Imagine seeing the world through the eyes of a person withadisability. For an individual employed with the Bay St. George Community Employment Corporation, this is a major aspect ofhis/her job as a human service worker. Located in Stephenville, “The Bay St. George Community Employment Corporation is an innovative organization which isresponsible for developing training and employment for peoplewith developmental disabilities and supporting them”(The Bay St. George Community Employment Corporation,1999,p.3).
The purposeof the organization is to help individuals find suitable work inthe form of a regular paying job, or by owning their ownbusiness.
One on one support, or a co-worker is provided to helpthe individual make a successful transformation into theworkforce. According to The Bay St. George Community EmploymentCorporation(1999), the agency typically serves clients fromStephenville and the surrounding areas, who have receivedreferrals from other human services organizations such as HumanResources & Employment and Community Health & Employment. Theagency operates on a weekly basis, Monday to Friday, from eight-The typical job description of a co-worker consists ofsupporting an individual with a developmental disability inhis/her day to day activities.
More specifically, the job ofaco-worker involves walking the individual through the specificjob or task through modelling or demonstration to ensure that theindividual successfully completes the assigned task. Forexample, the co-worker may have to guide the individual throughthe process of using a tool such as a shovel or rake. As well aswork related tasks, co-workers are also responsible for ensuringthat the individual has access to others without disabilities andis frequently given the opportunity to socialize.
To allow forregular interaction with other individuals, the individual andthe co-worker will often go out to eat at a restaurant of theindividual’s or his choice. Likewise, the role of the co-workerinvolves being aware of the individual’s basic needs and allowingthese needs to be met. For example, the co-worker must providetransportation to and from the individual’s workplace. They mustalso arrange for the individual to return home if he/she becomesThe job of co-worker, includes many exciting opportunitiesand benefits. The co-worker is given the chance to attend teammeetings and to possibly become an advocate for the person theyare supporting.
The salary of a co-worker ranges fromapproximately $8.87 to $10.18 per hour and the individual isentitled to certain benefits. For example, each co-worker ispresented with a group plan which they can pay into in order toreceive dental and medical insurance. Co-workers are alsogranted an annual leave(fourteen to thirty days) and a familyleave(five days), depending on the level of seniority of the co-To become a co-worker, one must demonstrate particularskills, personal qualities, training and an educationalbackground.
For example, when supporting someone withadisability, one must show the skill of patience in order dealwith certain behaviors that may arise, or to repeat tasks untilthe individual with a disability can successfully master them. One must also acquire certain personal qualities. For example,when dealing with a person with a disability, one must besensitive, taking into consideration the tone of voice and rateof speech used when speaking to a person with a disability.
Also, one must have trained in the areas of crisis interventionand first aid, to allow workers to deal with both crisis andFurthermore, To be a successful as a co-worker, one musthave an educational background in the field of disabilities.Acollege diploma or university degree is attainable throughaCommunity Studies program at the College of the North Atlantic,or the University College of Cape Breton. Additionally, thecorporation offers much opportunity for advancement. The agencycan grant a leave of absence to individuals wishing to undergoeducational pursuits.
Those who have furthered their education,may in future, wish to branch into other related disabilitiesareas. These areas may include placement officer(findingemployment for individuals with disabilities), director forresidential support(finding suitable living arrangements forpersons with disabilities) and behavior managementspecialist(helping to manage or control unacceptable behaviorssometimes displayed by individuals with disabilities). In Conclusion, the role of co-worker is most suitable forone who possesses the skills, training and educational backgroundmentioned above. As well, someone who enjoys interacting withand desires to make a change in the life of a person witha
Bay St. George Community Employment Corporation (1999). DraftStephenville, NF: Bay St. George Community Employment
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