Rita Woodward

Rita Woodward

Everyone has Employ-Ability

Independent Living Vernon offers two programs for individuals with disabilities to access the job market and gain self esteem.

Independent Living Vernon offers two programs for individuals with disabilities to access the job market and gain self esteem through goal setting and empowerment.

Funded by the Neil Squire Society, Employ- Ability is an online pre-employment course that has three core modules consisting of career development, wellness for work, employment liaison and work experience.

“It runs four times a year providing an opportunity to enhance computer skills in an online learning environment, as well as focus on abilities and skills, discovering the hidden job market while improving on tools such as resume, cover letter, etc.,” said Lisa Kongsdorf, with Independent Living (IL) Vernon.

“When the participant is ready, a job developer will assist in your quest for full time, part time, or volunteer work etc.”

Unique to this course is an independent, individualized action plan that is self-paced and customized to fit a participant’s specific needs, demonstrating knowledge of a variety of supports, accommodations, and adaptive technologies that are designed to assist successful transitions into the workplace.

The next session  of Employ-Ability starts Sept. 8 and runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. three days a week for 12 weeks.

To access the Employ-Ability program at IL Vernon you just have to self disclose a disability.  No medical forms or doctors signatures are required, participants must be either unemployed or underemployed (less than an average of 20 hours per week) and not be EI eligible for the last three years.

If you are unable to get to IL Vernon, this program can be offered through distance education as well.

Self Esteem for Independent Living, funded by the Vancouver Foundation, is a free program offered to anyone 16 years of age and older.  The next session starts Sept. 4 and runs every Thursday for 14 weeks.

“The purpose is increasing the self esteem of people with a variety of disabilities on their employment journey, as well as providing support, i.e. recreational, financial, social and/or medical,” said Kongsdorf. “Because individuals with disabilities have different experiences and different supports, this program includes one-to- one time separate from the group if needed. The program consists of reducing negative habit patterns and learning to value who you are.”

Some topics covered include unlocking your potential, taking charge of your life and seven steps to goal achievement.

Registration begins for both programs now with space limited.

Independent Living Vernon is also hosting a lunch get together Sept. 3 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in room 003 at the People Place.

This get together is for past and present graduates of  IL Vernon’s two programs.

“Past participants from both programs feel quite connected to both IL Vernon and the individuals they have networked with in these programs,” said Kongsdorf. “Many of these individuals are either working or attending school and have expressed an interest on networking with other participants.”

IL Vernon is also extending an invitation to potential employers  to come and meet participants who have taken either or both courses as well as IL staff on Sept. 8.

Information on Working Together (a wage subsidy program funded by Neil Squire through Footprints to Technology) will also be available for both potential employers and eager participants.

To get information or to register, phone 250-545-9292 and ask for Lisa, or email: lisa@ilvernon.ca.