You’re Hired! Leading Eye Care Clinic Hires SAAAC Student
Like many young men with autism, Joshua found himself not having much to do after graduating highschool. Many parents liken these years to “falling off a cliff” because their kids age out of the children’s system and have little support afterwards.
We first met Joshua when he registered for our Adult Day Program, which helps students become more independent by teaching daily living, social and vocational skills.
“Joshua was a stand out student in our day program,” says Bharathy Vivekanantham, SAAAC’s Employment Assistance Coordinator. “He demonstrated an ability to work independently, follow instructions, and was quick to support his classmates if they needed help with an activity. We saw a lot of potential in Joshua to find employment.”
Joshua enrolled into SAAAC’s Employment Program in June 2017. “As part of the initial training program, we got to learn more about Joshua. We found that he was great with routine based tasks, was schedule oriented, and was comfortable working with others” says Bharathy. What Joshua needed now was an employer to believe in his skills.
CustomEyes – Dr. Sukanthy Bream & Associates
Led by Dr. Sukanthy Bream, CustomEyes – a leading eye care clinic in Toronto- has always had a commitment to community development. “When we began this clinic, one of the things I truly wanted was to support the community we served, to help anyway we could to create a stronger, healthier community,” said Dr. Bream.
Dr. Bream is an ambassador for “Eye See…Eye Learn”, a program that is dedicated to making sure that parents across Ontario understand the importance of regular comprehensive eye exams for children. She also delivers regular presentations in the community to promote eye care awareness.
“When we heard of SAAAC’s Employment Program, we knew it fit in with our social responsibility mandate,” said Dr. Bream. “To us the program is not charity, but a meaningful way to incorporate individuals with autism into community life. Joshua is an extremely kind and hard working young man, and we want to empower him and encourage him to lead a more independent life. We at CustomEyes are proud to be part of that journey.”
Joshua + CustomEyes
Joshua was hired by CustomEyes in August. His main task included managing inventory and data entry. In addition, Joshua helps with cleaning eye glasses and greeting customers.
When Joshua first began his job, he was accompanied to CustomEyes by a Job Coach. “The responsibility of the Job Coach is to help Joshua transition into the work place,” says Bharahty. “The Job Coach helps explain the tasks and teaches Joshua to accurately complete his work.”
Job Coaches gradually transition out as students like Joshua get more comfortable in their work environment and their tasks. Employers like CustomEyes always have access to a Job Coach and other SAAAC personnel if they require additional support.
“We’re all very proud of Joshua,” says Bharathy. “And we are grateful to employers like CustomEyes who are passionate about creating inclusive working environments and giving young people like Joshua a chance to show they are more than capable.”
For more information on the Employment Training Program at SAAAC, please call our Employment Assistance Coordinator at 416-289-0100.
CustomEyes fosters a culture of medical care excellence through technological advancement to reiterate the investment made towards root cause analysis for early detection and treatment.