Aaron Magnus has been working at Caroline’s Restaurant in Porcupine Plain for over a year. Originally hired as a dishwasher, Aaron has grown tremendously in his role.
From first meeting Greg you never would have guessed that he was once someone that was very shy. Over the past few years, Greg’s confidence and self-esteem have gone way up and with that his amazing personality has emerged.
Ryan Bender contributes to his community through music, performing at events, dances, and benefits. This video highlights how he learned to play some of the instruments he knows and shows his great talent.
Living on her own has been a goal that Trudy has always been working towards, and in December 2015 her hard work and determination paid off when she moved into an apartment of her own.
Jennifer Wiebe works alongside Sherri Lumbis at the sewing department of the Saskatchewan Abilities Council, Saskatoon branch. They were both coincidentally the recipients of Al McGuire Awards this year. Jennifer volunteers at St. Anne's nursing home in Saskatoon, and has been offering her services to the organization since 2008. Thanks for all you do, Jennifer!
Noah's quality of life has drastically improved since he started becoming a more active member in his community. Learn all about his journey, and his successes along the way.
Patrick's job at SaskTel has provided him with the support to work towards the goals in his life. He is a valued part of the team, and provides input at team meetings. Through working at SaskTel, Patrick's life has been changed. He really enjoys the work, and SaskTel enjoys having him be part of the service department. Congrats, Patrick! Keep up the good work.
Sherri and her husband Dale have lived on their own for many years. They have been married for over 20 years, and have recently celebrated their anniversary. Sherri works in the sewing department at the Saskatchewan Abilities Council.
Meet Edmond Gaudet, a friendly and caring guy, that works at the Saskatoon Branch of the Saskatchewan Abilities Council. Edmond is a much loved part of his large family, and has many friends at the Abilities Council too.
Meet George Wing, a true humanitarian. George has recently retired from SARCAN Recycling in Saskatoon, and has more free time to do even more volunteering in is community. George volunteers at the CHEP Good Food Box program at Station 20 West, and has donated his backyard as garden space for growing vegetables. George volunteers at Elmwood Residences and also at Green Grove Ukrainian Camp at Wakaw Lake, doing landscaping, painting, etc. Anyone who knows George knows that they have a good friend. With an infectious drive to help others, George is an incredible example of a community-minded citizen. Way to go, George!
Meet Kristin Hancock from North Battleford. Krisitin is a very determined person, and when she puts her mind to something, she gets it done. Moving out on her own was a big step for Kristin, and she handled it with ease, even though it was quite a lot of work. Congratulations, Kristin on achieving your goals! There's nothing you can't do!
Meet Kyle Froese, a Swift Current resident with a big heart! Kyle works at Swift Current's Recycle Depot and is the guy that customers want to see and coworkers want to work with. From helping customers unload their recycling and answering their questions, to helping out his coworkers if they need assistance, Kyle is happy to help with a smile on his face. Congratulations, Kyle!
Darwin worked closely with the staff at Estevan Diversified Services (EDS) to identify the goals he wanted to set to lead a more active life in the community. Through attending the Resource Centre at EDS, Darwin learned important life skills that have truly grown his independence and his interest in everything from current events to researching people and places to keeping up to date on pop culture. Darwin has learned to communicate through phone and email, and he has become much better at keeping in touch with his friends and family. Darwin used to be shy and reserved, and now he likes to converse with people about everything from what was on TV last night to his latest discoveries at the Estevan Public Library.
Dennis has lived on his own for about two years and has been thriving ever since. Dennis has a beautiful home that he keeps immaculate. He enjoys having company over, cooking for himself (on his brand new barbeque), playing the guitar, and watching the Riders. Dennis is very polite and friendly, and he will make you feel welcome instantly in his home. Dennis plants a garden every year and spends time working on his collections (mostly Saskatchewan Roughriders based). He also enjoys decorating, and even ordered custom-made artwork to line the walls of his new home.
Joel prides himself on working hard and keeping busy. From working in the Contract Services department at Cosmopolitan Industries, to transitioning to work in the community, Joel’s work ethic and dedication is second to none. For the past seven years, Joel has worked at Dad’s Organic Market in Saskatoon. Joel stocks shelves, takes out garbage, tidies the store and much more. With the support of the staff at Dad’s and the Job Coaches at Cosmopolitan Industries, Joel has thrived at his workplace, making his transition to community employment seamless!
Sarah has had a visual impairment her whole life, but that has never stopped her from achieving amazing things. In her spare time, Sarah raises awareness about visual impairment, works hard at her job, and is a fantastic mother. All of this is done with a strong wit and entertaining sense of humour. Sarah is proof that if you put your mind to it, you can do anything. From involvement in the White Cane Club, to the Royal Purple Society, Sarah is a true community spirit!
