Bethany Maltby had dreams of becoming a teacher. In university, she majored in English and History, and was well on her way to reaching her goal — until a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia interrupted her plans. Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes chronic and sometimes debilitating pain. Following a car accident, Bethany’s pain started to increase to a point where being on her feet all day as a teacher just wouldn’t be possible. So Bethany was forced to give up her aspirations and find a new career path — not an easy task when you’ve had your eye set on one job for so long. But with a little help, she managed to refocus her career goals, and to her surprise, find a new dream job in the process.
Today, you can find a smiling Bethany working as an Executive Assistant to Divisional Director Fraser Petley at Investors Group Financial Services in London, Ontario. The two are a happy team, but even more than that, they’re one of efficiency. And that says Fraser, is in large part to Bethany and the skills she brings to the position.
“Bethany’s role is essentially my right hand,” explains Fraser. “It’s a huge responsibility. There’s a lot of thinking on your feet, there’s a lot of troubleshooting. And she’s exceptionally good at that.”
But if it weren’t for Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) Employment Supports, this outstanding team likely wouldn’t exist.
After university, Bethany enrolled in employment supports to help her find a job that would keep her off her feet, but that would also be rewarding. She was connected with Leads Employment Services — a London-based ODSP employment supports service provider that offered her different services like resume editing and assistance with job searching. Around the same time, Fraser also came to Leads to help him find an Executive Assistant, and the two were matched shortly thereafter.
Fraser says the value to employers in using an ODSP service provider like Leads is huge.
“My personal opinion is that you gain access to a very deep and very broad pool of talent,” Fraser explains. “I’m left to wonder why a lot of employers wouldn’t call a place like Leads first, as it’s been that good of an experience for me and others like me.”
And as happy as Fraser is with the services Leads provided, so too is Bethany.
“Leads was great right from the get-go,” she says. “They took me to an intake interview — found out what I was looking for, what my limitations were, what I was capable of. It was amazing.”
The funding Leads receives from ODSP employment supports allows them to offer many employment services to clients and employers at no cost.
“It’s really nice that the government has a program like ODSP in place,” says Bethany, “because without them, companies like Leads wouldn’t be able to help the people that they do.”
For both Bethany and Fraser, the rewards of using an ODSP employment supports service provider have been undeniable. Fraser has gained a fantastic assistant, and Bethany has found herself a new dream job.
“I feel settled now,” Bethany says. “I feel like I have my career, because I could easily see myself doing this my whole life. It’s absolutely wonderful.”
Don't let good talent go to waste. People with disabilities can and want to work.