Local everyday heroes are speaking out for Community Living Month.
October is Community Living Month in B.C. a time when communities celebrate individuals with diverse abilities. To commemorate Community Living Month, over the next eight weeks, Pathways Abilities Society is sharing stories of business ‘Heroes’ going the extra mile to advocate for diversity and inclusion in our community.
As a local non-profit organization providing services to the Central Okanagan for more than 60 years, Pathways works with local businesses to create employment opportunities for individuals with diverse abilities.
“There are so many businesses in our community who support what we do and are employing individuals, and yet often people don’t hear about it. That’s why we developed the Heroes of Diversabilities event”, said Charisse Daley, Pathways’ executive director.
“We began the Heroes event last year and we’ve modified it a bit for this year. Essentially, we’re celebrating all the terrific businesses employing individuals through a series of short video vignettes.
“In each video, in their own words the employers speak to how well the model works for them and their business. In some of the videos we even hear from the individuals themselves, describing how fulfilling and important it is for them to be employed,” said Daley.
In most cases, the individuals employed become valuable contributors to their employers’ businesses, representing cost efficiencies and increased productivity. For the individuals themselves, employment means greater independence and a greater sense of accomplishment, according to Pathways.
While more and more businesses are recognizing the value of developing employment models for employees with diverse abilities, Pathways believes more needs to be done to share these stories and celebrate these business ‘Heroes’, which is why they’ve developed a unique, annual program called Heroes of Diversabilities.