Ashton has a mild developmental disability. He found a job at Paddy Flaherty's with help from Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) Employment Supports.

Ashton Robinson: Right now, I prep and portion, peel shrimp and bread grilled-cheese pucks. It's really fun, actually. Cooking — I love to cook.

Andrea Hands, Coordinator of Employment Transitions, Community Living Sarnia-Lambton: I work for Community Living and we have been providing employment supports to people with disabilities. The ODSP employment supports allows us to support an individual in finding employment, then maintaining employment, as well as job advancement. After lengthy discussion with Ashton, he decided he would like to try out the kitchen industry. So we provided him with a one-week placement at Paddy Flaherty's.

Scott Dargie, Owner, Paddy Flaherty's: The beauty about it is that they have job coaches. So they have people who come in and work with the person.

Lindsay Cole, Community Living Sarnia-Lambton: Andrea and myself coached him and we would just go in and work along side him, doing the same job as him. We would be there for any questions he had and we were also there to provide modifications — anything that is just going to help the job easier for that individual.

Ashton: We are all friends with each other here. The guys like to like horse me around a lot.

Scott, Owner, Paddy Flaherty: Recently one of the bartenders found some old t-shirts. There have been one or two days when she managed to get Ashton into one after work. One was a little pink shirt that said Employee of the Month. I find that Ashton is — I mean, he is dedicated to his job. I don't worry about him not showing up. I don't think he's actually missed a day in two years. Even if he isn't feeling the greatest, he is still here. He really just puts his head down, gets to work and does whatever we ask of him.

Andrea Hands: With Ashton, we knew him for eight weeks before we put him into a job position. So we were really confident that he was able to do the job and was a good, reliable, dependable and motivated individual. And that is what employers are looking for. Whether they have a disability or not, they want good, reliable, dependable people.

Scott: Ashton always keeps up. He is never behind. You ask "Ashton, can you take care of this?" and his response is "Yeah, sure, I got it." In the summer, I mean, we have 200 seats on the patio. That is one of the many reasons why he is still here. He is our steady day guy.

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About the Ontario Disability Support Program