What does it mean to employ someone with a disability?
It means giving someone a chance to use their talents and abilities to benefit others. It means helping to keep people who are qualified to work off disability or other government funding. It means restoring financial support, self-esteem, confidence, and meaning to the life of an individual and his or her family. It means improving our businesses and services by accessing the variety of resources these individuals are able to provide. It means doing our part to make our world and our communities a better place for everyone.
The Gray Center is pleased to do our part to help people with autism and related disabilities gain the social skills to succeed at gainful employment. Our individual and group social coaching, “Social Coaching for Workplace Success,” gives us opportunities to partner with other local organizations which help our students with job development and job coaching, with many of them moving on to paid jobs or volunteer positions in the community.
What are you doing to support this process? Maybe you’re a parent, working to establish a home environment which is conducive to workplace success (we can help with that, too—see below!). Maybe you’re an employer, employing people with disabilities. Maybe you’re a teacher, job developer, or job coach, helping individuals to acquire the skills and opportunities necessary to get—and stay—employed. Or maybe you’re a person with a disability, working hard to advocate for yourself, to continue to gain and improve the skills you need to help your employer succeed at his or her business.
Regardless of the role you play throughout the year in disability employment awareness, we hope you will also help support The Gray Center’s part in this process. Your tax-deductible donations help underwrite social coaching for individuals and families, presentations for employers and school staff, and further training for our staff as we continue to work to meet the variety of needs of people around the world.