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AMI tv feature: Accessible Transit Training in Regina

Meet Mitchell Anderson.

Have you ever worked on a project that you’re so proud of you want to share it with everyone? Mitchell has! In fact, ever since the travel training program began he has been thinking about and working on ways to help lift it to new heights. In his own words Mitchell stated, “This program is for everyone. We could all use it. It’s great for the environment and it helps people believe in themselves and their abilities.”

Mitchell’s involvement in this collaborative initiative (Campus for All, COR and City of Regina) as a travel trainer has been inspiring people of all ages and abilities to strive for greater independence. When asked what he has enjoyed most about the program he stated that, “after doing it for the past few months, it’s been great to learn from people and hear about other people’s lives and experiences with using the bus. It’s also been pretty neat learning about how to adapt my language to help others understand and learn about how the bus helps people in wheelchairs. It would be great to learn about how the graduates are doing; what they liked and what they struggle with.”

AMI tv feature: Accessible Transit Training in Regina

Being well spoken and accommodating is only one of the many talents this trainer possesses. He manages to hold down a second job with the Conexus Arts Centre in the evenings and is an active idea-man. He enjoys science music and one day would like to write his own book. Eventually his goal is to become a teacher’s assistant. He is always on the lookout for new ways to promote the travel training program to new audiences and is never happy with ‘just because.’

Some of the feedback Mitchell has been getting from the project after the first nine months into its pilot year has been very positive. He said that, “some of the people have been telling me that they like the fact that they can go out and do it on their own. This was inspiring to hear.” He went on to explain, “If people only knew how easy it was to get around, public transit would be used by everyone.”

Looking back on the last nine months it’s hard to imagine this program being as successful without the hard work of Mitchell. He is extremely humble when it comes to his strengths but when asked to elaborate on what his future holds he said, “Well something that people don’t know about me is that I like to travel. I like to talk about my trip to Vienna, Austria and Paris, France. Someday I’d like to go back; maybe even with my girlfriend!

Thank you Mitchell for teaching Regina’s finest about the program. It takes strong advocates like you to truly bring these things to life!

 

Watch Mitchell on AMI tv: Accessible Transit Training in Regina

For more information, visit: www.4to40.ca

 

Ben Morris,

Director of Storytelling

 

Canadian Transit at the Forefront of Equitable Mobility

National AccessAbility Week is an important annual event that celebrates the progress we have made as a society to facilitate accessibility and promote inclusion throughout our communities and workplaces. This year, National AccessAbility Week took place from May 27 to June 2, marking a time to recognize the milestones that Canadian individuals, communities, and workplaces have undertaken in order to “actively remove barriers and give Canadians of all abilities a better chance to succeed,” as stated on the Government of Canada. “We need to change the way we think, talk and act about barriers to participation and accessibility, and we need to do it right from the start, not as an afterthought. An inclusive Canada is one where all Canadians can participate and have an equal opportunity to succeed in their workplaces and communities.”

York Region Transit’s manager of Mobility Plus, Sharon Doyle, puts is as such: “Our passengers always come first, and we are built on a foundation of inclusivity. Everyone should have opportunity for independent and spontaneous travel, no matter their circumstances. When people have access to transportation, individuals and communities thrive.”

At CUTA, our mission is to inspire and influence the evolution of integrated urban mobility, and that includes equal access to mobility for people with disabilities. For this reason, we have chosen to highlight three outstanding projects with a focus on accessibility from our transit members, showcasing excellence and innovation in making Canadian urban mobility more equitable and available to all.

Regina Transit: Travel Training Program

Regina Transit is actively supporting people who experience disabilities by offering a program that shows participants how to use fixed-route transit service through its new travel training program. Paratransit typically does not allow people to travel with the utmost flexibility and spontaneity because trips must be booked in advance, and there are specific trip times to adhere to.

Using fixed-route transit enables people currently using paratransit to have another travel option. Regina’s program is unique because it is a partnership between the City of Regina, Creative Options Regina (a community-based organization supporting people experiencing disabilities), and the University of Regina’s 4to40 program.

People experiencing disabilities are hired to deliver the training creating meaningful employment.  For more information go to the 4to40.ca website and click on the travel training tab.

