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A day in the life of a Community Disability Worker.

At Vantage, Community Disability Workers are the heart of everything we do. They oversee and provide critical support for individuals accessing our services. They are integral to the lives of people with disabilities and require a variety of skills to support individuals in their homes and in the community. Currently, Community Service Disability Workers are experiencing a staffing crisis. The Alberta Disability Workers Association (ADWA) Essential but Forgotten campaign brings awareness to the issue that workers who are paid to support our most vulnerable citizens have not seen a wage increase in almost eight years.




We wanted to share a glimpse into Carolina M., a Community Disability Worker’s journey at Vantage Enterprises Ltd. and the importance of this role within our organization and beyond and why we need critical government funding to continue to support those who need it most.


Community Disability Workers are often individuals with personal experience in this specialized field. Carolina shared that her sister has a disability, and her father is a quadriplegic. This sparked her interest in becoming a Community Disability Worker. These personal experiences led Carolina to pursue her passion for helping others. Carolina says, “It’s important to go out into the community…having a connection in the community and building a bond, and a relationship with others helps adults with disabilities feel cared for and welcomed.”

Individuals Accessing Services (IAS) are supported by Community Disability Workers. This can include advocating for their needs, communicating with support networks, providing personal care, fostering natural relationships, and more. “Every day is different,” Carolina laughs when asked to describe a typical day. “People usually arrive in the morning and need that down-time when they arrive, sometimes only five minutes, sometimes longer. Then start their activities for the day.” Community Disability Workers might directly participate in activities, to promote independence, or provide assistance when asked. Carolina says, “I wish I could educate people and let them know that every single individual is different. They have their own way of learning and do things at their own pace. It is important to teach that not every technique works the same for everybody. When people understand that they can see we have different techniques and ways of seeing things."

With many professions, there are challenges to the role, However, Community Disability Worker jobs can also be incredibly gratifying. "It's rewarding to see how they [IAS] can achieve their goals and get to the point where they can do something on their own or are willing to try new things,". Carolina says earnestly. "If you are doing this job, you need kindness, compassion, lots of patience, humility, and the gift of service. This isn't just a job. With an individual accessing our support, you work with the whole team. This includes natural support like parents, siblings and friends, Guardians, Supportive Roommates, other Disability Workers, Supervisors, and other agencies. The list just keeps on going."

"As a support worker, I would say to my fellow co-workers that we all have different ways of working. We need to support one another, build each other up and be kind to each other. When we join forces as a team, we can make a difference in everyone's life. When there is unity among us, we can conquer anything. We can accomplish so much by caring for each other and building each other up."

The time to act is now to ensure that our province’s most vulnerable citizens continue to receive the support they need. Visit www.adwa.ca to learn more about the role of a Community Disability Worker and how to get involved in the Essential but Forgotten campaign.

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