Tiffany Carter, Infant Room Attendant, Our Kids Child Care: I had cancer when I was six years old, and during the end of my treatment, I picked up encephalitis, which caused brain damage. I lost my hearing, vision, my walking ability — I was in a wheelchair for two years.

[Tiffany currently has a mild developmental disability and hearing impairment, but hasn’t let that hold her back.

After graduating college, Tiffany applied for employment supports from the provincial government’s Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).]

Andrea Hands, Community Living – Sarnia-Lambton (ODSP Employment Supports service provider): Tiffany, through Job Start, applied for ODSP Employment Supports. So anything that she has, all of her job development post Job Start, as well as her job coaching has been funded through the Ontario Disability Support Program.

We had a job coach come in and help Tiffany become a little bit more trained in the job as well as become comfortable with her coworkers and go over policies and procedures that they have at the daycare. And then now we just come in every once in a while just to make sure that Tiffany’s doing well and that the employer’s happy and that Tiffany’s happy.

Sue Hollingsworth, Assistant Supervisor, Our Kids Child Care: Tiffany started out as what we call a floater position, which means just filling in where need be. But we very much loved Tiffany’s work ethic when she was here as a student and we were able to offer her a position here in the Infant Room. She is a regular staff member, she does everything that everybody else does.

One of the other things that I very much admire in Tiffany is her willingness and her ability to advocate for herself and to solve a problem that she may find or a challenge that she may find within this room. Very early on, Tiffany realized that sitting in the chairs that we have in here that are which are very they have no arms on them and they’re cushy and when one sits, one can’t always get up easily and it’s really difficult to do with a baby in your arms. And Tiffany found that she was not comfortable feeding a child in those chairs and then being able to get up if that child is asleep and put them into their crib. So Tiffany sought out a different kind of chair within the centre to bring in while she was feeding a child.

And when she first started, when we were out for a walk with the children Tiffany and I were able to talk about, you know, if there’s things that you need from us, you know, you need to tell us. If I’m not speaking to you in a way that you need me to I don’t know what … you know, do you need me to tap you on the shoulder do you need me to be looking at you, those kinds of things. And you have to have that rapport.

Andrea Hands: By using services in the community, you can reach and obtain goals and become independent. So even though she needed a little bit of assistance, she got here because of her hard work and determination. And we were just able to kind of help her along the way.

Learn more

About the Ontario Disability Support Program