Job Title: Policy and Program Manager, Service Alberta
Marc Workman is tenacious. While looking for work in 2015, he applied to over 100 positions over the course of a year, and completed nearly two dozen interviews before ultimately finding work with the Government of Alberta. While those numbers might seem high for someone with a master’s degree and several years of professional experience, there was one element of Workman’s application that he suspects may have played a role: He’s blind.
“The idea that I would’ve gotten every single one of those jobs doesn’t make a lot of sense, but the idea that my blindness played no role in the decisions that were made seems equally improbable,” he says.
Diagnosed at age five with Retinitis Pigmentosa, Workman was legally blind by age 10, los-ing the rest of his vision in his teenage years. While in university, he began volunteering with the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians and co-founding the Campus Association for Disability Issues, the first student group for students with disabilities at the University of Alberta.
Today, Workman’s advocacy efforts have expanded outside of the disability realm to include political and social causes. He volunteers as the social advocacy director with the Oliver Community League, helping to support marginalized or disadvantaged populations in the community.
“I think sometimes people in my situation might say, ‘I did it, so you can too,’ but that’s not the way I want to approach things,” he says. “For me, it’s more like, ‘I did it, but it was really hard, and it shouldn’t be that way.’ If there’s anything I can do to make the path easier for those who are coming behind me, I want to do that.”