Elizabeth Darveau might just have the cleanest home in Redvers. After transitioning from a group home into her own apartment, Elizabeth excelled in all areas of living independently. Not only is the apartment sparkling clean, but it is comfortable and welcoming. Elizabeth saves money she earns from her part time job to purchase new items for her home. The support staff at Redvers Activity Centre say that Elizabeth’s transition happened practically overnight after moving into her own place.
Garry Bradley is a very familiar face in Melfort. For the last 30 years, Garry has run his own lawn care business, is very involved in the Melfort 4-H Club and Fair Society, and sits on the Board of Directors for Special Olympics. Garry’s community involvement extends beyond organized activities; he also volunteers his time helping seniors shovel their walks in the winter and mow their lawns in the summer. Garry and his wife Rachel are part of the Supported Independent Living Program at Plus Industries.
Even before finishing high school, Gordon knew what his calling would be: he wanted to work at SARCAN Recycling. The team at Estevan Diversified Services (EDS) worked with Gordon to develop a customized program to help him achieve his goal. With support from his family, Gordon traveled from Stoughton to Estevan to train at EDS. Gordon learned counting and memorization techniques through the life skills program, and he started living independently in Estevan through the Supported Independent Living Program. Gordon is now working full time at SARCAN, and he is an enthusiastic and hardworking employee.
Determination and strength are the standout qualities of Terry Lynn’s personality. After suffering a stroke in 2008, Terry Lynn worked diligently to return to community employment and independent living. With a positive attitude and infectious smile, Terry Lynn has achieved her goals and once again become a vibrant part of her community.
Since gaining employment at the Wheatland Regional Centre in Rosetown, David has become a more social and outgoing person. He enjoys earning money to spend on anything and everything related to the Saskatchewan Roughriders. David likes to hang out with his friends and coworkers, and his life has been greatly enhanced thanks to his employment opportunity.
Kim has volunteered in the Kindersley community for over 20 years. Every year he is involved in the Kindersley fair in the summer, and during hockey season he is the equipment manager for the Kindersley Klippers. The hockey club really appreciates the time that Kim dedicates to the team, not to mention his loud cheering to get the crowd on their feet at home games!
As an adult, Leslie has been constantly developing her life skills in ways such as hygiene, communication, socializing, and activities. Her goals have become more self-directed and as a whole her communication has become more expressive and more frequent. Leslie enjoys spending time with her roommates and taking part in various activities from bowling to going out for coffee.
Susan has thrived since moving into her own apartment. She has taken time to decorate it exactly the way she likes it and her cleaning and cooking skills have grown. She enjoys playing her Nintendo Wii, and as she says, since moving out on her own, she can play it whenever she wants!
It was always Brian’s dream to live independently. With the support from family and friends, he learned the skills to live on his own. He keeps his home neat and tidy, prepares his own meals, does his own shopping, and does his own laundry. Brian loves to go to garage sales and always has new decorations and treasures for his home, which is very warm and inviting. He has worked at SARCAN Recycling for over 10 years. He is involved with the Knights of Columbus and the Elks. Brian’s story is an inspiration to those in the community of Davidson and beyond!
In the past, Darcy had suffered medical concerns and mobility issues due to having an unhealthy weight. With the help of Kipling Industries, a healthy living program was created. Darcy now watches his sugar levels, his blood pressure has gone down, he eats healthy, and exercises by riding his bike or participating in the walking club through Kipling Industries. Through this program, Darcy lost 124 pounds! Darcy’s journey has shown everyone in the community of Kipling that with the rights supports anything can be achieved.
George is a very community-oriented person who loves to go out and be involved. He is very good natured and well liked in his community. George is completely wheelchair bound, but he accepts this with grace and does not complain. He is also very appreciative of the support that he receives from others. He volunteers his time at the local school where he helps with the recycling program. He also volunteers at his church as a greeter, a singer, and guitar player.
For years, Ivan delivered newspapers in the community of Weyburn and lived on social assistance. Wanting to make a change, Ivan was hired on as a recycling technician at the Weyburn SARCAN depot. Ivan’s job has helped him to lead a more community inclusive life and to not have to rely on social assistance. Ivan is very involved in the community and social events through work and church. He always strives to make people feel good and appreciated.
Bobby has been attending the Saskatchewan Abilities Council Saskatoon Branch for over 10 years, and she is always willing to lend a helping hand. Bobby has gone from being in a wheelchair fulltime, to learning to walk with a walker, to walking completely independently. Bobby was involved in a serious hit-and-run accident a number of years ago where she almost lost her life. She lost her ability to speak from the accident; however, she did not lose her ability to laugh. She is a role model and true inspiration, because, simply put, she does not give up.
