“It is with sincere gratitude that I write this to thank posAbilities and especially our Employment Specialist for her tremendous amount of hard work, kindness, compassion, dedication and unwavering support for my son on his journey to find meaningful work and purpose.
When COVID-19 made it necessary for people to stop meeting in person, she worked with him remotely for months helping him practice interview strategies and learn about the different types of jobs. In a time when so many people were looking for work, she helped him find employment. She went to my son’s new job site multiple times helping him learn the expectations of the job until he was confident that he could manage on his own. She advocated for him during his training, and created and later revised a step-by-step Daily Routine Check List to ensure his success. She researched transit routes from our home to and from the worksite. She was knowledgeable, resourceful and encouraging, always with a smile or a laugh. In addition to her patience and perseverance, she consistently went above and beyond.
My son has been at his new work site working 40 hours per week, for five months now. While he still gets anxious and frustrated when things don’t always go quite right, he is proud to be employed, earning his own money, and having a reason to get up in the morning. My son would never have achieved his goal of meaningful employment and purpose. It has changed his life, and by extension, the lives of our family.
In my son’s words: “She is kind of like my guardian angel. She is there when I need her.”
“Our family absolutely adores our Employment Specialist, and the way she has worked with our son Justin Farano over the last couple of years has been remarkable. She truly cares and goes above and beyond to ensure his success. Her professionalism, humor and thoughtfulness come shining through when she works and interacts with Justin. He comes away feeling more confident and knows he has her in his corner if necessary. He has developed reliance and trust in his abilities at his job because of her. I’m sure you already know what an absolute gem she is, but I felt it was important to convey how others view her as well. Please know how truly grateful we are as a family for all her hard work over the years to help our son become the man he is today. posAbilities really does bring out the potential of its clients and prepares them for a successful future.”
– Jen and Craig Farano
“A co-worker showed me an article in the local newspaper about this program that assists persons with disabilities achieve jobs. My son Josh wasn’t “ready” at the time to seek assistance yet as he wanted to try to achieve this milestone of getting a job on his own, just like any other boy his age. Joshua didn’t quite understand what it took to go out and look for a job “pounding the pavement” as posAbilities called it. When I thought Josh was ready, I made the call and right away spoke to an Employment Specialist. He explained the process and we set up an appointment. My son likes to make his own decisions and was coming into the appointment skeptical. The Employment Specialist not only hit a home run with Joshua upon their first meeting, he left already feeling that this was the best fit for him. Every time they met, Joshua became more positive, confident and never discouraged, even when an interview didn’t produce results. Today with the assistance of the Employment Specialist, he has attained part time work and is doing it well. The job coaching was the biggest help as Joshua was able to get that one on one learning that he required due to his Non-Verbal Learning Disability. Joshua is so eager to go to work and he enjoys the employer, the people and being productive. Thank you so much to all the team at posAbilities!”
– Cindy Stockli
“My son, Sean, had been having problems finding a job. He was very frustrated. A friend told me about posAbilities. We met with the team and set up an appointment with his Employment Specialist. Sean met with him several times to explore Sean’s work criteria and skills. He then talked to employers and found a great fit. He even worked the first few shifts with Sean. We couldn’t be happier that Sean now has steady employment. His life has improved, and he enjoys being a member of a team with his co-workers. Finding posAbilities was one of the best things that has happened to us!”
– Catherine Nightingale
“My son and I first met with posAbilities in the summer of 2013. Our needs were a little different than their usual clients as we had already secured a job; our need was the job coaching. During our interviews, we were impressed with the dynamic approach of the team; they were able to accommodate our needs even though it was ‘off the menu’. The real test was the interface with work. Prior to the first day, our job coach met with the manager and explained the areas posAbilities could help with. In turn, the manager told our job coach more about the job and ran him through the training which had been provided to my son on his first day. A very positive experience! My son learned the job, and had the opportunity to have his coach with him for some time afterwards so questions could be answered and the culture of the job could be learned. Without a doubt, my son would not have been as successful in his working experience without his coach and good sense of humour. My son has continued to work on a part-time basis and hopes to be able to gain more hours of work. We know that if there are any future needs, posAbilities will be there for support.”
