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, MLA St. James
May 15, 2013

SCE Lifeworks

Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize the efforts of an agency that supports people with intellectual disabilities to work, participate and contribute to the community.

Mr. Speaker, SCE LifeWorks is a St. James non-profit organization that helps people with intellectual disabilities find meaningful employment opportunities based on their unique needs, interests and career plans. They work with program participants to set goals and identify opportunities within the community, whether that is through full-time work, volunteering or work experience in alternate wage programs.

Once an applicant is hired, SCE LifeWorks provides training for the new employee at the work site, while providing sensitivity training regarding disability issues to workplace staff to ensure that the individual is welcomed and treated like any other worker. They also provide continuing support. For instance, they arrange additional training for those who are promoted or whose duties change. They also help facilitate follow-up funding from Family Services for those who graduate from supported employment.

This organization is helping break down the barriers that keep people with intellectual disabilities from enjoying the things that the rest of us take for granted, Mr. Speaker, a chance to contribute their efforts and participate in the community. No one is turned away due to the significance of their disability, nor are they ever placed in segregated facilities.

I had a chance to meet with some of the leaders of SCE LifeWorks earlier this month and I was impressed with their dedication to the individuals that they serve. The work that they do benefits not only those with intellectual disabilities but also the businesses involved. It creates a more diverse workforce that more accurately reflects the province in which we live.

SCE LifeWorks was founded 28 years ago by a group of parents who wanted their children to have the same opportunities that others enjoy, to participate fully in the community, to contribute their skills and abilities and to be rewarded for their accomplishments.

I want to thank SCE LifeWorks for all the work that they do to make sure that opportunities are available for everyone to feel included.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.