re looking at how we can use technology to make theatre, our spaces, our experiences, our stories, more accessible for artists and audiences alike,” Corcoran said.

Cost of Living is a step in this direction.

“Society usually tells us to turn away when you see a person with a disability,” Sherer said. “With this play, we’re saying, ‘No, look at us. Look at our bodies, look at our experiences.’ And that’s really powerful.”

28Sep

Beedie Living goes big in Coquitlam

by admin

https://vancouversun.com/


The Heights on Austin is a project from Beedie in Coquitlam. [PNG Merlin Archive]


PNG

Big changes are coming to the Austin Heights neighbourhood of Coquitlam. In recent weeks, one of Western Canada’s oldest Safeway stores was reopened on Austin Avenue after a rebuild by Beedie Living. On either side of the new 65,000-square-foot grocery store, the same developer has just broken ground on the first of two 25-storey residential towers that will be part of a major revitalization of the area.

The new development is appropriately named The Heights on Austin. But buyers of the homes won’t necessarily have to choose a plan at the top of one of these buildings to enjoy spectacular views, according to Beedie’s director of marketing and strategy, Sunny Hahm.

“Our views are one of our biggest selling points and they compare favourably to any development that’s been launched recently in Burnaby or Coquitlam,” Hahm said. “Even when you’re only on the third level, you’ll already have incredible southward views of Surrey, the Port Mann Bridge and the Fraser River. Every home on every residential level in this building has a view to immerse yourself in, which is very unusual. Typically, you’d have to purchase something on the tenth floor or above to get any type of view.”


The Heights on Austin is a project from Beedie in Coquitlam. [PNG Merlin Archive]

PNG

The east tower will be completed first and have 177 homes (out of a total of 344 for the whole project), including five three-bedroom townhomes. This first phase will also include 12 affordable housing units to be developed in partnership with B.C. Housing and the not-for-profit Vancouver Resource Society. The west tower – the second phase of Austin Heights – will include additional retail space and commercial office space.

“The accessibility that the Austin Heights area provides to the rest of Metro Vancouver is a one of the key reasons why real estate in this neighbourhood holds its value so well,” Hahm added. “You’re still very much part of a residential community, but you’re also only a five-minute drive away from any one of three SkyTrain stations. There’s Burquitlam, Lougheed Town Centre and Braid stations, serving three different SkyTrain lines that connect you to all of Metro Vancouver. You’re away from the craziness and the hustle and bustle, but still well connected to transit options if you’re a commuter. In terms of driving, you can get to anywhere in Metro Vancouver within about half an hour.”

That’s assuming you need to leave the neighbourhood in the first place, of course. The brochure for The Heights on Austin lists no fewer than 60 educational institutions, restaurants, shopping outlets and activities in the neighbourhood. In addition, there are 750 acres of green space within four kilometres of the site, including the prestigious Vancouver Golf Club.

“Just behind our site, Ridgeway Avenue has been designated by the City of Coquitlam to be a new pedestrian area with an incredible new streetscape,” Hahm said. “It will be a beautiful promenade with cafes, restaurants and public art installations – a fully walkable neighbourhood right on your doorstep. Austin Heights is not just another highrise development. We’re building a new town centre for the City of Coquitlam and the local business community.”

“When it comes to the issue of affordability, we’re seeing purchasers shift from west to east and there’s a level of expectation that comes with that,” Hahm added. “Somebody who’s been living for a number of years in somewhere like Yaletown or Coal Harbour will have certain expectations when it comes to the appliances in their homes and the quality of living they’re looking for.”


The Heights on Austin is a project from Beedie in Coquitlam. [PNG Merlin Archive]

PNG

Beedie is aiming to exceed those expectations at The Heights on Austin. As a result, kitchens will feature premium Fisher & Paykel integrated appliance packages, including 32-inch fridges with bottom freezers, 30-inch stainless steel gas cooktops and 30-inch electric convection ovens. There are white upper Shaker cabinets with wood-grain lower cabinets, soft-close cabinet hardware with polished chrome pulls, LED under-cabinet lighting and quartz countertops and backsplashes.

