Life hasn’t always been easy for Kim Do, 32, who lives with cerebral palsy but has shown great perseverance to battle through his daily struggles and complete graphic design at the Art Institute of Vancouver. He did some web design courses at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) and then moved on to Discovery College where he completed a diploma in Web Design.
The Equipment Assistive Devices Fund
Kim is a recipient of the CPABC’s Equipment Assistive Devices Fund where he received RAM for his computer to help him complete graphic design work. The Equipment Assistive Devices Fund helps support people living with cerebral palsy through providing financial assistance for the purchasing of assistive devices which could include communication and writing aids, orthotic devices, home accessibility aids, electronic to daily living and vision and hearing aids. The fund has benefited numerous individuals with CP and helped them strive to live a Life Without Limits.
Kim volunteers at the Cerebral Palsy Association of BC, where he has assisted with website design and updates in addition to graphic design of a golf certificate for a silent auction according to Fiona York, Grants and Community Engagement Coordinator, who oversees his work.
Kim gained hands-on work experience at Old Navy, as well as at an electronics store assembling electronics, and at Liteon computers where he worked in a retail/business type setting repairing, updating and modifying computers. Besides working with electronics, Kim has been able to really live a Life Without Limits through enrolling in karate as a youngster and working out at the gym as a teenager.
Kim has faced challenges as a person living with cerebral palsy. He feels discriminated against based on his race (his background is Vietnamese) and his disability, which severely affects his speech. He says people either laugh or joke about him. “They don’t have a heart.” Kim feels that society should have more compassion for people who are less fortunate. He explained that everyone needs love and care and he is happy to see that people with disabilities are working and helping contribute to make the world a better place. Kim can personally relate to people with disabilities especially those individuals living with CP who face struggles daily and he is glad to see that they have shown strength and perseverance in landing jobs.
Through his involvement with the CPABC, Kim improved his self-esteem by meeting new people and interacting with them. He was a participant of the Pre-Employment Program, where he attended sessions focused on providing participants with the tools necessary to land a job such as skill building, goal setting, and the job hunt. In addition, he participated in the Youth Without Limits support group, which focus on issues related to youth living with disabilities such as sex and disability, relationships, and disability and identity among other topics. He has a pretty straightforward plan which is meet new people, keep succeeding and moving forward.
The Surrey resident was recently able to land a part-time web and logo design contract where he will be able to showcase his skills in a field that he enjoys. He finds the work rewarding and it’s a career that he wants to pursue.
He doesn’t look towards a particular person for inspiration but feels that every person he has met has influenced his life in one way or another through interacting with him. He believes people should continue to work hard and never give up on what they want, whether that it’s material object or personal goal.
“Have patience to understand people more and get to know them more before assuming or judging the people, but being yourself is the important and best.” He feels that there is still a stigma around people with disabilities, and that they are still discriminated against and aren’t treated equally, such as by well-meaning people offering to help them getting down the stairs when in reality they can do it themselves.
Kim has been exceeding expectations through his work with the Association and has been participating in programs which have been beneficial to him and to CPABC. CPABC wishes him all the best in his journey and continued success in achieving his dreams.