The Women's Journal

Easterseals Celebrates Stellar Employees

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By Natalie Scott

Brian is a world traveler, recently returning from Germany where he competed in the Special Olympics World Games as a swimming champion representing the United States. Meanwhile at home, his team at the café at Delaware State University, where he has worked for the last ten years through Easterseals’ Supported Employment program, was cheering him on. 

“We are all so proud of his many incredible accomplishments, including celebrating 10 years at DSU,” Brian’s mom, Christine, says. “After Brian graduated high school and lost his job abruptly, he was home for a while because we didn’t know what to do. Then we found Easterseals. We are grateful for the job coaches. They supported him the way he needs to be supported and helped him find the right job. His job coach, Shamoya is a huge advocate for acceptance in the community.”

Brian brings determination to his job where he works five days a week as a member of a supportive team in the Village Café. During the summer, when Brian is not working at the cafe, he enjoys his days at Easterseals Adult Day program where he is able to connect with other friends and volunteer in the community at places like the Modern Maturity Center.

“There is a great correlation between Supported Employment and the day program. Brian loves his job and the day program. He’s happy, fits in and wants to work. Because of his experience with Supported Employment, he has become more settled and knowledgeable. He can function on his own without a lot of support,” Christine says. “The staff at DSU see his potential and keep him going. They know he can do a valuable job. He rarely misses a day and is reliable.”

Easterseals Supported Employment gives adults with intellectual disabilities, including autism, the choice to experience the community through individualized employment. The program matches participants with jobs in local businesses so they can earn competitive wages with the assistance of job coaching and training. Easterseals Employment Specialists provide ongoing individualized training and coaching to ensure long-term success on the job.

Once individuals are trained in their position, they work independently with the support of co-workers. Easterseals 

Employment Specialists provide ongoing individualized training and coaching to ensure long-term success on the job.

“My advice for other parents is to get involved with Easterseals services. Stretch your imagination. Your adult child can do these things. The more your adult child is in society, the more accepted they are. You’ll see their capabilities. We have great support from Easterseals,” Christine says. “I would love to see more companies hire people with disabilities and be more aware of how they can help someone become a contributing member of society.”

Currently, Easterseals works with more than 60 businesses statewide, supporting more than 76 individuals with disabilities in competitive employment and 31 individuals through Group Supported Employment services. To learn more about how Easterseals can help you find the perfect employee for your business, call Jane Schuler at 302-324-4444.

Unfortunately, the unemployment rate for individuals with disabilities is more than double that of workers without disabilities. Many people with disabilities want to work, but have not been able to secure jobs because of accessibility and attitudinal barriers. As a result, labor force participation for individuals with disabilities is less than 1/3 of general labor force participation. 



100 Enterprise Place, Suite 1, Dover, DE 19904

699 South Carter Road, Suite 3, Smyrna, DE 19977

61 Corporate Circle, New Castle, DE 19720

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