Bathrooms will have custom mirrors and medicine cabinets, matte porcelain floor tiles, quartz countertops and undermount sinks. There are porcelain beveled subway tiles with niches, as well as polished chrome Grohe shower systems and adjustable shower wands in all ensuites. Main bathrooms feature luxurious soaker tubs.


The Heights on Austin is a project from Beedie in Coquitlam. [PNG Merlin Archive]

PNG

“We’ve seen mostly end users showing interest in these homes and that’s partly because of the quality of the finishes we’re putting in here and the expansiveness of the floor plans,” Hahm said. “They’re just a little bigger and more livable than what you might typically expect in a development like this. Our primary demographic is an end-use, first-time homebuyer and they’re typically coming from the Tri-Cities or Burnaby.”

There are multiple plans to choose from at The Heights on Austin. East tower homes have one to three bedrooms, range in size from 482 to 1,292 square feet and are priced from $441,900. Completion for the first phase is expected by the spring of 2022 and the presentation centre at 1032 Austin Avenue in Coquitlam is open from noon until 5 p.m. every day but Friday.

The Heights on Austin

Project location: 1045 Austin Avenue (east tower) and 505 Nelson Street (west tower), Coquitlam

Project size: 344 homes with one to three bedrooms. (East tower: 177 homes; West tower: 167 homes) East tower homes range from 482 to 1,292 square feet and priced from $441,900

Developer: Beedie Living

Architect: Chris Dikeakos Architects Inc.

Interior designer: Bob’s Your Uncle Design

Sales centre: 1032 Austin Ave, Coquitlam

Sales centre hours: noon — 5 p.m., Sat — Thurs

Sales phone: 604-492-2882

Website: http://www.theheightsonaustin.com

 

26Sep

B.C. family of 5 living out of van draws attention at NDP campaign stop

by admin

CAMPBELL RIVER, B.C. — For the past five months, 69-year-old Betty Nicolaye and her family of five have been on a desperate search for housing that has turned empty every time.

“Houses are selling like hot cakes around here,” she said Thursday after an NDP campaign announcement in Campbell River, B.C.  “One application after another, they keep telling us there are 80 people on the list and we never get any calls.”

In April, Nicolaye’s home of five years was sold and since then, she has applied to dozens of rental units but nothing has worked out.

She and her husband are on a pension, her one son has a disability and two others work as janitors. Together they can barely afford a five-bedroom home, which costs approximately $3,000 a month, but Nicolaye said the properties just aren’t available.

“It’s not good. It’s hard, but it’s harder being the mom because you are trying to be the tough person,” she said.

According to the latest census, the median income in Nicolaye’s home riding of North-Island-Powell River is $32,254, below the national average of $34,204. The average rent, according to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, is pegged at $833 a month.

Knowing she was facing an uphill battle for housing —  the toughest she’s experienced after 30 years in Campbell River — Nicolaye bought a “beat up motorhome” to provide temporary shelter for her kids, while she and her husband live in a tent. The family pays a dollar each for a shower at a nearby gas station and right now Nicolaye says they are currently living out of their van. 

“It’s been rough,” she said. “Now it’s so cold that you wake up in your bed and the blankets are wet, you don’t feel warm.”

Nicolaye is not alone in her unsuccessful search for housing in British Columbia. A lack of affordable homes and rental properties has been an issue in the province for years.

At an announcement in Campbell River Thursday, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh re-committed to building 500,000 affordable homes within 10 years. He also pledged up to $5,000 in annual funding for roughly 500,000 households who are spending at least 30 per cent of their pre-tax income on rent.

“This will make the difference for families that are unable to pay their bills, for families that are making a tough choice between do they pay for their groceries or do they pay rent,” Singh said.

 “These are difficult choices that families are making — far too difficult for far too many families — and we’ll put an end to that.”

Nicolaye was at that announcement and said the party’s pledge would help people like her as long as more properties hit the market. She said she was not brought to the event by the party, but was encouraged to attend by a local Indigenous group.

