Ability New Brunswick - {subtitle}

Canada | Disabilities & Rehabilitation

Background

Ability New Brunswick’s mission is to empower the independence and full community participation of persons who have spinal cord injuries or mobility disabilities by providing innovative services and developing progressive public policy. Its priority is to reach out and work with the 12% of New Brunswick residents of all ages who have spinal cord injuries or mobility disabilities, as well as their families and caregivers. Persons with a mobility disability often encounter physical barriers; however, it is often the psychological barriers that are the most detrimental. The emphasis in rehabilitation today is on physical rehabilitation, and the mental/psychological aspect often receives less focus. A disabling injury or condition can leave people with feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, and hostility. Ability New Brunswick’s Rehabilitation Counselors estimate that a primary barrier for as many as 50% of this population is motivation and challenges associated with coping with their disability and recognizing their abilities. Many are “stuck” in their journey by their own negative attitudes and perceptions of their abilities. Ability New Brunswick’s frontline staff have long recognized the important role that individuals’ attitudes play in setting and achieving goals. Counselors also identify that a significant number of these individuals would benefit from a targeted personal-development program, and their exploration of options led us to The Pacific Institute®.

Challenge

Participation in the labor market is an important part of life for people seeking personal independence and financial security. It can be especially challenging for persons with a mobility disability because they often face many barriers not encountered by those without a disability. The unemployment rate in New Brunswick for persons with a disability is high, and too often the primary barriers to employment for these individuals are motivation, recognizing their abilities and dealing with their disabilities. As Ability New Brunswick began to envision an innovative solution that could overcome these barriers, they identified a number of gaps to address: 

  • A gap in the availability of pre-employment programs designed to address the psychological issues that impede individuals’ abilities to achieve an optimal level of independence following initial treatment and/or rehabilitation. 
  • A gap in the availability of self-empowerment tools targeted to adults dealing with the onset of a disability. 
  • A gap in the availability of affordable options for people with a disability to access services to help them overcome psychological barriers to independence.
  • A gap in the availability of tools that combine the knowledge of applied psychology and the power of peer support in motivating and empowering people with a disability to achieve goals for independence and community participation. 

By providing empowerment programs offered by The Pacific Institute® such as Discovering the Power in Me® and PX2® over the past three years, Ability New Brunswick was able to successfully reduce these gaps and increase the employability of persons with a mobility disability.

Experience

Ability New Brunswick partnered with The Pacific Institute in 2010 and has since become a leader in offering these innovative programs that will empower New Brunswick residents with mobility disabilities. The five-day training offered by The Pacific Institute® inspired facilitators to be enthusiastic and believe in the program, which enabled them to convey the message to our population with passion and ease. The continuous support and encouragement provided by the The Pacific Institute® Global Managing Director kept Ability New Brunswick motivated and enabled them to thrive with the programs.

Outcome

Since the beginning of  Ability New Brunswick’s relationship with The Pacific Institute® in 2010, they have successfully delivered 14 Discovering the Power in Me® seminars and 18 PX2® seminars throughout the province. This represents a total of over 350 New Brunswickers who have completed the program and process. Their latest formal evaluation results have confirmed that the PX2® seminars are an effective tool to increase participants’ knowledge of the importance of setting goals and how to set them, with participants demonstrating an increase of 20% in this area. More specifically in this PX2® evaluation, career and education goal-setting increased from 72% at the pre-test to 95% at the post-test. Ability New Brunswick has documented many successful transitions to employment and post-secondary education that have already occurred stemming from both the The Pacific Institute’s programs and processes. Their surveys indicate that 96% of DPM® andPX2® participants in New Brunswick rate the seminars as “good” or “excellent,” with 97% indicating they would recommend the seminars to others. These numbers reflect the general consensus of participants’ appreciation for the seminar and an acknowledgement that the delivery of such seminars should continue. 

“Taking the Discovering the Power in Me® program gave my heart, mind and soul a two-day workout! It challenged me to have a better balance in all aspects of my life, and since I have tried this, I have found my life to be more worthwhile!”

– New Brunswicker living with a spinal cord injury (SCI), DPM® participant

“Discovering the Power in Me® came at the right time for me. It was just the right moment. You know, when you’re looking for something to raise you up, to give you hope; that’s what it did for me.” 

- New Brunswick resident living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), DPM® participant 

“This wonderfully empowering seminar is a must for all people! If you have the opportunity to attend, don’t miss it. Your life is sure to be transformed!”

– New Brunswick youth with a disability, PX2® Participant

“The PX2 seminar was such an uplifting experience for me as a person with a disability, but it could benefit everyone!”  

– New Brunswick youth with a disability, PX2® Participant

“I would like to thank you for your help to show me that it’s time to be me and like me for who I am.” 

– New Brunswick youth with a disability, PX2® Participant

Download the Independent Study Here