See the latest on Board Director of Barrier Free Canada – Canada sans Barrières Charlene Young. Charlene joined our board in May 2018 and is fast becoming a rising star!
Police Diversity: Number of Staff with Disabilities Still Below Target
Excerpt: Charlene Young, who now works for CNIB, worked for years at the Saskatoon Police Service as a switchboard operator. Young sits for a portrait in her office at CNIB in Saskatoon on April 10, 2019.
After about seven years as a Saskatoon Police Service switchboard operator, Charlene Young wanted to take on a different role with organization — but the service couldn’t accommodate her moving into another position at the time.
Young left the police service in May 2018. Before that, she was one of 36 police employees identified as having a disability that year.
Young is visually impaired and used screen reading software called Job Access with Speech. It converts on-screen text to speech, which is read to her through a headset. The work was demanding and sometimes she was on the line with people who were distressed and should have been calling 911 instead of the station’s switchboard.
The switchboard job gave Young one shift per week plus call-in shifts, but she wanted to be working full-time hours.
She was interested in other opportunities within the police service, such as working as a clerk steno or dispatcher, but “unfortunately the software they used for the clerk stenos was not fully compatible with the screen reading software that I use on a daily basis for my computer,” Young said.
Photo Alt: Charlene Young, who now works for CNIB, worked for years at the Saskatoon Police Service as a switchboard operator. Young sits for a portrait in her office at CNIB in Saskatoon on April 10, 2019.