 

View the Full article here: http://cutaactu.ca/en/blog-posts/canadian-transit-forefront-equitable-mobility

 

Regina Leader-Post: ‘Champions of transit’: Reginans with disabilities will teach peers to ride the bus

‘Champions of transit’: Reginans with disabilities will teach peers to ride the bus

Dylan Morin will be one of four transit trainers who hope to help the city ease pressure on the Regina Paratransit system by teaching new skills.

Dylan Morin can get almost anywhere in Regina.

“I know the city like the back of my hand,” he said. “I know how to get to a lot of the stops.”

He’s been riding the city bus since high school, despite the challenges of an intellectual disability. On Thursday, he took the 18 from the University of Regina. Once the doors shut and the driver pulled away, Morin spoke in a soft, reassuring tone. Don’t be nervous, he offered, you’re not alone.

“There’s nothing to it,” he said. “As much as you need me, I’ll be there for you.”

Morin was showing how he teaches other people with disabilities how to ride the bus. He’ll be one of four transit trainers hired through a partnership between the city and Creative Options Regina, which are preparing to roll out a transit trainer pilot program this spring

“We’re the only transit system in Canada using this particular approach,” said Regina’s paratransit and accessibility manager, Lynette Griffin. “We’re utilizing people with disabilities, particularly people with intellectual disabilities, to do the training.”

Dylan Morin, pictured here riding a Regina city transit bus in Regina. Morin is one of the transit trainers with intellectual disabilities who will soon be helping their peers learn to ride the bus. BRANDON HARDER / Regina Leader-Post

She said the program will help Regina Paratransit users make the jump to conventional transit. It will also create paid employment for the trainers. The goal is to open up more flexible transit choices, all while saving the city money in the long run.

“If we can move some trips off, then we’ll have capacity in Paratransit to continue to meet our growing demand,” she said. “It will help Paratransit to manage our budget… for every trip on conventional transit, it’s a $20 saving.”

Those who learn to use buses won’t be barred from Paratransit. Griffin said she wants to avoid a “segregated system.” But she called conventional transit “a great second option” that can promote empowerment.

“It will give them the opportunity to travel through the community without having to book trips in advance,” she said. “You can come and go wherever you want, so there’s much more independence and flexibility.”

Creative Options Regina supports people with intellectual disabilities, and its CEO, Michael Lavis, is convinced that most of his clients would thrive on the bus. For many, only one thing stands in the way: Fear.

“People are nervous because they don’t know,” he said. “Sometimes people haven’t really been afforded the opportunity to learn.”

That’s why his staff looked for trainers like Morin, outgoing people with extensive bus-riding experience. They’re all part of the University of Regina’s Campus for All program. Lavis called them “champions of transit.”

“They know that transit system inside and out,” he said. “No fears, no apprehensions. They know where to go.”

Dylan Morin is pictured here on the left riding a Regina Transit bus and describing to Leader-Post reporter Arthur White-Crummey the process he will soon be using to help people with intellectual disabilities learn to ride the bus. BRANDON HARDER / Regina Leader-Post

Morin plans to use a staged process that will go from hands-on to hands-off as his students get the hang of the bus.

“It’s about getting individuals outside of their comfort zone,” he said.

At first, he’ll meet them at their home, walk them to the bus stop, show them how to read a transit map. He’ll sit right beside them as they look out for their stop. If all goes well, the next trip might be different.

“I wouldn’t sit with you on the bus like I did,” he explained. “I would give you a landmark to pull the bell at.”

By the end, Morin would be on standby, taking check-ins over the phone.

The program’s contract is still being finalized. But Lavis and Griffin are confident it will be up and running this spring. Griffin said all Paratransit users will be welcome to make use of the training, whether they have cognitive or mobility challenges.

Morin and his colleagues will be there to show them the way.

“They’re actually really excited about it and want to be champions for teaching others,” said Lavis. “That’s part of the magic.”

awhite-crummey@postmedia.com

 

Link to the Regina Leader-Post Article.

Learn more about 4to40.

Dylan Morin is an extremely hard working and dedicated citizen in the Regina community.

Dylan Morin is an extremely hard working and dedicated citizen in the Regina community. His days are filled with student life, working part time for Dutch Industries, and volunteering for one of the countless clubs he is a part of. He makes himself available whenever he is needed and never shies away from a challenge. Dylan is everywhere.

