Saskatchewan Abilities Council




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Rekindling Her Joy In Life, Work & Travel

Audra Winand first came to the Saskatchewan Abilities Council Saskatoon Branch in 1990 to develop her work and social skills.

A natural tenacity and ability to focus on the task at hand helped her move quickly from work placements to community employment. She moved back to her hometown for a few years, but returned to Saskatoon to get her GED. She re-entered vocational training at the Saskatoon Branch in 2007 and has been an active participant ever since.

“I like to work. I like having something to do,” Audra says simply. “I work in the Assembly department. We do all sorts of things, but I work mainly on splice packs for fibre optics. We send them to companies all over the world.”

During her first year in Assembly, Audra flourished. Then a combination of health, personal and housing issues all seemed to happen at once and she couldn’t work. It was a devastating blow. For Audra, it’s not just the self-esteem and confidence that working full-time brings, it’s the opportunity. She is determined to work, because work means she can travel.

Yes, Audra has the travel bug. Every year, she planned a destination, diligently saved her money and off she would go, alone or with a tour group. “I love to travel because I get to see different places—I’ve been all over the United States and Canada. I’ve been to the Maritimes, to Washington, D.C., to Salt Lake City. On one trip to the United States, we were throwing snowballs in the middle of summer.”

Unable to work or travel, it would have been easy to give up. Instead, Audra worked harder. At first, she focused on regaining her health and well-being. As life became more stable, she turned her attention to regaining her job skills. Today, Audra works four days a week in the Training Centre. She often arrives sporting brightly coloured clothing or a vivacious new hair colour. There’s a spring in her step, and she dives into tasks with her old enthusiasm. Best of all, she is saving her money and planning her next travel adventure.

Thanks to a supportive care home operator, good medication management and a network of community supports led by the Saskatchewan Abilities Council, Audra has rekindled her joy in life, work and travel.

“The best things about my job? Seeing new faces, meeting new people and having something to do.”
- Audra Winand, Client, Saskatoon Branch