“I don’t know how anyone can hear that story and not be heartbroken,” Singh told reporters travelling on his campaign bus after meeting her. “I think about her and I think that’s why we need to tackle housing and why we need to build half a million new houses but also why we need to do something immediately because for her, we couldn’t afford to wait.”

A report from the parliamentary budget officer said the current national housing strategy, introduced by the Liberals, would build 150,000 new affordable units, modernize 300,000 existing units and protect 385,000 community housing units.

With files from The Canadian Press

28Aug

Support needed for overdose survivors living with brain damage, B.C. doctors say

by admin

It’s been three years since Valerie Wilson’s son suffered a brain injury following a drug overdose.

The Port Moody mother calls her son “fearless”. He was an ironworker by trade who taught himself how to ride a two-wheel bike as a toddler.

But the overdose affected his sense of balance, speech, and temperament, Wilson said, leaving him unable to pursue his former career and some of his favourite pastimes.

“He used to love high places. Now he has a fear of heights because he tends to fall over,” she said. “He lashes out at people but without the intent to be harmful — he’ll get incredibly angry about things that make no sense to be angry about.”

In the past year, B.C. has successfully brought overdose deaths down to the lowest level in years.

But medical experts and advocates say more needs to be done for survivors, who are sometimes left with brain damage that can worsen underlying addiction and substance use disorders.

Janelle Breese-Biagioni is a registered counsellor and the CEO of the Constable Gerald Breese Centre for Traumatic Life Losses, a charity she founded 30 years ago in memory of her late first husband, an RCMP officer who suffered a traumatic brain injury.

She said brain injuries, which can worsen the risk of substance use, depression or criminality, are an under-examined part of the overdose crisis that killed over 1,300 British Columbians last year.

“If we don’t include brain injury in this conversation, we will never have a 100-per-cent solution to the problem,” said Breese-Biagioni.

The province has said there were 446 fentanyl-related deaths between January and June of this year, compared to 1,334 for the entirety of 2018. This June saw the lowest monthly number of fentanyl-related deaths since September 2016, according to the B.C. Coroners Service.

But Dr. Delbert Dorscheid, a physician and researcher at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, said the number of people he sees with traumatic brain injuries has not been declining.

Fentanyl, the cause of the majority of illicit drug deaths in B.C., can interrupt blood and oxygen flow the brain.

He says provincial and federal governments do not track the prevalence of acquired brain injuries resulting from overdoses, the impacts of which range from mood swings to memory loss to paralysis.


Valerie Wilson with her son Dayton.

PNG

“They’re not feel-good stories, and they’re not stories the politicians want to promote,” he said. “It’s making the whole topic so black and white, life and death. But in between there’s a lot of grey. We are just not acknowledging the grey.”

Dr. Perry Kendall, the co-interim executive director at the B.C. Centre on Substance Use, speculates the number brain injuries caused by an overdose is “easily in the high hundreds.”

He says those impacted are often stigmatized for their substance use and may have had negative experiences in the health-care system, which he believes is partly why the issue hasn’t been addressed.

“Those who use drugs and are admitted to hospital often can’t wait to get out. They’re not having the best experience with health-care providers,” he said. “We kind of blame people for the symptoms of their illnesses.”

Breese-Biagioni said the impact of brain injuries can trap patients in a “vicious cycle” by worsening the symptoms of underlying mental health and substance use disorders.

She said current funding for counselling for affected persons only covers eight sessions, but she considers the minimum should be a full two years.

Debbie Dee, the executive director of the Powell River Brain Injury Society, has sponsored a motion at her town council to ask the Union of B.C. Municipalities to recommend adding brain injuries to the name and mandate of the provincial Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions.

She said it currently straddles so many ministries and mandates that action on it is almost impossible.

“Brain injury isn’t a mental health issue. It isn’t a substance use issue. It’s not an inclusion issue,” she said. “Where does it fit? It’s never fit anywhere.”

Dorscheid said improving relations with patients and securing research funding is key to understanding the problem and its extent.