Dylan is dedicated to his studies at the University of Regina. He is currently in his 4th and final year of the Campus For All and plans to graduate in the spring of 2018. When asked what his favorite part of being in school was, Dylan was quick to reply, “Meeting new people!” He also mentioned that once he graduates he really wants to continue his studies at the U of R auditing classes, furthering his education and broadening his scope of knowledge. In his own words, “There is so much information out there.”

At Dutch Industries, Dylan has developed a strong relationship with a family run business that is designed to “bring quality to its customers for generations.” It is this mantra and his personal connection to his boss Greg that keeps Dylan passionate about his work. When asked what he does at Dutch Industries, Dylan said proudly, “quality control and shipping. I package bolts for farming equipment across North America (Canada and the US) as well as the UK and then prepare them for shipping.”

His days are filled with student life, working part time for Dutch Industries

Another reason why Dylan enjoys his work at Dutch is because “they are great at helping [him] balance his time with what is important and the things he loves to do.” Dylan has been an amazing advocate for Friendship Club, Best Buddies, book club, Special Olympics bowling as well as track, and the Wind On My Wings Sailing Club to name a few. Being involved in his community and taking part in special events around Regina is something Dylan truly enjoys. In getting to know Dylan over the past couple years I have learned that his passion for serving others is unmatched. He is a fantastic public speaker and enjoys pounding the pavement looking to connect people and organizations, alike.

Finally I asked Dylan what his dreams were once he graduated from the University. Dylan replied without hesitation, “I make a good pay cheque already. I plan to keep working and saving. I will probably take some more classes but I don’t think much will change.” To conclude our interview I asked Dylan what his dream job would be if given the choice to do anything in the world to which he replied, “I would love to be a flight attendant for WestJet. I think it would be amazing to fly from Chicago to LA or even Vancouver again!” Dylan, with your passion and dedication to doing a thorough job, the sky is the limit.

Thank you for modelling passion and dedication, Dylan! We could all learn something from you.

 

Ben Morris,

Community Education and Outreach

 

“It’s nice to have money. Especially when I want to buy something big.”

Austin is an example for us all to follow. Austin has set a goal, worked hard to learn the skills, spent the time mastering his skills and finally achieved his goal through persistence. He never once slipped up and was always prepared to try again when a challenge arose. Austin was not afraid to ask for help when he needed it and was always ready to help others with their challenges. When you put your time and effort into a goal, anything is possible!

Austin has been passionate about recycling for as long as he can remember. In his spare time he cleans up his neighborhood, and is always looking for ways to help out the environment. If there is a will there is a way, and Austin’s will is what pushes him to research all the different ways to reduce waste and maintain a healthy planet! That is why a job in the recycling field at Sarcan could not be better suited for him.

passionate about recycling

What started as a self-directed three month work term for his high school work experience class, turned into near full-time paid employment for the summer months. He was 16 when he set his sights on future employment with Sarcan and he is now 18 years of age still passionate and proud about this role.

Austin and his supports have started to notice a change in his self-confidence. His numeracy skills and ability to count and understand money has also improved and he has no problem reading a schedule or earning his own steady paycheck. Much of this success can be attributed to his job at Sarcan and because of this success his independence has also increased. He recognizes that he can set goals for himself and can succeed in attaining those goals. With this new heightened self-awareness and his independence and confidence levels elevating it is my hope that new and exciting opportunities will continue to present themselves to him.

In addition to being a great employee, Austin is learning to be a humbly responsible young man. To be fair, at 18 one doesn’t have a lot of expenses but he manages to save most of his earnings every two weeks. “It’s nice to have money. Especially when I want to buy something big.” He does however splurge with twenty dollars on pay day to celebrate his hard work. At such a young age it is rare to find this level of dedication! Austin’s next chapter in life is sure to be bright.

 

Ben Morris,

Community Education and Outreach

 

“I would love to work in an office because it seems fun and full of positive energy!”

Jaime Carter is a mover and a shaker in the employment world. Her fantastic work ethic and gift of the gab has opened up a universe of opportunities and leaves those influenced in her wake astounded and inspired! Jamie’s an inspirational lifelong learner who understands the importance of education but also knows that you can’t have a clear view of where you’re going without recognizing where you have been.

iQmetrix-logoJaime has been working at iQ Metrix since January of 2017 and has enjoyed every minute of it. What started as stocking fridges and doing odd cleaning jobs within the organization has turned into some part time work behind the front desk! Now Jaime greets people, signs for packages and is appreciated as ‘part of the team and like she is part of the family.’

