Employment Provides Independence – Tioka’s story

7.1.15

Tioka, 25, has difficulty with multiple step instructions and communication, due to her developmental disability. However, she is positive, social, loves to help people and is hard working. She came to AADD with the desire to find employment that could utilize her unique skills and offer her some level of independence. 

In high school, Tioka participated in Community Based Vocational Training where she folded sheets and towels at the Ritz-Carleton, affixed stickers to bread in the bakery at Publix, and organized shoes and other clothing items at Target.

Toika outside Homewood Suites

Toika outside Homewood Suites

Tioka particularly enjoyed her time at the Ritz Carlton, where she worked in the laundry folding linens. She was able to identify stains and sort out linens that had not been properly cleaned as she folded. Tioka also identified strings that had strayed and used scissors to cut them.

During the Discovery process, Tioka’s Employment Specialist identified her positive attitude and demeanor, her strong desire to work and contribute as a team, and her ability to complete housekeeping, cleaning and other routine repetitive tasks with care. The Employment Specialist also noted that Tioka benefits from repetitive verbal instruction on how to complete a task.

From these observations, the employment specialist concluded that in order for Tioka to have the best opportunity for successful work experience, she will initially need the assistance of a job coach to help explain tasks until they become routine. Once routines are established, Tioka will be able to follow through with assignments successfully.

With this in mind, the Employment Specialist approached several hotels in the immediate area where Tioka lives to describe the program that AADD provides for individuals and the connection between Tioka’s skills and the laundry department at the hotel. There were openings in laundry at Homewood Suites and the General Manager was interested in speaking with Tioka. After speaking with Tioka, he arranged for Tioka to interview with the Laundry Manager and she got the job. 

On the Job

She enjoys learning the different ways to fold the linens.

She enjoys learning the different ways to fold the linens.

Toika works in the laundry.

Toika works in the laundry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laundry is something that Tioka is good at and she has settled in quickly at her new job. Tioka enjoys interacting with her fellow coworkers who come into the laundry room and making them smile. She enjoys being able to learn the multiple folding patterns for the towels and linens. There are 11 different items and ways to fold, so there is a lot to learn.

Tioka’s boss recently stated in a staff meeting “I wish I had your attitude Tioka. You are always excited to be here. I could use some of that energy.”

Having a job gives Tioka some independence away from family. She is able to ride MARTA mobility to and from work, she has outside social interactions, and the money she earned allows her to enjoy treasure hunting at thrift stores on the weekends, picking out books to read with her family, and getting her hair and nails done.

Tioka is enjoying her new job. On any given day when Tioka is working at Homewood Suites, you might pass the laundry and hear, “I am so happy to be working! I couldnt wait to get to work this morning.

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