Episode 4: Sara



Photo: Alejandra Pavez

Sara Symington

Sara is very happy at her job in the City of Edmonton’s Employee Service Centre where she says, “everything just clicks.” Unwilling to be defined by her autism, Sara prides herself on her independence and will not be held back by her disability or the stigma that comes with it. She recognizes that her quality of life has improved greatly since she started working in this position where her meticulous attention to detail and quirky personality are highly valued.

“Having a job makes me feel good, included in society because everybody else has jobs in society.” — Sara Symington

Kathleen Szechchina

Kathleen is Sara’s grandmother and she has played in integral role in Sara’s life since she was born.

“We’ve always understood that Sara was on the autism spectrum, originally back in junior high, they classified her as Asperger’s and now she has many of the behaviours of someone with autism.” — Kathleen Szechchina

Mark Farr

As the Disability Outreach Coordinator at the City of Edmonton, Mark Farr plays an important role in shaping lives. Through his work with the Abilities At Work program, he is able to help provide meaningful and fulfilling work opportunities for people with disabilities.

“It’s important for the City of Edmonton to be an inclusive employer because we want to make sure that we have a workforce that is reflective of the community we serve.” — Mark Farr


Renate Burwash

Renate is the Director of Employment Services for the Gateway Association, an organization focused on providing opportunities for a better life for people with disabilities and their families.

“We think of ourselves as a very holistic organization, so what we do is we work with the job seeker really just to get to know them as best as we can.” — Renate Burwash