“It was so great calling for advice and straight away getting through to a person, not a machine!”
– Debra Jennieson
“Square Peg, Whole Person.
I was very relieved to find posAbilities Employment Service. For a number of years after graduation, my son had unsuccessfully looked for work. I had searched high and low for the kind of help he needed. He was often excluded from services for being too able in some circumstances and not able enough in others. He did not consider himself disabled, nor did he want to depend on Government handouts. A square peg, but a whole person, he just wanted a job. posAbilities was the agency, ” that could.”
Despite completing a course with Douglas College for those with “barriers,” a course at a Trade School, registering with the appropriate division of Work BC, and distributing resumes personally as well as on line, there had been no result.
There was no way my son was going to be able to succeed in a competition with the legions applying for an entry level job without extra help. In spite of a reasonably attractive resume, including extensive volunteer work, that first interview was an impossible hurdle. He seemed doomed to remain on the outside of a functioning society.
There is a “No Man’s Land” it seems, on the lighter side of Autism, where those with milder symptoms dwell alone and without support, especially after the age of nineteen. They are out of tune with the broader society. Yet they want the same things as their peers. Sometimes the pain of daily rejection, of not coping, is overwhelming. Ninety percent of people with high functioning Autistic Spectrum Disorders are unemployed in adulthood. In their forties half of them are still living with their parents. (Ref. Autism Calgary).
This is a worldwide problem. And yet, as the internet reveals, there are pockets of success in Canada and other lands. There have been decades of research and discussion. We already know the answers. “Reduce the risk,” one employer explained succinctly. Creating the connection between education and employment for these candidates is not mysterious. It requires the willingness and ability to act at all levels.
posAbilities uses a proven practical approach which is personalized. It paves the way for a successful employment relationship. It also involves linking to family members who provide necessary support. My son worked with a very competent, fearless advisor who took his interests and intellect into account without being condescending. Manifestly, this agency pays attention to the needs of this particular group. Their representatives are very good at what they do. Hopefully, this is the beginning of establishing a life for my son, who is now working.”
“Michael has been enjoying his new job so much that he counted the days for the pleasure of going back to work again. He also gained more confidence in himself when he came back home with his paycheck. One of the clear changes in him is that he shows less frustration and anxiety in other daily life activities, and has become more active by going swimming.
As Michael’s parents, we are very grateful to you for bringing about this change to Michael. You have really done a great job in finding Michael his job and helping out our family as well.
– Martin Ma
“My son and I first met with posAbilities in the fall of 2013. We had just completed a federal review application for a Disability Savings Plan. My son has had difficulty finding employment, even part time. With the help from posAbilities, a job search was initiated after they had evaluated his disability. His employment specialist was successful in locating a part time position in a supportive environment. He job coached my son and attended his first sessions to provide support and backup to him and the employers. My son has been working for almost two months. Having a regular part time position has given him a renewed sense of worth. I highly recommend the people at posAbilities, their approach to helping clients, and their regular progress reports.”
“Aaron’s ability to understand what was expected of him in the job market was greatly enhanced as a result of your work with him around resume writing and how to handle himself in a job interview, in particular. When he faced some challenges in his summer job placement, you provided on-the-job coaching that helped smooth the way and enhance his value in the eyes of the employer. As a result, he has cemented his relationship with that employer and is now one of their on-call employees. The enhancement to Aaron’s self-esteem has been significant, not to mention the money he was able to put in the bank in preparation for his return to school.
posAbilities provides an important – and rare – bridging service for those young adults with special needs who require help with developing their talents and finding their way in the community at large.”
– Fred Michael