National Disability Employment Awareness Month
National Disability Employment Awareness Month is an annual awareness campaign that takes place each October. This is an opportunity to recognize the contributions and celebrate people with disabilities in the workforce and many different inclusive employers/companies.
To help building inclusive working environments, our community outreach team provides many services to both employers and job seekers. We have a job resource centre which gives you the access to computers and workstation to work on your resume, job search and access to employment counsellors to assist with interview preparation and job readiness.
Our team is committed to providing employment-related programs and services based on needs identified by the communities we serve. Our experienced Employment Counsellors are Certified Career Development Practitioners (CCDP) who specialize in providing individualized client-centred services to assist job seekers and employers.
Click here to RSVP for the webinar.
This month we are celebrating stories of perseverance and success throughout our community. Wavefront Centre is proud to play a part in uplifting and supporting these inspiring individuals:
Valerie Harrison – Community Outreach Services and Audiology client
“It was a pleasure to participate in a project that will assist in public awareness about the fantastic work that Wavefront does to meet challenges and enrich the lives of the hard of hearing and deaf in BC.
As a recipient of the Lend an Ear Program, I am so very grateful for friendly, expert advice, care and technical solution for my hearing loss. My life is much fuller for the ability Wavefront provided me to engage with people again.“
Ryan Spencer – Community Outreach Services client
“My success story begins with my wonderful counselor Joy. With her insight and persistence, I was able to find work through the Wage Subsidy program. My supervisor at Lou Lou Lollipop agreed to 6 months of wage subsidy. In that time, I gained experience in my position to become a full-time employee and find ways to communicate with my co-workers. I am very grateful for the efforts of WorkBC and my counselor Joy in helping those with disabilities thrive at their workplace.”
Rebecca Blissett – Community Outreach Services client
“When I came into Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility to have my hearing tested, I also spoke to Joy Borgonia at Wavefront’s employment services to find out what opportunities there are for those who are hard of hearing. It was a big step for me as I’ve never felt comfortable disclosing my hearing loss to anybody, let alone an employer.
Joy mentioned that the Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF) was looking for a writer for its marketing and communications team and that it would be a perfect fit for me and my journalism experience. She was right! I am proud to work for one of the four percent of organizations that includes disability as part of prioritizing diversity for its team. RHF fosters a positive and inclusive environment, one that allows people to realize their full potential – echoing one of Rick Hansen’s dreams when he embarked on the Man In Motion World Tour 35 years ago.
As far as communication for those with hearing difficulties, the team is flexible to ensure an inclusive environment. Virtual meetings are a perfect example; MS Teams has open captioning, staff ensure they speak clearly and directly to the screen for ease of communication, and meetings are followed up with a written summary of key points and decisions.
RHF has taught me so much about accessibility for those with mobility, vision, and hearing disabilities. I am proud to be a part of a movement so that everyone can go everywhere.
Thank you, Wavefront, for not only providing the best hearing services in the city, but for also providing wonderful support for those with hearing loss.”
Paul Lauener – Community Outreach Services client, business owner of Beverly’s The Spa on 4th
“At Beverly’s the Spa on 4th, we have a suitable job for someone who is Hard of Hearing as a Spa Attendant. The spa attendant is responsible for the upkeep of the appearance of the spa environment and includes doing laundry, collecting glasses and towels from change room areas, cleaning counters if necessary, etc.
Luana started working at the spa in August of this year and is perfectly suited for her role. We have no real challenges in communicating with her as her hearing aids work very well. We try to stand facing her so that we are communicating as clearly as possible. Sadly, the masks don’t work in our favour for this. Luana is also very good at saying “just so I am sure about what you are asking” to clarify what we have asked.
As a team, we use an application called Slack where we can communicate as a group or directly to each other. We find this to be an excellent communication tool.”
Heidi – Community Outreach Services and Audiology client at Wavefront Centre
“I came to Wavefront Centre severely marginalized. I was diagnosed with a 50% hearing loss, knew no ASL, had no hearing aids, and was underemployed. Joy Borgonia, Employment Placement Specialist & Counselling Team Assistant, was the first person I saw, and she helped me get funding for my hearing aids. She validated me and made me feel safe.
She helped me through all the administrative hoops of applying for Work BC for hearing aids. She then took me under her wing for one year after I got my hearing aids to check on me because I needed the support and guidance.
Sandra Baker, Registered Audiologist & Hearing Instrument Practitioner, was the first person who explained how my ears worked. Sandra told me about the hearing aid technology and how it worked so that I could understand.
I cried when I heard my breathing for the first time. She helped me navigate social stimulation and accessibility issues.
My work started picking up. I went from being severely underemployed to employed. My anxiety is less, and my depression is less to the point that I don’t think I have it anymore.”
We all benefit from a society and an economy without barriers to inclusion. When persons with disabilities can participate in all aspects of society, including accessing employment, resources and services, it enriches Canada’s economy.
Sensitivity Training Workshops
Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals continue to face daily challenges and contend with issues of exclusion in employment, education and social settings due to communication barriers.
The Sensitivity Training Workshops at Wavefront Centre is developed to bridge Deaf and hearing cultures that promote increased communication accessibility and inclusion in the workplace. Sensitivity Training provides the tools and strategies that will allow employers to increase communication accessibility, inclusive and diverse participation and become a leader as a disability confident workplace that promotes better outcomes.
Click here to book an appointment with one of our Employment Placement Specialists and Counsellors.