In October of 2016, Sammy came to us as a new referral and began working with Katie Dumais, our Director of Employment Services. Katie worked with her on her social skills and job skills while accompanying her on several interviews. Sammy began working at the Jack’s in Gardendale on March 3, 2017. Katie job coached her for about a month and continuously went back to check on her job performance.
Sammy has Autism and struggles with sensory issues and being around many people in a fast-paced environment only added to her problems. She is very eager to please, so we had to work on her being able to understand constructive criticism. The team at Jack’s has been a fantastic support for her, and without them, she would not be where she is today.
There were times that she would become anxious at work and our employment specialists were able to work with the staff and how to handle best any sensory issues she would have. Oretha, her supervisor, has reported that Sammy has had no problems for months and she is one of their BEST employees. The “regulars” at Jack’s look forward to seeing her and talking with her. Sammy says that she loves her job, and when you ask her what her favorite thing about working is, she will respond with a hearty, “the guests.”
Sammy is 26 years old and having this job has positively changed her life. Sammy is more comfortable in social settings. When Sammy first started to work, she was very hesitant to speak to any co-workers or guests. Now, she walks around the dining area and talks to all customers.
We could go on and on, but as Katie states, “being her job coach has changed my life too, and seeing her so successful and loved at Jack’s is a good reminder of why I come to work every day.”
“Empowering people with disabilities to live full and meaningful lives” is more than a tagline, IT IS WHAT WE DO. Last year, through our Employment Services program we trained 505 individuals in job readiness skills, 166 adults were enrolled in United Ability’s Employment Programs, and 50 were placed in community employment. We help our participants “Dream New Dreams!”
Katie Dumais is the Director of United Ability Employment Services. To learn more about how our LINCPoint Adult Program and our Employment Services contact Katie at (205)944-3979.