Since immigrating to Canada, Aliakbar has had a hard time finding employment. He faced a language barrier, a lack of Canadian education, and hearing loss.
“I used to work as truck driver for 20 years in my home country and need help to find a similar job here in Canada,” he shares. “I have profound hearing loss and it had significant negative impact in my job search activities and also my ability to learn a new language, English.”
Steve works as a paralegal in the Lower Mainland. The job is front-facing and services-oriented — he is responsible for producing documents for lawyers that clients need, as well as interacting with clients.
Steve also has hearing loss.
“While the loss itself is relatively mild, it makes it quite difficult to hear others. As my job revolves around being able to listen to others, whether receiving instructions from co-workers or talking to a client, it is very important for me to be able to hear properly,” he shares.
Gaynor is a retail worker in the North Okanagan, doing customer service, stocking shelves, and cashiering. She has hearing loss.
“It impacted me in every aspect,” she explains. “I had customers approaching me all day with questions, I had co-workers talking to me, we had pages overhead that sometimes affected me, we had group meetings that I was involved with, so hearing in a situation like that was everything, it could get frustrating sometimes.
George had been working in retail in Victoria and was looking forward to starting a second job, a work from home position as an accessibility tester for digital products. But he needed the right equipment to start his new job.
He has Tourette Syndrome, with a frequent motor tic and a stutter when he speaks. In particular, he has difficulty using a computer with a keyboard due to his motor tic.
Denise works part-time as a cashier, but is currently looking for her “ideal job” with WorkBC Employment Services in Coquitlam.
Since recovering from encephalitis, Denise’s right hand is weaker than her left hand, particularly making typing difficult. She also struggles with sitting for long periods of time.
Her WorkBC Customized Job Specialist told her about the WorkBC Assistive Technology Services program, and she decided to apply.
“The Outcome Was Amazing!” WorkBC Assistive Technology Services Helps Jacqueline Hear Clearer at Work
Jacqueline works as an on-call case manager for an immigrant-serving agency in Vancouver. She helps immigrants find employment in the same field they were employed in their home country, helping them with everything from finding positions and training to resume writing to interview prep.
She has a hearing impairment, moderate hearing loss in one ear and profound loss in the other.
“This Program Has Made Dealing With This Disability So Much Easier, and I Can’t Recommend It Enough”
Hunter works as a line cook at a popular pub in Vancouver. Whether he’s preparing food or relaying a ticket to other kitchen staff, the job requires effective communication to get the job done and to stay safe. He is hard of hearing and needs to use hearing aids.
“I need to be able to hear and understand instructions properly in order to ensure orders go out correctly, to ensure safety for myself and others, to avoid any potential problems with allergies, to hear timers and alarms, and more. I am unable to read lips at work as everyone is required to wear a mask,” he shares.
Trina is starting a new business as an intuitive coach in Delta and throughout the Lower Mainland. In starting her own business, she has to build up her brand through social media, advertising, and finding new clients. Her line of work also involves continually learning new skills and techniques.
However, Trina lives with learning challenges in reading and writing, as well as memory retention.
“This impacts both learning new tasks, retaining information, and overall interest in any function that includes written words,” she shares. “I find I am often behind in paperwork, new updates, and learning when they are self-directed or are written.”
Sheryl is an administrator for a youth soccer organization in the Okanagan, handling everything from registration to scheduling to taking minutes and enacting decisions made in meetings. She has hearing loss.
“I need to be able to hear to take notes and minutes for all aspects of communication: phone calls, in-person meetings, zoom calls, training sessions, etc. I find people with accents and those calling from cars extra challenging to understand. In situations where more than one person is talking, I can only focus on one person at a time which means I miss another speaker’s input,” she shares.
Watching Philippe sing his songs, you’ll notice he can be a bit of a one man band — he’ll sing, he’ll play the guitar, he’ll do the percussion all at once, sometimes he’ll even throw in a harmonizer effect to create harmonies by himself.
Born blind in Clair, New Brunswick, Philippe started his musical journey at five years old, and he can play almost any instrument you can name. He learns songs by ear and adds his own flavour to them, and is a prolific songwriter himself.