Contributed by Layla Truong, posAbilities Employment Service

September is Disability Employment month in BC. During this month, we celebrate the contributions of people with disabilities in the workforce. We also celebrate and support businesses creating inclusive workplaces that value employees’ diverse abilities and unique skills.

The pandemic has affected many people’s lives, but the employment team at posAbilities did not let this affect job seekers on their employment journey.

Employment Specialists use various games, exercises or role-plays to engage with job seekers to achieve this. Although the pandemic has changed the way we all interact, physical distancing did not stop the employment team from providing service supports to eager job seekers.

One of the most important pieces during the employment process is Discovery. Within this step, job seekers and their Employment Specialist look at the skills, abilities, interests, and learning styles that each job seeker possesses. This process helps to provide valuable information in order to explore the various employment opportunities that will provide a good fit for both employer and employee.

In a sector where personal development and discovery is so heavily reliant on human connection, we had to think of new ways to interact and engage while being apart from one another. Zoom and phone meetings were resourceful options, but not always beneficial for everyone and we wanted to find something that would provide job related activities throughout the week. This meant that we had to find creative ways to assess skills and interests while also being interactive and fun.

An activity box containing various labelled envelopes and wrapped packages in small bundles.

Welcome Activity Boxes! These beautiful, fun boxes were hand delivered (physically distanced of course!) and contain eight different activities to be completed over eight weeks. All activities come with materials, step-by-step instructions as well as a guide book to help record the journey. These well thought out activities were designed to be accessible and fun but still related to exploring a job seekers employable skill set.

Some activities include planting tomatoes, a grocery scavenger hunt, baking chocolate chip cookies, and interviewing a friend. You may see cool and exciting activities but Employment Specialists are using their keen eye to seek out skills such as problem solving, time management, hand-eye coordination, and organization.

By creating these boxes, we hope that job seekers can reflect on the activities and their skills, leading to their dream career. But most importantly, we hope that these boxes bring joy during these challenging times.

If you are wondering about how to get a foot on the career ladder during these pandemic times, please contact posAbilities Employment Service – or call 604-299-4001 ext. 342. We have a youth employment initiative called IMPACT, government and privately funded service options for adults with diverse abilities, and other great information to share. We are open for business!