National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2020

National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2020

2020 marks a commemorative year for National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Not only is it the 75th anniversary of this annual observance, but it also marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This year’s theme is “Increasing Access and Opportunity,” which JVS Career & Employment makes strives towards every day. These recent success stories, as told by our client’s employment specialists and support team, are a testament to our goal to increase access and find meaningful opportunities for the people we serve.  

My client Nick* was offered a job at Jewel Osco in Highland Park. He was struggling in the orientation, so his manager politely asked if he could save his questions till after the presentation. When the other new hires left, his manager stayed for half an hour and patiently walked through all of Nick’s questions and concerns. He has his first full shift on Friday!

Eric* and his employment specialist began working together in November 2019. Eric expressed his passion for fashion and interest in a job where he could clean or stock. With his employment specialist’s help, Eric created a resume, list of references, a cover letter and practiced his interview skills. After applying to a number of jobs, Eric applied to Goodwill. The business services representative helped Eric land an interview, and his employment specialist accompanied him to the interview.

In the beginning of September, Eric began working part time at Goodwill as a retail utility worker. As a utility worker, Eric maintains the cleanliness on the sales floor and backrooms. With some job coaching support, Eric has already acclimated well to his job. Goodwill mangers have reported that they appreciate his work and have given him additional hours. Eric loves the job because it combines his love for fashion and his love for cleaning.

My client Kasra* recently completed his first 90 days at Whole Foods. We have a language barrier, but between using translation apps and the help of his DRS counselor, we problem solved, and he is still thriving at work!

When Cesar* came on board with our agency in January, he had a great personality. During his intake, he submitted three different resumes and a job search overview for the past two years. I was impressed by his organization and professionalism and knew he could be placed with some support.

Before COVID-19, we researched State of Illinois jobs and he applied for an office coordinator position with the Department of Human Services. Following his interview, we pushed harder to stay focused and positive. Cesar would meet with staff for weekly check-ins where we would discuss companies he had applied to and that we were speaking to on his behalf.

In July Cesar received an email from the Department of Human Services that he had been selected for the office coordinator position. He reports that he loves his job and is working both in the office and remotely. Cesar was willing to do some hard work and stay focused during the pandemic, and ultimately was rewarded with a great job.

*Names changed for confidentiality