“We would probably be able to reduce the burden of addictive disorders within our society if we found ways to treat people more compassionately and more completely,” he said.

Kendall believes the issue is part of a case for a non-toxic regulated drug supply, which he argues would greatly reduce the risk of overdoses in general.

But one problem Breese-Biagioni identified would not be solved by a safe supply — the situation of people already living with brain injuries, and their families.

Wilson is a member of Moms Stop the Harm, a national coalition of families impacted by the overdose crisis.

She supports implementing a safe drug supply, but says the grief she feels isn’t the same as other members of the group whose loved ones have passed away.

“They’re grieving the death of their children, and I still have mine,” she said. “I feel like a faker in some ways, right? It would be so much worse to lose him. But I still see him struggle. I do still have him, but I don’t.”

8Jul

Severely ill Galiano Island woman turned away from assisted living due to ‘unscheduled care needs’ | CBC News

by admin

Jemma Lee says she’s had problems with fatigue her entire life, but in the last decade migraines and frequent bouts of the flu have turned that fatigue into a new beast. 

The 52-year-old was diagnosed three years ago with extreme myalgic encephalomyelitis (M.E.), a neuroinflammatory disease known to many as chronic fatigue syndrome. It causes extreme tiredness and affects various body systems to the point where Lee says she is “unable to move.” 

Lee was shocked to learn recently that her four applications for assisted living in Victoria have been declined by the Vancouver Island Health Authority due to “unscheduled care needs.”

‘Prisoner in my own home’

“I was so incredulous,” said Lee, who lives alone in a 240-square-foot home on Galiano Island, where she’s forced to chop wood for warmth and doesn’t have access to filtered water.

“I’m a prisoner in my own home.”

Jemma Lee lives in a 240-square-foot home on Galiano Island where she says the health-care services are not advanced enough to support her. (Jemma Lee (Submitted))

After moving to Galiano in 2012, Lee said her symptoms worsened. Last year, she counted 140 days of seizures, which can affect various parts of her body, leaving her “unable to speak” for as long as 45 minutes, she says.

According the ME/FM Society of British Columbia, nearly 600,000 Canadian suffer from varying forms of the condition.

Galiano Island services not enough

Lee said she regularly sees a doctor and a community nurse, and receives online emotional counselling.

While she’s happy with the support she’s had, she said the services on Galiano are not advanced enough to help her as she deteriorates.

“Right now I rely on my friends to take me to my health appointments and it’s a minimum 12-hour day to … take the ferry and come back,” she said, adding that her appointments typically last no more than 40 minutes.

“[My friends] have to be able to cope with me if I have a seizure … and take responsibility for me.”

Lee suffers from frequent seizures that affect various part of her body as a result of extreme myalgic encephalomyelitis. (Jemma Lee (Submitted))

With low income and no family in B.C., she said only assisted living in Victoria can meet her needs and give her nearby access to specialized services like physiotherapy, occupational therapy, social workers, and acupuncture.

Peter Luckham, Chair of the Islands Trust, said Lee is “not alone” in her difficulty accessing assisted living as a Gulf Island resident, because the services are hard to come by. 

“At the end of the day, you end up leaving the islands” for more advanced services, he said.

Unpredictable health issues

Lee said Island Health doesn’t want someone with “unpredictable health issues,” as there are days where she could be walking relatively well, and others where she’s “seizuring on the floor.”

She recently wrote an open letter to Island Health, detailing her condition and imploring them to reconsider.

A statement from the authority says it is “aware of Ms. Lee’s concerns” and is “reviewing her application with her in order to provide the most appropriate care plan for her needs.”

Lee said that she and others with the disease are fighting for it to be recognized as a biological condition in the same way diseases like Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis are. The term chronic fatigue syndrome, used widely by medical professionals, reduces the legitimacy of the disease by making light of it, she said.

Not taken seriously

Dr. Mohamed Gheis, a neuropsychiatrist in Victoria who runs a rehabilitation program for people with neurological disorders, said M.E. patients are still “not very well understood” by Canadian health-care workers.

Right now, these patients are “not receiving the care they deserve as sources of disability,” he said.

