Rob has been looking for work as a writer. However, he was having troubles in the job search process as his computer wasn’t very usable, and he didn’t have the right software to allow him to navigate his computer very easily — he is blind and needs a screen reader to use a computer.
“[The computer] was on its last legs, basically after 15 minutes it would overheat and shut down,” he explains. “Also, the fact that the screen reader program I was using called JAWS, I only had it in the demo version, so even if the computer lasted an hour before overheating, the JAWS would stop talking after 40 minutes, and I would have to restart it.”
All of this made it very difficult to browse online job boards, or to even apply to jobs.
Rob had been working with CNIB and WorkBC Employment Services on the job search process, and after he had revealed the technological issues he had been facing, they put him touch with WorkBC Assistive Technology Services.
After an assessment by WorkBC Assistive Technology Services disability practitioners, he received a new computer, a full license for JAWS software, a headset, as well as training.
“It went very smoothly, very quickly, and the help I received in the training was essential, it was vital,” he says. “I was very grateful to not only have a working computer with a working JAWS, but also the ability to use it right away pretty much. So I was very happy with the service.”
The new equipment and training has made a big difference in his ability to look for work.
“[It’s] certainly less frustrating. I have abilities I never had before,” he shares. “It really opened up things for me, the ability to go on Indeed and search their database for one thing. I wasn’t able to do that before.”
His new set-up has also made it easier to submit his writings to publishers and agents in the hopes of getting published.
“A lot of the publishers and agents now use different forms that you have to submit your query letters, first three chapters sort of thing,” he shares. “Most times my computer would shut down before I got even halfway through the different fields I have to fill in, the different information I have to put in, so it’s opened up totally new opportunities in writing for me, as well as the fact that I was able to go over some of my work and re-write it with a functioning computer.”
When asked if he would recommend WorkBC Assistive Technology Services to others, Rob says, “Oh, good heavens yes, I wish I had known about it earlier.
“I’m extraordinarily grateful for the help I received, for the support I received, and for the training I received.”
WorkBC Assistive Technology Services is operated by Neil Squire. Assistive Technology Services are available to individuals who have a work-related barrier due to a disability or a functional limitation. This may include barriers related to traveling to and from the workplace.
Questions about WorkBC Assistive Technology Services? Need help applying? Contact us: 1-844-453-5506 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Please visit www.workbc-ats.ca for more information about WorkBC Assistive Technology Services.