Her teammates have also recognized her talents. As her teammate at iQ Metrix puts it, ‘she is always happy and working hard!’

Jaime has also begun a training program that, if successful, would have her training people in and around the City of Regina to safely ride public transit. It is an initiative started by the city to help promote public transit to Canadian newcomers, seniors, and anyone else in need of a helping hand while riding the bus. Jaime has expressed her excitement with this new initiative by simply stating, ‘I’m excited! I love helping people and I know a lot about busses. Regina is going to be my home base and want to help keep it as safe as possible.’ It sounds like another perfect fit!

In addition to having an outstanding work ethic Jaime is also passionate about family, giving and caring for others, as well as maintaining a home she can be proud of. When asked what she does with all the money she makes she replied, ‘I like to buy gifts for my friends. Like cake! I also buy things for my cat and for my place, like a new coffee table and two end tables. [I am] proud of my living room.’

Jaime is also quite interested in visiting home more frequently. She would eventually like to be able to save enough money to visit home a couple times a year and get out to the beach more often. When asked about her home she stated that, ‘I miss going to the lake near Moosomin First Nation as well as Saulteaux First Nation called Acoshan Lake. I think about my family trips there and remember the sand on my feet.’

I’m going back to school. Haven’t been in school for over a decade

When asked what was next for Jaime Carter she replied, ‘I’m going back to school. Haven’t been in school for over a decade! I want to become an Administrative Assistant-Office Communicator. I would love to work in an office because it seems fun and full of positive energy!’ Jaime starts at the University of Regina this fall in the Campus for All program and is very excited at the prospect of furthering her education.

With Jaime’s ambition and selfless passion to do great things for others she is an asset to whatever project she chooses to become a part of. When you mix in her playful sense of humour and love for making a difference, the qualities of a great friend present themselves and completes the circle for a fantastic team.

 

Ben Morris,

Community Education and Outreach

 

“I love cars,” he beamed. “I’d like to work with Monster trucks or clean Nascars. Maybe a mechanic.”

Ted is always on the go! Whether taking an evening to race around town on his bike, or working as a cleaner and detailer for cars and trucks at Morsky; Ted is always on the move. His attention to detail helps make him an extremely gifted artist and his resourceful nature rivals that of Macguiver. In the first couple minutes of getting to know him I learned that Ted is playful and loves to joke around which makes him a good friend and well-rounded teammate.

When asked what his favorite part of working at Morsky is, Ted confidently stated, “saving money for things and [his] boss. I really like to have money for things I want.” Ted is a cleaner and detailer at Morsky and loves being part of the team. “Everyone I work with is really nice to me and when I do a good job, they hook me up with a bonus.” Not a bad gig if I do say so myself.

When the clock strikes 4 pm, Ted’s day isn’t finished. In his spare time he likes to tinker with new projects and fix broken treasures. If he can’t fix and sell it, he finds a way to repurpose it. One of Ted’s most recent projects is a mount for his iPod which fastens to the frame of his new bike. Now he can listen to tunes while he rips around town.

Looking around Ted’s home it is easy to see that Ted is passionate about creating

Looking around Ted’s home it is easy to see that Ted is passionate about creating. When he is not fixing up his ride he can be found drawing video game characters, painting fresh canvasses in his art class, and playing through games on his Xbox. One of Ted’s favorite games is Minecraft; a game where one builds and plays characters of their own design in a world which is also designed by the game player.

Finally, I asked Ted about his dream job. “I love cars,” he beamed. “I’d like to work with Monster trucks or clean Nascars. Maybe a mechanic.” It sounds like any pit crew would be lucky to have your creative vision and playful personality. Thanks Ted!

 

Ben Morris,

Community Education and Outreach

 

Nothing makes me happier than hearing about someone’s success at work

I once heard a George Lucas quote that stuck with me – “Dreams are extremely important.  You can’t do it unless you imagine it.”

