Justina works part-time as a medical office assistant at a physiotherapy clinic in Comox. Her job includes everything from cleaning and dressing the patient rooms, answering the phones, and taking payment for appointments.
However, the job is physically demanding and taxing on her body.
“I have struggled with lower back pain for more than a decade, which affects my ability to lift heavy objects, as well as stand or sit for long periods of time,” she explains. “I also have extremely painful planters fasciitis, flat feet (no arches), weak ankles, and heel spurs which affects my ability to stand or be on my feet for long periods of time.
Kate works at the customer service desk at a large retail chain store in Enderby.
She has used a wheelchair for over 35 years after suffering a spinal cord injury at the L1 level.
“My shoulders, hands and back give me a lot of trouble now due to overuse over the years. I do a lot of lifting and moving around the store while working. I leave work feeling so much pain that getting my wheelchair in the car to go home had become a real problem. Sometimes I needed to ask for help,” she shares.
Moore works at a watch repair shop in downtown Victoria, where he does everything from selling watches, to taking in repairs, changing batteries, as well as working on more complicated repairs.
“I have a stutter which has impeded my speech since I was born. In the workplace, this has impacted nearly every interaction I have, especially with the public,” he explains.
Using his knowledge of design and construction, Alfred recently started a business, Accessible Places, to help people with disabilities and seniors by assessing homes and buildings for accessibility, using Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification standards.
“Having had a stroke in 2016, I am trying to give back to my community by helping others have a more accessible and inclusive life at home,” he explains.
Carissa works full-time with the student union at a college near her home in Cumberland, BC.
“I live with impaired hearing with sensory processing disorder. Sounds have a visceral effect on my body and experience. I am emotionally affected by sounds, and at times have difficulties deescalating from loud, unpredictable sounds,” she explains.
Elizabeth has over 20 years of management experience in First Nations governance. She is currently in the interview process for a new position.
“I was having a great deal of trouble hearing,” she shares from Osoyoos.
Gary has a way with computers and technology. He volunteers his time to various organizations on Salt Spring Island, including as a computer literacy instructor and with a library program helping people access books and assistive technology.
He is also looking to get back into the workforce, having enrolled in WorkBC Employment Services. He has been doing contract work as a computer technician with local businesses in the area, and WorkBC has been helping him work towards his self-employment goal.
We were thrilled to welcome MLA, Brenda Bailey, Parliamentary Secretary for Technology and Innovation, to our head office yesterday in Burnaby. Ms. Bailey received a hearing evaluation in our fully accessible Hearing Solutions lab, demoed some assistive technology in our Solutions lab, and visited our Makers Making Change lab to learn about affordable open source assistive technologies.
About five years ago, Anwar was working more than 50 hours per week in senior management at a large national organization, plus volunteering at an executive level at another 10 hours per week.
“One day, I could not rise from my bed, it took me over two hours to get up and out of bed, my vision was partially lost in one eye, and my entire body was in severe chronic pain,” they explain.
Darren works as a transportation planner, writing reports for cities, analyzing data, and preparing conceptual drawings.
“I have a profound hearing impairment. It means that it is difficult for me to follow group conversations,” he shares.