Individuals with Down Syndrome experience a range of obstacles, especially in the workplace. Though many have some form of education and a diverse range of abilities, it can sometimes be hard for employers to see beyond certain skills that might be lacking, such as reading, writing, or speech.
However, Emma Lynam will change your mind. A 21-year old with Down Syndrome, autism, and the inability to read or write, she helps run her own shredding company, doing what she knows best: shredding papers and sensitive materials for her clients.
As a high school student, she was keen on using the school's office shredder. Her parents picked up on her enthusiasm for the work, and helped her start her own shredding company: Master Shredder, a name inspired by the show, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Now, Emma and her team works with various local businesses who send their materials over for shredding. She's the perfect candidate for the work, since she cannot share the sensitive materials with others, and loves to shred it up anyway.
Stories like Emma's reminds us that there's a purpose and worth to every individual, no matter what their limitations are.
Emma's unique situation makes her perfect for this type of work, and others with Down Syndrome can be the most qualified candidate for other jobs when their skills match the task at hand. Employers can always make room for those with Down Syndrome by finding tasks that match the strengths of the individual, not just by assuming a lack in certain skills makes them unemployable.
For those that are helping individuals with Down Syndrome find jobs, the National Down Syndrome Society has a host of resources to check out. If your organization is looking for talented professionals to work with these inspiring individuals, please contact us.
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