Lana Milley is the Web Communications Assistant in the National office of Muscular Dystrophy Canada. Lana moved from her native Russia four years ago. In Russia, Lana earned a university degree in cultural studies and took courses in graphic design, which allowed her to work from home for several large companies and an accessibility non-profit. Lana has Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy. She uses a wheelchair, and finds Canada to be much more accessible than Russia. Lana became a member of the Toronto Chapter when she arrived from Russia, which is where she connected with staff at the National office and began volunteering. The volunteer position became a part-time job that keeps Lana extremely busy.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012:
Lana is ready to go to the Muscular Dystrophy Canada office after getting a little help from an attendant to prepare for the day. Lana takes WheelTrans to work, so she waits for the vehicle to arrive. WheelTrans must be booked 24 hours in advance and the ride can be longer on the days when other WheelTrans users are picked up along the way. Lana is very glad to work for Muscular Dystrophy Canada because she enjoys web design and interactivity. Getting the job was a great opportunity for her as she didn’t have any work experience in Canada. Lana also enjoys working for the organization because it offers an accessible workspace and flexible hours, although she is kept incredibly busy during her work hours!
After arriving to work, Lana goes to the weekly Marketing meeting, where the five team members discuss what projects are being worked on and she updates the team members through discussions about new ideas or campaigns. Lana keeps the team updated about what she is working on that week. Lana has great ideas for design and promotions, and is an incredibly important member of the team by sharing her perspective as an individual affected by muscular dystrophy. Her opinions are invaluable in the development of marketing and communications concepts.
Lana keeps busy during her 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. work day by making all updates on the organization’s website, working with TYPO3 and Adobe Creative Suite, and designing the e-blast and format of move it!, the digital newsletter. Sometimes Lana feels pressure from the language barrier, as she has only been speaking English for four years, but her verbal and written skills are incredibly advanced for a language that is still very new to her. Lana consults with the IT manager, Errol, while addressing technical issues and creating new webpages.
Lana finishes up for the day, and sets an email reminder for staff that she will return to the office on Thursday to continue working on her many projects. She waits in the lobby until WheelTrans can pick her up to go home, which will be between 4:15 and 4:45 p.m. Lana enjoys using her knowledge of HTML and CSS codes for websites, graphic design and working on promotions at Muscular Dystrophy Canada, especially since she is assisting with supporting individuals and families with neuromuscular disorders.