These are the happy graduates of a 36-hour workshop on employment preparation for people with disability, just completed in Bucaramanga. Craig Baskett, Program Administrator of the Transitional Vocational Program, Faculty of Continuing Education and Extension, Mount Royal University (MRU), led us step by step through their program of academic preparation, practical experience and support in the workplace.
The goal was to learn about the model used in Calgary and adapt it to the local context. Employment inclusion is an important issue for people with disability. CAJASAN a national employment agency, has implemented a strategy but with limited success. Motivation to hear Craig’s presentation was high.
The workshop was organized by FANDIC, CAJASAN, and the Disability Network. It was sponsored by CAPD, MRU and the Rotary Club of Calgary South. Attendees included academics from universities as well as leaders from each of the three entities listed above.
The attendees worked in groups to grapple with the adaptation of the MRU model to the local context. The knowledge and experience of each person melded together to create a new vision for inclusive employment.
There were times of reflection:
Presentations on their work was made:
They answered questions from the group:
Craig provided lots of constructive feedback.
There was lots of discussion:
And we enjoyed our social time at lunch.
Then it was back to work until we reached the goal – The first draft of an inclusive employment strategy for Bucaramanga.
Craig was very pleased with the gift presented to him as was I. We were all in a jovial mood by the end.
Besides the workshop, Craig had an evening lecture for the public at large and another presentation to people attending the disability network meeting. Both meetings were very well attended.
We also visited two businesses that were already employing people with auditory limitations. One of these was a beauty salon, where we were given a free manicure!
Craig left somewhat exhausted but pleased with the outcome. He knew the workshop had met its goal after seeing the final presentations. The work groups were right on target!
Thank you to Craig, workshop organizers, and sponsors for providing this opportunity to advance inclusive employment in Bucaramanga.