Lee said she’s had doctors ask her to explain M.E. “When you go to the hospital, you’re having to advocate for yourself constantly,” she said.

Elizabeth Sanchez, the president of the ME/FM Society of B.C., said some M.E. patients have had doctors laugh at them or berate them, and some patients have committed suicide because “they just can’t bear their lives any longer.”

She said the society has been trying to get the province’s Ministry of Health to understand the severity of the disease, but it’s a slow, frustrating process.  

“They don’t understand that there is a crisis for M.E. patients,” she said. “But there is a light at the end of the tunnel … We just don’t know how long that tunnel is.”


Source link

1Jul

‘Living my dream’: Sixty people become new Canadians on Canada Day

by admin

Bill and Phyllis Neufeld are British Columbians born and bred.

As Canadians — born in the tiny pulp-and-paper-mill town of Ocean Falls on B.C.’s Central Coast — the Neufelds never had to take an oath of citizenship.

But they have. A few dozen times in what has become an annual Canada Day tradition.

Along with 60 new Canadians from 36 different countries, the Neufelds, sitting in the audience in a ballroom at Canada Place, proudly raised their right hands and pledged allegiance to the Queen and to do right by their country.

“It’s a reaffirmation of our citizenship,” said Bill. “It makes us aware how lucky we are that we are born here.”

It’s also their way to welcome their new fellow Canucks into the family, said Bill, who derives pleasure from witnessing such a momentous occasion. It can get pretty emotional, he admitted. “But I don’t break into tears or anything.”

“I do,” said Phyllis.

A bagpiper kicked off the proceedings, followed by cadets hoisting Canadian flags, a Mountie in red serge, military officers in uniform and dignitaries.

Gabriel George of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation provided words of welcome and a traditional blessing and song.

The ceremony touched on reconciliation with First Nations, the original inhabitants of Canada who had welcomed early settlers but not reaped equal benefits from the country, and the need to do better.

B.C. Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin presided over the ceremony, hearkening back to history and the initial waves of immigrants who came to Canada fleeing hardship and deprivation.

“You may have faced great hardship and adversity before coming to Canada and you all made sacrifices to be here. I thank you for answering our invitation to make Canada your home,” she told the crowd before leading them in the oath of citizenship.


Devraj Chakraborty, 14, and seven-year-old Kenji Kirby help cut the cake during Canada Day Citizenship ceremony at Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre  on Monday. Photo: Arlen Redekop/Postmedia

Arlen Redekop /

PNG

Jerry and Joyce Kirby watched as their daughter Kenji, 7, performed her first duty as a Canadian: Helping cut a giant Canada Day cake studded with raspberries.

“I am so honoured to be Canadian,” said Jerry, who works in IT. “It’s a very wonderful feeling. I am very emotional I could cry right now.”

The family, originally from the Philippines, moved to Vancouver in 2015 under the federal skilled worker program. Canada, is “the land of opportunity,” said Joyce, a gateway to a better life.

Emilie Cautaert left Belgium in 2012 for what she thought would be a one-year expat stint at an aerospace manufacturing company and ended up staying for love.

She was seduced by Vancouver’s easy accessibility to nature and the diversity and multiculturalism she encountered daily in the city and in her office — a situation that would have been quite rare in her home country, she said.

“In Vancouver, all different nationalities work together. It was new for me. When you come from Belgium, everybody is from Belgium.”

Cautaert also met her husband, Alex Swinnard, on her first day at work. They are expecting their first child in August.

Coming to Canada was a dream come true for Rajesh Chakraborty, who moved to B.C. in 2014 with his wife and son.

Chakraborty wanted to work in animation, but there wasn’t much of an industry in India. He had a good job, a stable life, but his love of animation drove him to seek opportunities in Canada.

“It’s been my dream to come here and work, now I can say I am living my dream,” he said, smiling ear-to-ear.

His 14-year-old son Devraj, who attends David Thompson Secondary in Vancouver, took the occasion in stride.

When asked what he was looking forward to the most as a new Canadian, he said: “I’m not really looking forward to anything. Just living my life.”


