Employers are often intimidated by the idea of hiring someone with a disability. In reality, though, they could be missing out on their next Employee of the Month.
Adam came to CPRF’s End-Dependence Kansas (EDK) program after graduating from CPRF’s School of Adaptive Computer Training (SACT). The EDK program is an initiative focusing on youth with disabilities that are transitioning from high school to the workforce. When Adam’s search for employment began, he was interested in finding a part-time position in a clerical or retail field. Through EDK, Adam was able to go on 12 job tours and 12 informational interviews, primarily in banking and retail.
While testing out a few work experiences in data entry, Adam decided to try a more social work environment. CPRF’s Business Account Manager worked with Adam to secure a work experience for him at Stein Mart during the 2018 Christmas season, where Adam engaged with people as a cashier. Due to his disability, bagging items quickly was a challenge, but his manager recognized Adam’s potential and an adapted work station was easily created with a plastic bag holder and garment hanger, secured with help from his Employment Consultant. Once this small adaptation was made, Adam’s speed at bagging merchandise greatly increased, and he quickly built up the stamina required to work in a fast-paced retail environment. The customer service and computer skills he picked up as a SACT student also helped excel in his role on the register, and he secured permanent employment by the end of his work experience.
Adam was recognized as Stein Mart’s Employee of the Month over the summer. His work ethic, skill set, and positive attitude make him popular with management, his coworkers, and customers alike. He recently began taking additional computer and business classes to supplement his knowledge and expand his future employment opportunities.
Linda Oxford, CPRF Business Account Manager, explained that Adam’s success has opened a door for other clients with disabilities in their job search.
“The CPRF EDK Program has assisted Adam with accomplishing his first steps towards independence and identified a career path for him. His persistence to overcome several barriers to gain employment resulted in a strong relationship with his employer and provided other individuals with disabilities an avenue for employment.”
To learn more about EDK, visit the resources section of our Job Placement page.
End-Dependence Kansas is funded through Title I – Vocational Rehabilitation of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Title IV of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act). Funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Education (CFDA 84.126A). A total of 78.7% of the project funds are federal dollars referenced above. There are no non-government sources of funds.
This program is provided by the Kansas Department for Children and Families.