Employers often shy away from hiring developmentally disabled candidates. Perhaps they are influenced by stereotypes, but they may be passing up on potentially good workers. A job mismatch can cause frustration for the employee and the business.
Now an Alaskan organization has launched a program to address the needs of its disabled clients. Hearts and Hands of Care opened a cafe that employs their clients in various jobs.
Paired with a job coach, they handle the chores necessary to keep the cafe running. Different levels of skills are accommodated. There is supervision, but the manager says, "“They can be as independent or get as much help as they like.”
Getting paid gives an individual with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD), a measure or independence and makes them feel they have done something useful. Though they may be limited in abilities, they have the desire to be productive and take pride in their accomplishments.
The cafe in Wasilla, WA is an initiative that other locations would do well to model. Hands and Hearts of Care plans to expand with other local businesses when they see how well it works. "I think they will be more receptive to hiring those with a disability.” said manager Nicole Rosevear.
Disabilities don't limit a person to janitorial, food service, customer service and other menial tasks. Employers who give a chance to the IDD can benefit from loyal and enthusiastic workers. They are motivated to do a good job and to please their supervisors. They want the same things in life as everyone else.
Working with IDD is a rewarding career. Contact us if you are interested in pursuing career that addresses the needs of those with disabilities.
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