Central Team client Rhonda Kottusch has much to be proud of. After starting as an administrative assistant with Gibson Energy in 2006, she has recently celebrated her 10th anniversary with the company.
Working two days a week, Kottusch takes care of duties such as refilling paper in the printers and copiers around the office, stocking supplies in the locker rooms and mail rooms, and delivers mail around the building.
In her daily work, Kottusch uses an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device to speak with her co-workers. Her AAC device is a tablet with a touchscreen where she can select messages to be read by a digital voice. Outside of work, she uses her device for social interaction in the community, which has enhanced her quality of life.
Described as almost always smiling and having a positive attitude, Kottusch’s coworkers value the effort and dedication she puts in at the office each day.
When not working, Kottusch likes to stay busy by being involved in sports, music, and drumming classes.
Back in October, the DDRC was nominated for the “Investing in Hope” grant worth $10,000 from the CREB (Calgary Real Estate Board) Charitable Foundation. We were nominated by Calgary realtor Simon Maara, who previously worked for the DDRC as a Community Resource Worker. Only local real estate agents who were CREB members could vote on who would receive the grant, and by the time voting closed, we were first in our category!
We are thrilled to announce that we have used our grant to purchase a new mobile lift system for the accessible washroom on the first floor of our office. This lift will help ensure safety, dignity, and privacy for all DDRC clients.
We are very excited to introduce you to one of our Team Leaders, Jenna Wray, who is in charge of our Comprehensive Care Team. Comprehensive Care provides respite care and community support services for people of all ages with developmental disabilities or chronic conditions, and their families.
How long have you been with the DDRC? I started working at DDRC in August 2014, so two-and-a-half years now. And six months as the Team Leader for Comprehensive Care.
What made you want to work here? I wanted to work with the DDRC originally as I was interested in the Client Services Coordinator position. I had never seen a role quite like it, and I could tell the Agency is ahead of the times by having a communication hub [for clients and their networks] like that. I continue working at the DDRC because of their willingness to grow and develop to better the lives of the individuals we support. I am also happy to work in a positive environment with such kind and friendly people!
What’s the best part about being a Team Leader? My favourite part about being a Team Leader is being able to converse and be actively involved with the team. I enjoy being able to coach others to better themselves, and the people they support. That’s both with the frontline staff (Community Support Workers) and the office staff (Comprehensive Care Service Coordinators).
Can you tell us about a recent Comprehensive Care Team success? A huge success is how we’ve been able to streamline our processes and having everyone working as many hours as they would like, with steady and consistent schedules.
What is a winter activity that you enjoy? I really like snowshoeing in Kananaskis Country. It is so beautiful out there, and only an hour jaunt out of the city. I could happily go out every weekend!
Can you believe it? The DDRC is turning 65 this year! Founded in 1952, we have undergone many changes and have loads of stories to tell.
That’s where YOU come in! Do you have a story to share about the DDRC? Have you previously been involved with the DDRC? Maybe you worked here years ago, or you know a client who went to Christine Meikle School or Emily Follensbee School in the past. Maybe you came to our first ever Stampede Breakfast, or volunteered awhile back.
Whatever your story is, we want to hear it! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us about your favourite memory, a random fact, a story, or to share a photo related to the DDRC.
After partnering with Bow Valley College to provide a computer literacy course to DDRC clients, we are pleased to announce that our first class of six has graduated.
The 12-week course covered topics such as basic computer functions, using the Internet, digital literacy, online safety, and commonly used computer programs. The course’s aim was to provide clients with computer literacy skills to help them accomplish their employment-related goals.
Graduates were given a tour of Bow Valley College, and attended a celebration where they received completion certificates. Congratulations! We look forward to continuing our partnership with Bow Valley.
Happy New Year! The beginning of a year can often be both a time for reflection, and a time for planning for the future. We wanted to see what some of the staff and clients around the office were focusing on in early 2017; here’s what they had to say:
“The best part of 2016 was that I applied for a position with the [Client Services Coordinators] team, and I got hired. That was my highlight. I am very happy to be here. I was a Community Resource Worker prior to coming into this position, so it is something different, but something challenging I think. I feel I’m heading in the right direction for 2017.”
– Maria M., Client Services Coordinator
“I had some highlights in 2016. Presenting at the Inclusion Awards in September was one. I am looking forward to getting my driver’s license in 2017. Also, I’m hoping to get a job by the spring.”
– Adam C., PACE Team Client
“The Holiday Open House was a great experience. Very fun. I got to work with one of our clients serving vegetables. I am looking forward to seeing great changes with each of the clients here as they learn and grow, and just having new adventures.”
– Jessica L., Community Resource Worker
“I joined Toastmasters, and I think that it is a really good place for me to be. I’ve gotten pretty good at it [public speaking]. I am mostly looking forward to working on writing creatively. I like writing stories.”
– Cieran R., PACE Team Client