Emilie Cautaert, who is seven and a half months pregnant, at the  Canada Day Citizenship ceremony at Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre on Monday. Cautaert is originally from Belgium. Photo: Arlen Redekop/Postmedia

Arlen Redekop /

PNG

In his remarks, defence minister Harjit Sajjan said all immigrants, new and old, share the same story “of coming here for a better life, hope and a brighter future.”

After the ceremony, he said he wanted to convey to the newly-minted citizens that in Canada, the possibilities are endless: “I want them to understand they have the breadth of Canada to choose from and to succeed.”

Even though Monday’s ceremony was his third Canada Day citizenship ceremony at Canada Place, it remains an emotional and inspiring experience for Sajjan.

He wants his Canadian-born kids, age 7 and 10, to witness the momentous occasion first-hand. That’s why he has been bringing his family to the ceremonies even before he was elected to office.

“I want them to understand the feeling,” he said. “When they see it through the new Canadians coming here and taking that oath, it resonates with them.”

[email protected]

twitter.com/cherylchan

 




Source link

8Apr

Job fair breaks down employment barriers for Canadians living with autism

by admin

For people living with autism spectrum disorder, getting a job comes with specific challenges.

“I would always get stymied at the interview stage,” said Katherine Shadwick, who has a bachelor’s degree in geological engineering but struggled to get a foot in the door after graduation.

That’s because Shadwick, who is on the autism spectrum, says she can have trouble connecting with the subtext of what is being said.

“If you tell me one thing and don’t make it very obvious that you’re saying it in a sarcastic manner, for example, I might not pick up on the sarcasm and might take it for face value,” she told Stephen Quinn, the host of CBC’sThe Early Edition.

During a traditional interview, that makes it much more difficult to sell herself to a potential employer and highlight her skills, she added.

“People with autism usually end up being misjudged in a way:  I do have friends, I empathize, I have lots of emotions,” Shadwick said.

“I was just having trouble finding jobs because of that people connection [in the interview].”

Alternative interviews

After partnering with a professional services firm that helps connect people who are on the spectrum with employers and facilitates the interview process, Shadwick found a job as a software tester at Vancity credit union.

“They see if your personality is a good fit, and then they give you some pre-employment classes and additional testing, and then they match you with an employer,” Shadwick said.

“I never did an interview directly with Vancity.”

She’s speaking about her experience — and ways to improve the workplace and jobs market for people with different abilities — at a Spectrum Works job fair in Richmond, B.C., on Monday.  

According to a 2012 Canadian Survey on Disability, adults with autism have the lowest employment rate in Canada at just 14 per cent — compared to the general population at 93 per cent.

“People that are on the spectrum are highly intelligent,” Shadwick said.

“Sometimes, we need more structure and clearer expectations but, once we get something, we get it and we’re good.”

Katherine Shadwick is a software tester and lives with autism spectrum disorder. Heather Linka is neurodiversity employment consultant. The two are speaking with people at the Spectrum Works job fair, to get those with ASD get a job. 8:45

‘Intentional autism hiring’

Heather Linka, a neurodiversity employment consultant and employer coordinator with the job fair, works with people including Shadwick to break down employment barriers in the IT sector.

Adjustments in the hiring process and accommodations in the workplace can be put in place for what she calls “intentional autism hiring.”

“We recommend things like skill-testing questions or a more casual meet-and-greet environment rather than the [traditional] interview,” Linka said.

On the job, accommodations could include things like tailoring the sitting arrangement in open-desk environments or making some sensory adjustments in places with fluorescent lighting.

Clear expectations and communication are key, Linka emphasized.

“Generally, it’s just mindfulness and education on both sides,” she said.


