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Hard at work and loving his job


Randy Barksey, Inclusive Employment, Ready Willing  and Able

After 25 years of unemployment, Randy Barksey returned to full-time employment as a dishwasher after attending the Leading into New Careers (LINC) program, a program designed to assist those with intellectual disabilities find employment and as a source for support for those employed. LINC operates under the umbrella of Community Living Parry Sound.

Randy's previous job involved long hours and the high-stress nature of his previous position took a toll on his health. This February, Randy decided to re-enter the workforce by taking part in LINC. After applying to Wellington's, the restaurant he now happily works at, he went in for an interview "10 minutes later, and not the next day" according to Mike Reeves, the owner of Wellington's.

In the end, "Employers are looking for abilities. A disability is something that might originally have some barriers — we work with individuals to get over those barriers and be successful at work. We sell their abilities, not their disabilities," explains Robinson, the LINC employment facilitator. Through LINC, individuals with intellectual abilities are given the tools and learning needed to help overcome the challenges that they might face in addition to receiving  support that their future employers might not have in terms of providing an inclusive environment for employment.

For more stories like these see the CACL website for Ready, Willing and Able

Photo: Sarah Bissonette/North Star
Source: Parry Sound North Star