Inclusive employment at AISCA
For a number of years already, there has been a focused effort by all stakeholders in education to support students with specific learning disabilities. Independent schools and early childhood services (ECS) programs have certainly played a key role in supporting these students. Many of the students in our ECS programs have needs which qualify them for program unit funding. Quite a few independent schools incorporate students with significant learning disabilities and associated disorders into the regular classroom; other schools operate as Designated Special Education Private School (DSEPS).
While the support for students with disabilities is growing in the K-12 system, there are challenges for supporting these individuals as they transition into adult life. There is a growing recognition in Alberta of the importance and value in providing meaningful employment opportunities for all Albertans, including those with disabilities. Since this past spring, AISCA has been able to provide such an opportunity through the contract employment of Peter Doorten.
Peter is a dynamic young man from Edmonton. He lives with mobility challenges and visual impairment, as well as a developmental disability. This hasn’t stopped him from pursuing a variety of interests and passions. Peter was a student in an inclusive independent school from kindergarten to Gr. 12. After high school he went on to enrolled in MacEwan University’s Inclusive Education Program, through which he was able to audit business courses with the support of a facilitator.
This past spring Peter, along with support from his Family Managed Support (FMS) team and his support service Rehoboth Christian Ministries, succeeded in setting up his own business. This is where AISCA joined the story. Peter contracts his services to a variety of businesses. His services include such things as delivering parcels, counting money, processing mail, scanning or shredding documents, and other general office work. AISCA agreed to hire Peter, and the arrangement has allowed Peter to gain meaningful employment, while also providing a valued service to our association.
Peter and his support workers come in to the AISCA office for an hour each week; through his dedication and professional approach he has quickly become a valued member of our team. Welcome aboard Pete!