You'd never know it by his steady hands or the extensive list of clientele who fill his schedule each week, but there once was a time in Corey Henderson's life when he wasn't even able to leave the house – let alone run a reputable massage therapy business. But after years of struggling with seizures due to epilepsy, Corey found success working as a Registered Massage Therapist and opening his own business, ShoreWest Massage Therapy, in Oakville, Ontario. He'll be the first to tell you though, that he couldn't have done it alone.
After undergoing brain surgery to control his seizures in 2002, Corey found himself unemployed and needed help to find a suitable career – so he turned to the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).
"ODSP helped me to find a path," Corey explains. "Through them, I was able to go to school and become a massage therapist. And I wouldn't have been able to do it without them."
Corey received various supports through the ODSP Employment Supports programs, including career guidance and preparation. The supports Corey received allowed him to complete his education, start a career and become financially independent.
Bernice Lawlor, Corey’s former ODSP Employment Supports caseworker, says Corey is a shining example of what people with disabilities can accomplish if given the right supports.
"I think it's important for people to see that not only do people with disabilities find employment," says Bernice, "but that the ODSP Employment Supports program works."
And Corey isn't the only one reaping the benefits of his success – it would appear his clients are also overjoyed with his services.
Recently, Corey won the Readers' Choice Award for Best Massage Therapist in Oakville. The award is now displayed proudly in his office to remind him how far he's come.
"ODSP helped to get me where I needed to be," he says. "I wanted a career I could be proud of. And now I couldn't imagine doing anything else."