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Showing posts from March, 2020

Rebecca's Enthusiasm!

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“I love it here. I am able to go to work, eat dinner, and start working. And then I go home to my own apartment and care for my cats.” Two years ago, Rebecca was living in a group home in New Jersey and was working at a local retail store. Although she loved living there, she wanted to be closer to her family and have a cat. 
When she moved back to Virginia and into her parents’ home, she wanted to find a job to start earning and saving money. That’s when she met Kate and the pair began searching for a job. At the same time that she was working with Kate, Rebecca was also working with her Case Manager to help find an apartment in Charlottesville. Together, Rebecca and her Vocational Counselor applied and interviewed for over 9 different jobs. And when Rebecca attended a job fair in Charlottesville with a food service company, she was offered a job. 
At the same time she interviewed to work at the dining hall, she moved into her own apartment. Rebecca has worked at Runk Dining Hall at…

Cameron's Heavy Lifting

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Cameron and his counselor, Nancy, set out to find him employment with a goal of working in a hardware store. In May of 2016, he became employed at the Lowe's in Suffolk through the Supported Employment program. 

Cameron is hardworking, reliable, loves manual labor, and cares about other people.

The challenge came because of his specificity about working in a hardware store. There are a very limited number of hardware stores or stores in general in his area of Hampton Roads. His mom drives him to work so he and Nancy had to look in Suffolk, Franklin and Windsor for positions. These are relatively rural areas with limited numbers of stores, especially hardware stores.

However, he found a job! Cameron is a Loader but often helps the team in other departments by collecting carts, helping customers load their cars, stocking, restocking, filling the water tank for employees, assisting customers, helping with any heavy lifting, and helping the team solve problems.

To help him stay on task, N…

Nicholas' Communication Journey

Nicholas expressed interest in stocking, and was open to stocking anywhere.  His vocational counselor, Alexandra, went in person to the employer several times to advocate for him.  He doesn't communicate verbally so Alexandra worked with him to create a "one pager" for the employer.  Nicholas used a communication device to type out his one pager, explaining why he wanted to work for the employer, and a little bit about himself. He was open about his communication challenges, however that he was just like everyone else.

Nicholas is friendly, and outgoing. He does not let his disability hold him back, and although he cannot always communicate with customers, he always offers a smile and directs guests to an associate if they have questions.  He is detail orientated, remains focused at work and always has a smile on his face.

Alexandra assisted him with developing strategies to communicate with his employer, as well as customers in non-verbal ways.  They created a communicati…