Profile: ROSE CONEY
Rose Coney works as the Cash Supervisor at Recycle Plus. She has been employed there since 2001, when she started out serving the customers at the bottle depot’s front counter. She was quick to find the “rhythm” of the job, despite the fast paced environment that is the rule rather than the exception at Recycle Plus.
The Association’s positive approach to training and the job environment, as well as its attention to detail has made Rose’s experience a valuable one. She says that management is very “hands-on” and that benefits everyone involved. Rose is happy with the way her job has been progressing and evolving. She finds it interesting in that she can learn and grow in the position and applies the same principle to her own staff as well.
Working with the handicapped has taught Rose to treat the clients as people first. It’s not always necessary to acknowledge handicaps because, in so many ways, the clients act just like everyone else. On the other hand, Rose knows that the clients need guidance and support so that they can live and be productive in society. The best-case scenario happens when the clients are treated like co-workers.
Rose has been able to watch her handicapped niece grow and develop within her family and the community. She feels a sense of empowerment that people can live through having a handicapped child. It takes a big umbrella of support to make it work within a family.
“It means that you never give up. If it happened to one of my children or my friends, I know that we would manage and would be able to live through it.”
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“You can have a normal child and just, all of a sudden, you’re in Edmonton hospital and your world turns upside down and you can walk through it.”
Rose used to wonder why her aunt was sending her daughter to school but now realizes that the handicapped can achieve much more than most people realize. The clients Rose works with have shown her that they have a community and a sense of friendship about them. They can be independent.
“When they go out, they might talk to you if they see you in the mall. Some of them might want to come up to you and give you a great big hug. But others might not because they are busy being with their friends. And that’s what makes them normal, that’s the normal part of it.”
Rose believes that the Association is providing a wonderful environment in which the handicapped can aspire to the best possible quality of life they can achieve.
“There’s a big responsibility out there for the administration, the group home staff and the people are in charge. I get the impression that there are good people behind us. And even with all the support available, you have to watch the public. For every fifteen nice people there is that negative one. The negative can come through really fast.”
There are common misconceptions about the handicapped and Rose thinks that their inclusion as employees in a public business such as Recycle Plus helps to dispel the myths.
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