Adam Clarke, Computer Technician, My disability is short-term memory and hearing loss. I work for, I do sales and technical support. I started up at Start Me Up Niagara, which led me to employment here.

Jennifer Gorman, Employment Counsellor, Start Me Up Niagara: Start Me Up Niagara works with ODSP Employment Supports to help people gain employment.

What we did with Adam was basically to help him to develop the skills that he needed to be able to approach employers.

He had a very strong interest in working with computers. We learned that what Adam really needed was to take some technical training and to get some certification as a computer technician.

So we helped him through that process. He went to a training program, became A-Plus certified.

Bernie Borgmann, Manager, He really knows his technical end of the business, and that was something we were looking for. And over the last three years, he’s gone from basically doing tech support to taking on more responsibility as time has gone on.

And he’s an integral part of what we do here now. I’m in a position now where I’m comfortable to leave him, and Adam basically runs the show when I’m gone.

His disability is more along the lines of hearing — that’s not a problem for us here. The reason is, is because we have a number of options on the phone systems for handsets or headsets or whatever you really need. So whatever it was that he required, we just catered to that, that’s all.

If you’re willing to invest in someone that’s willing to invest in your company, you have someone who can be a good employee — and that was one of the main differences.

There were people who would apply for the job, and you know they’re going to do it only for, they’re looking at it as a transition type thing.

And you know, when I was looking at Adam and what he could bring to the table, I thought, you know, this is someone we could work with and have as, hopefully, a long-term employee.

Adam: Life has changed dramatically in the three years I’ve been here. I was basically a wreck before I started here. ODSP has helped me tremendously. Plans for the future is I’m getting married in 2011 and moving out on my own.

Jennifer: Adam is just an incredible person. He has shown such incredible motivation. He is a wonderful inspiration to anybody who wants to see how working can really help and transform your life.