James finds great enjoyment in being of service to others. He demonstrates his motivation and ability to work by performing everyday household duties, all without being prompted. Although having specific responsibilities at home is important and has value, it did not provide James the meaningful experience of having a job in the community.
That is where the generous supporters of our customized employment services came in. An AADD Employment Specialist took James through a discovery process to uncover his unique skills, interests, and preferences that helped determine the type of job that would provide him with a rewarding work experience. AADD helped develop a job for James at Krispy Kreme, where his desire for routine would be met and his service-oriented disposition could flourish.
He was initially hired to hand out doughnut samples to customers, but James’ supervisor quickly discovered that he is very eager and willing to learn new tasks and had the ability to take on bigger job responsibilities. Now James pulls doughnuts off the line, organizes them by type, and ensures the displays are always fully stocked.
James’ AADD job coach recently went to observe him on the job and was engaged in conversation by a regular customer of that Krispy Kreme shop. The customer commented that he loves seeing and talking to James every day he is in the shop and how impressed he is by James’ ability. Despite some physical indicators that James has a developmental disability, the customer said, “All I see is a hard worker.”
A major focus of our work this year has been through our Employment Services program to help individuals with developmental disabilities “get off the couch.” The unemployment rate for individuals with developmental disabilities is close to 80 percent.
In 2015, AADD helped 88 individuals, including James, find meaningful, paying jobs in the community that not only provided a wage, but also offer individuals social interaction and a sense of belonging.
We hope you will consider supporting AADD. Your gift will help us impact the lives of adults with disabilities who are seeking employment and support employment training, uniforms, transportation, on the job coaching and more.