When her mother suddenly passed away, Lisa learned all the skills required to live independently. With support, Lisa learned how to run her household. Since moving on her own, Lisa has improved her social life and enjoys outings like camping, Telemiracle, bowling, and curling. She is willing to try everything and is a very pleasant person to be around.
Ryan moved to the community of Meadow Lake, and, within a year, had taken on roles such as delivering newspapers to the community, washing, drying, folding, and delivering the Meadow Lake RCMP’s laundry, as well as assisting in litter removal to keep Meadow Lake looking clean. Ryan is now a familiar face in the community; he is very social and loves to tell funny stories.
Sean’s ultimate goal was to obtain community employment to earn a living and not have to rely on the support of Social Services. Interlake Human Resources partnered with the Supported Employment Transition Initiative (SETI) and, through that partnership, Sean was able to work at a water delivery business where he delivers water to people in the community of Watrous and surrounding area. In the last two years Sean has grown in the areas of self-esteem, self-confidence, he is very respectful, and he is able to manage his own finances. Sean is an extremely positive role model to staff, other clients, and the community of Watrous.
Barry moved to Maidstone Group Home Society Inc. from Valley View Centre in Moose Jaw where he lived with 20 other individuals. Barry was nonverbal and before moving to Maidstone; he kept to himself and was not social. After moving to Maidstone, Barry began showing an interest in learning new skills and began doing household chores such as folding laundry and making meals, making his bed, bringing his laundry to the laundry room, and the most surprising of all – Barry began speaking. The staff at Barry’s group home have been very impressed with the progress he has made in such a short period of time.
Gavin began attending programs at Multiworks Corporation in 2007. Multiworks partners with various organizations in the city as it helps assist clients to develop essential skills to prepare for employment. Since moving into his own place, Gavin has flourished. Gavin is now considered a role model to the agency’s other clients. He is proud of his independent living skills, from setting his alarm, to taking the bus to work.
Since 1980, Ian has worked at the Saskatchewan Abilities Council Training Centre and has always had a goal of obtaining community employment. Working with Partners in Employment, he participated in the Employment Readiness program. With the assistance of a Job Coach, Ian began working at Boston Pizza. Ian is now totally independent at his job and a key member of the Boston Pizza Yorkton team.
If you live in Yorkton, you know Norman Hinrikson. Norman has been volunteering his time to many organizations in Yorkton for the last 20+ years including the Saskatchewan Abilities Council, the Western Development Museum, the Exhibition, and the Yorkton Terriers Junior Hockey Team. Norman is always ready and willing to help with anything. Norman is caring, enthusiastic, and always willing to give his time to his community.
The 2016 Employer of Excellence Award goes to Dutch Industries. Since employing two individuals experiencing disability in December 2015, Dutch Industries has demonstrated strong initiative in creating an inclusive and diverse workplace.
Evan Haubrich, general manager of Extra Foods in Meadow Lake has demonstrated strong leadership in creating an inclusive workplace culture. Haubrich works with individuals supported by Multiworks to create employment opportunities that embrace the skills and talents each individual possesses. “Each person that works here definitely has something to offer the team” said Haubrich, “we try to play with their strengths.” For employers, hiring people experiencing disability creates diversity, which contributes to a healthy workplace culture.
In our current economy and competition for the labour pool, employers are tapping in to a currently under-utilized segment of the workforce by reaching out to supported employment service providers across the province that can connect them to qualified, capable and dependable employees.
SaskTel is one such business that exemplifies the importance of hiring people of all abilities. No matter what the employee’s background is, SaskTel is passionate about making the employee part of the work family through warmth and acceptance. SaskTel considers it extremely important to hire people that are representative of the clients they serve in Saskatchewan, and this includes people of varying abilities.
Currently, SaskTel employs eight individuals who secured their jobs through Supported Employment programs. They have plans to add two more staff by the end of the year, and will continue to expand the program into the future. Employees initially work with a job coach, and then with staff at SaskTel to prepare for their job duties using customized tools and tips to help the employees succeed in their jobs.
Ambassador Coffee works with Creative Options Regina (COR) to provide employment to people of all abilities. John Kreis, Service Manager for Ambassador Coffee, says that any employee, no matter what his/her barriers, is still just “one of the guys”. Way to go, Ambassador Coffee, for creating a diverse and inclusive workplace!
