The Standing Committee on Human Resources and Skills and Social Development, and the Status of Persons with Disabilities, all of which is chaired by Souris-Moose Mountain MP Ed Komarnicki, is currently conducting a study on exploring employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.
"After I had a meeting with Debbie Hagel, Nancy Zeleny, Rory Flemming, and Tamarah Olaire (from Community Advocates for Employment or CAFE) in Estevan, it seemed to me that they were perfect candidates for appearing before the standing committee to contribute to the study we are currently undertaking," said Komarnicki.
"I was pleased to recommend them as witnesses and to arrange for them to appear via video conference from Regina. I certainly appreciated their effort to make it happen, including preparing an extensive brief and additional material for the committee to review."
"MP Ed Komarnicki had a meeting with us in Estevan early in the new year to discuss the provision of specialized service to individuals with multiple barriers to employment, as well as transitioning youth with disabilities from high school to the world of work or post-secondary education, including issues relating to funding," said Hagel, who is CAFE's executive director.
"Subsequent to the meeting, we were asked whether we were prepared to appear for the standing committee via teleconference to share our thoughts and views regarding the study from a community perspective."
Also appearing before the committee were Zeleny, who is the transition coordinator, and who has firsthand experience in dealing with transitioning youth to employment; and James Noble, who has experienced the support of CAFE while transitioning to attending the University of Regina to enroll in a pre-journalism program.
Noble has firsthand experience in what is involved in a practical way in making his attendance at university a reality.
"Youth in our transition program often just need a bit of extra encouragement to empower them to reach the goals and dreams that they hope to achieve," said Zeleny. "By supporting them in those goals, we are thrilled to see them go on to successful post-secondary or employment opportunities resulting in a positive outcome. James is a shining example of this process."
"It was quite the experience, and we certainly appreciated the opportunity to contribute to the study," said Hagel.