[ Canadian Mental Health Association
Kirkland Lake, Ontario ]

Jessica Cashmore, Crisis Response Worker, CMHA: I am blind. I do have some vision.

But if I were to walk into a room, I wouldn’t be able to know who people are unless they spoke.

I have depression and I also have had an eating disorder in the past.

I remember when I first met with Kristina and she said “what are your strengths?”, at first I really didn’t know. You know, she was able to help me see some of my strengths. I was able to own those, I was able to own those strengths.

Kristina Connors, ODSP Employment Service Provider, Northern College: The Northern College Community Disability Support Program helps individuals with disabilities find and keep work.

I knew right away that she was going to be successful.

She knew exactly what position she wanted to apply to, so it was just a matter of tweaking her resume and a cover letter.

She identified as having a lot of anxiety towards the interview process, so I set up a mock interview panel for her that would simulate what she might encounter in her field.

Jessica: I love working with people. It gives me a sense of purpose and knowing that I’m able to help somebody and get them to a safe spot in their life.

Kristina: She’s stoic, she never complains and she always seems to find the positive in things. It doesn’t matter if the world is crumbling around her, Jessica still has a smile on her face and keeps her head up high and she’s going to conquer it.

Jessica: One thing that I feel that is very important for anybody with a disability is to focus on what can you do and what you have to offer.

Because everybody has talent, everybody does.