Redvers Early Learning & Child Care Centres has worked closely with Redvers Activity Centre, the SARC Member Agency that provides supported employment services to Redvers and the surrounding community. The two organizations have had proven success in employing people of all abilities. Both organizations have put the supports in place to ensure people with varying abilities are able to gain meaningful employment in the communities where they live.
The Travelodge Hotel in Saskatoon has an ongoing relationship with Partners in Employment (through the Saskatchewan Abilities Council) that provides opportunities for many people that could face barriers to employment. All Travelodge Associates are treated the same and are rewarded for hard work and achievements through an employee rewards system. Congratulations, Travelodge Hotel, on your innovative approach to community employment for people of all abilities!
Boston Pizza has actively hired people with disabilities to work in their kitchen for many years. The owners enjoy the diversity it brings to the workplace, and they have been consistently impressed with quality and caliber of employees who have disabilities that they have hired on their team.
Husky Energy has a strong presence in the Lloydminster community, including an excellent program to ensure people of all abilities are given the chance to gain employment. Working closely with The Bea Fisher Centre, Job Coaches have been able to assist new employees with transitioning into their new roles.
Sherring Gold in Yorkton has employed people with disabilities for over 10 years. The owners say that employees who have joined them from the Yorkton Branch of the Saskatchewan Abilities Council have been fantastic additions to the team.
The 2016 Volunteer of Distinction Award goes to Ethos Salon Spa & Barber. Crystal Dahl-Wildeman, owner of Ethos Salon Spa & Barber has created a seven-year partnership with Cosmopolitan Industries, where she and her staff come to Cosmo Industries every month to provide participants with haircuts, hair styles and manicures.
Mary Neufeld volunteers at the Wood N' Needle Shop in Waldheim, providing important services to the ladies who work there. Mary not only provides support as an expert seamstress, but she also socializes with the ladies at the shop. Way to go, Mary, on all of your contributions to Menno Homes of Saskatchewan, Inc., in Waldheim.
Mike has been a very dedicated and thoughtful volunteer in Maple Creek. Since his retirement, he has spent lots of time with the participants at Maple Creek, and he has become a very special part of the organization. Mike is willing to volunteer for any number of duties, and even goes on longer trips like camping and visits to Cypress Hills. He is a positive male role model for the participants, and is a qualified and dedicated Board Member. Thanks for all you do, Mike! Keep up the good work!
For almost 30 years, Cosmopolitan Industries has partnered with the Kiwanis Club of Saskatoon to create an incredible opportunity for people with disabilities: the chance to learn an instrument and play in a band. The band plays at many events from Cosmo’s annual Open House, Christmas performances, and even Telemiracle. This award recognizes not only the band members and the partnership with Cosmo and Kiwanis, but also the work of the band leader, Russ Regier, and the band’s pianist, Shirley McLellan. Regier and McLellan work with the band to determine what type of music they would like to play and how they would like to play it. They also encourage dancing and singing to make the most of the experience.
Ellen has supported people with disabilities through her dedicated volunteer work for over 64 years. Starting in 1948 at the Saskatchewan Abilities Council, Ellen has also volunteered with John Dolan Elementary School, Greystone Elementary School, as well as sat on the boards of both Cosmopolitan Industries and Light of the Prairies Society. In addition to her time, Ellen also volunteered her business, Paramount Day Spa, over the years, where she offered services such as haircuts, manicures, pedicures and more. She also taught personal hygiene courses, all in an effort for people with disabilities to lead more community-inclusive lives.
Mondays, Alice creates homemade lunches and baking for the participants. She also volunteers at Harvest Community Inc.’s Camp Grizzly during the summer months, where she also provides nutritious and delicious meals for the campers.
Pat has been volunteering with the Saskatchewan Abilities Council in Saskatoon for over 30 years. She works with all eight groups and knows each of the participants individually. Pat helps the participants on outings in the community. She has a very loving, caring, and calm demeanor. She likes to volunteer her time because she likes to help people.
Johanna has been volunteering on the Board of Directors at BRSI for over 30 years. She is down to earth and always willing to help out in any way she can. In the past, she has volunteered with the Saskatchewan Association for Community Living (SACL), Autism Services, the Early Childhood Intervention Program (ECIP) and BRSI. Johanna also opened her home to foster children, with 150 foster kids supported. A few years ago, to honour Johanna, BRSI re-named a group home to Johanna’s Home to acknowledge her countless hours of dedication to the disability services sector.
Gerald has been involved with Mallard Diversified Services since its inception. After retiring from his job as an elementary school teacher, Gerald started volunteering in many aspects of Mallard’s operations. Gerald opened up a private care home to four participants from Mallard, as well as transitioned students from other communities. When asked, Gerald does not think that what he does is volunteer work, but merely spending time with people who enjoy his company.