People with disabilities are good workers

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Scott Fattedad bags groceries at Thrifty’s in Tsawwassen.
(Photo: Jenelle Schneider, The Vancouver Sun)

Adapted from The Vancouver Sun
Level 2

Scott Fattedad works two days a week. Fattedad works one day at the Thrifty’s. He works one day at Starbucks. Thrifty’s hired him 11 years ago.

Fattedad has Down Syndrome. He is friendly. He likes to chat with customers. He does his job very well. He gets awards for his great customer service.

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Mark Wafer and employee, Clint, at Tim Hortons Photo: Courtesy of Community Living BC

Mark Wafer and employee, Clint, at Tim Hortons
(Photo: Courtesy of Community Living BC)

Employees with disabilities are good for business
Employees with disabilities are happy to have work. They stay longer in the job.

Mark Wafer owns seven Tim Hortons stores. Forty of his employees have disabilities.

Wafer tells about one employee with autism. The man arrives early. He never calls in sick. The other employees like working there. “They want to be part of a company that looks after its employees,” says Wafer.


Greg works at Cineplex Odeon.
(Photo: Courtesy of Community Living BC)

Thirteen years ago, Shannon Leisz hired Trevor to work at Starbucks. Trevor has Down Syndrome. Trevor was shy at first. He became one of her best employees. “When he put on his apron it was like his Superman cape!” says Leisz.

Chris Kamachi owns Digital Toys. He hired two people with autism to work on computer programming. “It was absolutely fantastic. The people we hired were amazing. They wanted to work and were unbelievably loyal,” says Kamachi.


Workers at Saltspring Island Fire Department
(Photo: Courtesy of Community Living BC)

Finding paid work is hard
People with developmental disabilities find it hard to find paid work.

Community Living BC is a provincial agency. It supports people with developmental disabilities. The Rotary Club and Community Living find work for their clients. Rotary members tell businesses about hiring people with disabilities.