July 5th, 2016

Students in Douglas College's Employment Supports Specialty Advanced Certificate learn about increasing inclusive workforce development for people with disabilities.

Students in Douglas College’s Employment Supports Specialty Advanced Certificate learn about increasing inclusive workforce development for people with disabilities.

Four students attending the Employment Supports Specialty Advanced Certificate (ESSAC) program at Douglas College have received an Employment Support Specialty Advanced Certificate Award of Distinction through a partnership between Community Living BC (CLBC) and the Douglas College Foundation.

“Thanks to my current employer, I have that unique opportunity to be a student again.

This award without any doubt will play a key role in helping me achieve my educational goals.”

Marcellus Tateh, Langley Association for Community Living

The awards, the first of their kind in Canada, were established in 2014 and are open to all students enrolled in Douglas College’s Employment Supports Speciality Advanced Certificate program.

The four students, who each won an award of $600 in the Winter 2016 semester and may be eligible for an additional $400 renewal during the current Summer semester, are Bonnie Hayward and Marcellus Tateh from Langley Association for Community Living, Carla Mandy from Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion and Anne Millerd from ACT-Autism Community Training.

“I am very definitely pleasantly surprised and grateful to receive this gift from CLBC,” said Hayward.

“I was encouraged to take the Employment Supports Specialty program at Douglas College by Chris Arnold, a former colleague of mine.

Every time I talked to him, he asked if I had signed up for the program yet.

I really appreciate his persistence!  I think this program should be essential for everyone working in employment.”

The ESSAC program is the first in Canada dedicated to supporting and increasing inclusive workforce development for people who live with a disability.

The program consists of five courses offered part time over two semesters, and is completely online so no matter where people are living, they have access to this unique training.

“As a mother of four, one with autism, I have seen the positive impact of employment on those with disabilities,” says Millerd.

“My pursuit of an Employment Supports Specialty Advanced Certificate is with the hope I can assist others to find meaningful paid employment, and to help employers see the benefits of inclusive hiring.”

The purpose of the award is to build capacity in communities across the province so more of the people who are served by CLBC can find and keep employment, the key goal of the Community Action Employment Plan, a collaborative strategy developed by the community and CLBC.