Like anyone else, Joey went to school and worked hard in the hopes of finding a career and a job. But because Joey had some differences he had to work twice as hard to prove himself a worthy employee.
His family heard of a day program for adults with special needs, Creating Alternatives, an organization started by Phyllis Santone to help her daughter and others with special needs, in the hope that they could assist Joey in finding employment. At the beginning, it was volunteer jobs, and internships and finally a paid job one day a week at Electromate in Vaughan. Joey had glowing reports everywhere he worked but sadly no full-time employment.
Close to three years ago, Tiara Fonseca from Deloitte came to Creating Alternatives as part of the Deloitte’s Impact Day to provide the participants at Alternatives with a special lunch. Maria Rea, Program Coordinator at Alternatives, saw an opportunity and introduced her to Joey and told her about Joey’s abilities with computers and all aspects of office work. Maria was hoping to find a company that would provide Joey with an opportunity to prove himself. Wasting no time, Tiara secured Joey an interview at Deloitte’s Toronto office, downtown in the heart of the financial district.
Joey started in the copy center, did some work for the Forensics department as well as in the IT department.
Joey’s capabilities were evident from the start and the inclusive culture at Deloitte meant that Joey had found an accepting place to meaningfully contribute.
Natalie Lima at the Copy Centre at Deloitte has been working with Joey from the beginning and can tell you of Joey’s strong work ethic and commitment. When Joey was in need of intravenous last summer, he insisted on using a portable bag so he wouldn’t miss work. He doesn’t like to take sick days, and doesn’t like slow days at work. He prefers to be busy and challenged.
Deloitte is well known for their inclusive workplace and have been on the Canada’s Best Diversity Employers List for several years. They’re also a leading voice when it comes to encouraging other organizations to follow in their footsteps. Kenneth Fredeen, General Counsel at Deloitte sits on the Sensibility Committee in Toronto. Ken is compassionate when he tells you that their diverse employees are motivated, dependable and an asset to the company. He is well aware of the opportunity many other companies are missing who haven’t yet come on board.
Joey’s self-esteem has sky rocketed. He is part of the business community in Toronto. He is able to prove his talents and has gained independence. With the help of Creating Alternatives, and the open inclusion policy at Deloitte, Joey has reached his goal as a full time paid employee with all the benefits awarded everyone else in the company and just as importantly with the respect he has earned.