Source link

2Dec

Community Living BC welcomes new board members

by admin

Jake Spencer Anthony

Anthony is a professional actor, self-advocate and acting instructor with City of Burnaby Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services. He has been an advocate for persons with disabilities for over a decade, teaching Burnaby’s only fully inclusive theatre class for people of all diverse abilities since 2013. Previously, he worked as a media arts correspondent for posAbilities Association of BC. He has served on the boards and committees of non-profit organizations, such as Inclusion BC, Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network, Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion, and Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture. He also sat on the City of Burnaby Access Advisory Committee and is a member of the TransLink Access Transit Users’ Advisory Committee. Anthony attended the William Davis Centre for Actors’ Study at the Vancouver Institute of Media Arts.

Katherine Bright

Bright is a consultant, executive and board director with two decades of experience in working with privately held enterprises, non-profit organizations, public companies and Crown corporations. She has taught courses across the globe in areas of strategy, succession planning, organizational development, governance and business growth. Starting with a career in social work, her roots are in community and child services. Throughout her career, she has continued her commitment to public policy, governance and stewardship. In addition to running her consulting practice, she serves in a federal appointment as the vice-chair of the Pacific Pilotage Authority board of directors and as an independent director on a private family enterprise board. Bright holds a bachelor of arts from the University of Puget Sound and a master of business administration from the University of British Columbia.

Nelson Jake Chan

Chan is the chief financial officer for the Capital Regional District, Capital Regional Hospital District and Capital Region Housing Corporation. He has extensive experience in strategic investment and business transformation in both public and private sectors. He serves on the boards of the Government Finance Officers Associations of B.C. and Royal Roads University. He holds a master of business administration from Florida Metropolitan University and a bachelor of commerce from McMaster University. Chan is a chartered professional accountant and certified management accountant in Ontario and British Columbia.

Marnie B. Larson

Larson is the chief executive officer at StarGarden Corporation, responsible for operations in Canada, the U.S. and New Zealand. She has over 20 years of experience in the software industry, specializing in human capital management, human resources, payroll and time and attendance software solutions. Active in her community, she serves on the board of the Better Business Bureau Lower Mainland and served on the boards of Wired Woman and the Simon Fraser University (SFU) MBA Alumni Association. Larson holds a bachelor of commerce from the University of British Columbia and a master of business administration from SFU Beedie Graduate School of Business.

Julia Louise Payson

Payson is the executive director of Canadian Mental Health Association (Vernon and District Branch), where she works with a team to improve mental health for all. Previously, she was secretariat director of the Community Action Initiative and executive director of the John Howard Society of British Columbia. She is a board director for the BC Non-Profit Housing Association, where she promotes safe and affordable housing throughout the province. She has worked internationally in emergency medical aid in Sudan, Bangladesh and Papua New Guinea. Payson volunteers as a board consultant with Vantage Point and as a board development committee member for the BC SPCA. She holds a bachelor of arts from the University of British Columbia.

Simon Andrew Philp

Philp is a market vice-president of commercial banking, leading teams on Vancouver Island and throughout the B.C. central interior, northern B.C. and the Yukon for CIBC. He has spent over 20 years in financial services working with private and public companies, public sector entities, First Nations governments and non-profit organizations. Philp has served on a number of boards, most recently as a co-chair of the governance board for the unification of the B.C. accounting profession. He has volunteered as a representative and board member for technology industry organizations, universities, business associations, arts groups and land trusts in both Canada and the U.S. Philp obtained his CFP and CMA (now CPA) designation.

Patricia (Patti) Ann Sullivan

Sullivan is a management advisor and chairs the Capital Regional District Arts Advisory Council. She began her career in child care with children and youth with developmental challenges in Montreal, followed by a move to Lynn Lake as director of a youth centre. She has worked in executive roles in community health, youth development services, social housing and business development. Sullivan served on the boards of Volunteer Victoria and the British Columbia Association for Living Mindfully. She served as board chair of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, Child and Family Services of Central Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and as a member on the Canadian Pharmacists Association and Canadian Mental Health Association boards in Manitoba. She is a YWCA Woman of Distinction (business and professional). Appointed complaints review commissioner by the Law Society of Manitoba, she served as the first non-lawyer chair of its Complaints Investigations Committee. Sullivan holds a bachelor of arts from the University of Winnipeg.


Source link

This website uses cookies and asks your personal data to enhance your browsing experience.