When I begin a job search, the first question I always ask a job seeker is, “what is your dream job?” Somewhere in that dream is the perfect job for each person, whether it’s the head coach of the Riders, a free-lance writer for a social media campaign, a chef, a firefighter or Celine Dion’s manager (each of those are real answers I’ve received!).  While I will admit, I’m quite skilled at my job, I may not have the strings to pull to hook someone up with Celine Dion, but I do recognize that within that dream probably lies an interest in popular music, a passion for an instrument, an outgoing and organized personality.  From those traits, a real and meaningful job can be sought.   4to40 prides itself on thinking outside the employment box – focusing on each individual’s uniqueness. No one should be forced to work in a job or an environment that doesn’t make them happy or fuel their passion.  For people who experience disability, work generally is a dream that is accepted as whatever is given to them.  I work hard every day to change that.  When I take individual interests, skills, talents and personalities into account, and then customize and carve roles out within workplaces that are of interest to the job seeker, I open up a whole world of potential for employment.

 

Dreams are extremely important You can’t do it unless you imagine it

Nothing makes me happier than hearing about someone’s success at work, whether that’s an increase in hours, learning a new set of tasks or being invited for beers on Friday after a shift.  The feeling of success at work is so much more than just the job itself. Gaining independence, financial freedom, being a contributing and valuable member of a team, forging real and meaningful relationships.  We all seek these outcomes from our workplaces.  Why wouldn’t the success of 4to40 be measured in the same ways?

For the people I support, becoming employed leads to independence, self-confidence and a feeling of self-worth.  But wait, my role doesn’t end there.  4to40’s partners, the employers we work with, not only see the great value the employees bring to their workplace efficiency, they also recognize how workplace culture changes.  When committed to inclusion – that is, embracing the diversity of every human – employers see that their entire workforce can be more welcoming, patient and empathetic.  Workplace culture becomes more supportive of everyone, ensuring that all talents and successes are celebrated and acknowledged.  4to40 encourages employers within our community to create an environment where all employees feel connected, valued and safe.  Through the support of our project, job coaches and willing peers in the workplace – all these important needs can be met, and dream jobs can be achieved!

Miranda Klinger

Employment Partnership Consultant, 4to40

 

Finding the perfect job is hard!

Jessie loves sport! Being active is a giant part of his makeup (blueprint) so a job at the University of Regina in the athletic department was an obvious and easy transition for him. After more than a decade of employment at a local grocery store, Jessie knew it was time for a change. Jessie’s friendly and conversational nature now thrives on the busy and bustling Regina Campus. “I get to meet a lot of people and chat them up all the time! Sometimes [my friends] come by and say hi which is pretty cool too.”

Jessie’s extremely conversational personality mixed with his natural ability to make people smile makes him the perfect candidate for a role in customer experience. On finding a job that fits his talents, Jessie also stated that, “If I am not checking people in to the gym, my boss lets me clean the equipment and chat with people around the gym. I have a good boss.” Consumers in health services have so many options nowadays with gyms popping up on every corner. Jessie has found a way to make that experience different at the U of R.

I have a good boss

In addition to being able to use his natural abilities every day in his role at the gym, Jessie is able to feed his need for sport after hours as well. Once Jessie punches the clock at the end of his day he is able to make use of the facility. When asked about the perks of his role, Jessie’s eyes lit up to say, ‘I have my own student card and can play ball or sit courtside to watch the Cougars play as long as I am not on the job.” Jessie went on to say with a grin, “sometimes I get tempted to shoot a couple hoops when I’m on break, but I know it looks bad on the resume!”

Finally when asked what he does with his hard earned paycheck he replied, “I save it. I don’t spend a lot. I guess I do want a DeRozan Jersey to wear while I am shooting hoops, but that’s it.” Not only is he an athlete and social butterfly, but he is responsible too!

Finding the perfect job is hard. Feeding the soul and the bank account is often something that we have to do separately; making time in our lives for both. Jessie has managed to find a role with the University that not only takes care of both of these life necessities, but nourishes them as well.

Great work Jessie!

 

To learn more about Inclusive Employment, visit: www.4to40.ca.

 

Ben Morris,

Community Education and Outreach

 

Culture of Gentleness: A Promising Practice for Supporting Vulnerable Individuals

Global Regina Click here to watch the interview on Global.

 

CTV Morning LiveClick here to watch the interview on CTV Morning Live.

 

Culture of Gentleness