It’s Like A Dream to Me!

October 27, 2021

Jason was diagnosed with encephalopathy, a brain disorder that can affect both physical and mental health. Due to his condition, Jason experiences anxiety, memory issues, and some interpersonal difficulties.  In the past, he had suffered from seizures; fortunately, he has not had one for over eight years. Although Jason has never held paid employment, he has obtained work experience in opportunities provided by Cythera Thrift Store and the Friends in Need Food Bank.

A local community agency referred Jason to the Maple Ridge WorkBC Centre. He completed several assessments including a DRENA, a Psychological and Vocational Assessment, and a Discovery Assessment. Each of these helped both Jason and his Career Coach to better understand his health issues and how these impact his life.  These assessments and the support of his Career Coach assisted Jason to develop a job goal; to obtain part-time employment in a retail environment where he could have the flexibility to move around and stay physically active.

To assist him move towards his job goal, Jason was financially supported to complete the “Basic Occupational Training for Customer Service and Cashier Program” at Douglas College.  With support of the WorkBC Employment Specialist, Jason also participated in an Unpaid Work Experience at the Dollar Tree to gain additional experience and a better understanding of how to manage his health within a work environment. The employer feedback was positive, and Jason acquired new skills and managed well at work. Unfortunately, there were no paid positions available at that time.

Continuing to work with the Maple Ridge WorkBC Employment Specialist, Jason submitted an application for a warehouse position at the Real Canadian SuperStore. Through conversations with the General Manager, the Employment Specialist arranged an interview, and this was a success! The employer reviewed Jason’s credentials and based on his customer service training, recent unpaid work experience, and needs for disability accommodation, offered Jason a part-time position of 20 hours per week within the grocery / dairy department.

As of October 5th, Jason is a part-time Grocery Trainee working at the Real Canadian SuperStore. The Employment Specialist continues to support Jason at work and together they attended a 10-hour orientation session, as well as training on store policies, procedures, and safety regulations. Jason shared that he feels more confident and well-supported.

In Jason’s words: I still don’t believe I got this employment – it’s like a dream to me!