Image Credit: John Lappa
"Exceptional. Insightful. He has a sixth sense and an endearing sense of humour."
That's how Paulyne Charron describes Robert Roy. She is his employment coordinator and friend. Robert's new passion, a profession-in-the-making, is photography.
Born with a speech impediment, into a family that simply did not know how to help him, Robert suffered from social deprivation for years. But he has always managed to persevere. He worked as a janitor until arthritis forced him to give that up, in 2005, and was looking for something new when Paulyne encouraged him to sign up for a photography course. Today, his pictures hang in Expressions, the local art gallery. He also sells his prints and produces gorgeous calendars (2009 is his best yet.) Paulyne says Robert has found a sense of confidence and a way to communicate.
"His speech impediment made it tough for people to understand Robert. Now, people see beyond that. They see Robert the photographer. People recognize his gift. He's part of the artistic community. It's all unbelievable.
"Robert has taught me perseverance and to see the beauty in the mundane. He has brought beauty to this community and we helped Robert find his spot in the community."