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An image for A man in a wheelchair and a woman play chess in a park.

The Champions

Leaders in Our Community

Right on Target!
By Bonnie Belec: The Evening Telegram
December 06, 2014

Employee with disabilities nominates department store for inclusion award

Bradley Goodyear had been looking for a job for so long, and been rejected for even longer, that he thought an interview at Target last year would be nothing more than another disappointment.

He figured it was another phone call he wouldn’t receive. Another door closing before he went through it. But the 40-year-old told The Telegram this week it was nothing like what he had built it up to be.

“John (Pritchett, team leader of the department store on Stavanger Drive in St. John’s) called and said I got the job,” Goodyear said through ASL translator Sheila Keats. “I was shocked, but happy,” he said smiling from ear to ear.

That was in September 2013 and Goodyear says he has settled right in.

“I love it. I stock shelves, check barcodes and I help people find items they’re looking for,” said Goodyear, who is deaf and has cerebral palsy.

He said he works in the electronics department and uses a whiteboard to communicate with customers.

“They don’t mind at all. They’re very open to it and friendly,” he said of the shoppers he helps.

The Labrador City native, who now calls St. John’s home, was at Government House Wednesday — the United Nations International Day for Persons with Disabilities — for the Independent Living Resource Centre’s awards ceremony.

Initiated about seven years ago, the awards are meant to raise awareness about the contributions people or businesses make towards including people with disabilities in all aspects of society.

Goodyear nominated Target for the 2014 Business Award for Independent Living. Pritchett accepted it on behalf of Target.

John Pritchett, Target Team Lead accepting the 2014 IL Business Award

Mr. John Pritchett (Centre – Target Team Leader) accepting the IL Business Award from His Honourable Lieutenant Governor Frank Fagan and Mr. Clyde Jackman – Minister of Seniors, Wellness & Social Development, Minister responsible for Persons with Disabilities.

According to a news release handed out at the ceremony by the centre, the award for Independent Living is for a business that has displayed an innovative approach and achieved substantial outcomes, in supporting the full inclusion of people with disabilities in areas such as employment, transportation, housing, communication and technology.

“The award is in recognition of Target’s inclusive recruitment and hiring practices respecting persons with disabilities. Target’s philosophy of hiring staff that reflects the community in which they serve is evident in their progressive recruitment policies,” said the release.

Following the ceremony, sporting a bright red dress shirt and matching tie, Goodyear said he nominated Target because it’s a great organization that respects people regardless of their disability.

“They are open to having people with disabilities work for them and they don’t discriminate,” he said.

“When John interviewed me he didn’t ask me any personal questions about my disabilities, he asked me about what I could do and my experience,” said Goodyear.

He said before he got the job he was becoming very discouraged with the lack of opportunities in this province for people with disabilities and suggested employers need to be more receptive to them.

“I’ve been looking for a long time. Always looking, but never hired. But I’m very happy. I love my job,” said Goodyear.


Mark Wafer

Business Owner

Recently, the Independent Living Resource Centre, in partnership with the Avalon Supported Employment Corporation, sponsored the return of Mr. Mark Wafer to St. John’s to speak to the Board of Trade on Oct 30, 2013 and to the St. John’s Rotary Club Luncheon on Oct 31, 2013. Mr. Wafer, the owner of seven Tim Horton locations in Toronto, Ontario, is well known for his unique hiring practices. In his presentation entitled “Hiring Outside the Box: Employees that help your business boom”, he talks about the many benefits of hiring those with disabilities.

For more information on Mr. Wafer, please see the following:

CBC Morning Show (audio only)
Transcript (TXT) | October 31, 2013 | Hosted by Anthony Germain

Tim Hortons Franchisee Leads by Example
The Telegram | November 01, 2013 | Written by Angus McPhail

CBC Here and Now
Jul 31, 2012

This Tim Hortons Franchisee Hired 82 Disabled Workers
The Toronto Star | Jun 10 2012 | Written by Alison Griffiths

Champion’s League Award Speech
Ontario Disability Employment Network | 2010

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