September 25, 2018

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Kristina Shelden, Resource Coordinator, PIRC

One thing I’ve noticed in my ten years of having a spinal cord injury is that there are a surprising number of resources that come and go that I have no idea about. Even as a Resource Coordinator, a mid-point where knowledge passes through, I don’t hear about everything. A lot of resources for people with  disabilities aren’t advertised loudly and often it’s through word of mouth that opportunities are learned about.

Well, I’m going to do my best to let you guys know of anything I learn of, so you can enjoy the benefits and opportunities out there to help you live your best life! And please don’t hesitate to let me know of anything you’re aware of. I don’t care if I’ve heard of it before, the gems that are out there are priceless! I can be reached at .

One such opportunity I only recently learned about is [email protected] through the Neil Squire Society. Listen up all you employed or self-employed peeps with disabilities, this is for you!

The [email protected] Program supports people who have a work related barrier due to a disability or a functional limitation and who require Assistive Technology for employment or volunteer activities in British Columbia.

[email protected] will:

  • Work with you and your employer to find the best solution to remove a barrier for you in the workplace
  • Help you determine the Assistive Technology equipment, products, and services that will allow you to better perform your job tasks
  • Provide training, if required
  • Help to navigate you to other services and supports in the community to assist you in your employment situation
  • Provide you with the latest information about workplace Assistive Technology from our Resource Centre

I am self employed as a singer-songwriter, and it was only recently I found out that I qualify for this program. I struggle madly with pain, spasticity and fatigue, and because of this I can’t work for nearly as long as I’d like to on my music, and find it difficult to last the day at my office job. Through [email protected] I’ve now met with an occupational therapist who went over all the options to help me better manage my symptoms with proper desks, chairs and other items that will allow my body to survive longer at the computer and piano, and to help me get my heavy equipment to gigs with better ease. It all hasn’t been fully approved and given to me, yet, but it’s looking good! I think this may really help me increase my productivity and be a better worker, both for my daytime employer and myself. And, I mean, not only that, but having less pain on any given day is a great day for me! I’m thrilled to learn about options to help me out with managing my symptoms while still being productive.

I had NO idea that this was a possibility, and I’m supremely grateful for having been introduced to the program! I didn’t even realize that a better chair or desk could make such a difference. So, if you’ve a disability and are working in BC, give them a shout and see if you can get some invaluable help too!

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