From support grows confidence that leads to success. That’s the path North Vancouver’s Craig Faris journeyed with assistance from WorkBC.
Faris, who is blind, had completed studies in Louisiana last June as a rehab teacher and braille instructor and was in search of a job fitting his qualifications.
But even though he possessed the personal skills and knowledge, the technical equipment required to put his talents to use were unaffordable.
That’s where WorkBC North Vancouver helped make a difference.
“Because I am totally blind, many types of jobs are not available to me or necessitate that accommodations be made by the employer to provide access to the information and technology required for me to perform job duties,” Faris said. “Positions in my field are also quite limited within Canada and B.C.”
WorkBC North Vancouver is a hub for employment services, offering clients with free services, including skills assessments, plus workshops and job fairs. It also assists those, like Faris, with barriers to employment.
“I decided to try approaching WorkBC for assistance because there were a few pieces of key assistive technology that I knew I would need to be effective in a role instructing others in access technology,” Faris said. “This equipment was well out of my price range, but I realized I could not hope to be effective in teaching it if I weren’t intimately familiar with its operation.” While WorkBC North Vancouver was able to help provide the required equipment, Faris said he received so much more.
“My case manager was kind and patient, and truly took the time to understand my needs as a blind person eager to re-enter the workforce,” he said. “Not only did she tirelessly pursue various funding sources for my adaptive equipment, but she also signed me up for a series of employment-related workshops that proved more useful than I ever expected.”
All of that helped Faris land a full-time, six-month, paid contract as an Assistive Technology Intern for the CNIB Foundation in Vancouver.
“I shall always be grateful for the vote of confidence shown by WorkBC and its caring staff,” he said.