As you could probably guess by our organization's name, integration plays a crucial role in the work we do at ICS. When people with disabilities are visible, active members of our community, it fuels innovation, boosts our economy and broadens our perspective. By empowering diversity where we work and live, we all win.
Today we want to highlight the story of Tracey, who is participating in our Clerical Training Program, and recognize the journey that she has taken towards being an integrated partner in our community.
When Tracey first began the ICS Clerical Training Program last December, she didn't know if it was a good fit for her. At her last few jobs Tracey felt mistreated for being a woman with a disability, and it was hard to take the first step into working again. Now, a few months into the program, we asked Tracey if her perspective has changed.
Tracey said, "This work is totally different from what I'd done before and at first I was really beating myself up over what I couldn't do. But it's helpful to have support on the job. I was always afraid that I'd do it wrong, but the ICS staff reminds me that no one is perfect and it's alright to make mistakes. Since I started the program, I've become more open to accepting help on the job. When you surround yourself with positive things and positive people, things get better. I feel empowered."
We also asked Tracey what she would say to people in our community who don't have a disability about working with someone who does. She said, "Be patient and understanding. Work together in unity."
Tracey is over half way through the Clerical Training Program, after which she will work with our Job Developer to find employment in our community. At ICS, Tracey has a variety of administrative duties, including helping us to go paperless, answering the phone and filing paperwork. She is a wonderful support in the smooth operation of our office, and we are grateful to have her as part of our diverse, integrated community.