Developmental disabilities are a group of conditions caused by an impairment in physical, learning, language, or behavior areas that may impact a person’s day-to-day functioning and will usually last throughout their lifetime.
ADEC has spent years growing, learning, and adapting to better serve the members of our community living with disabilities. Beginning with education in 1952, we’ve been able to keep adding to our programming options in order to increase the life choices available to those who’ve historically been sidelined and overlooked.
Every March is Developmental Disability Awareness Month, and while every year the world becomes progressively more inclusive towards people living with disabilities, there is still much to be done. ADEC takes the opportunity every March to highlight and give voice to individuals with disabilities who are upending misconceptions and making changes in their own communities, just by living their lives to their full potential.
For March 2023 we are featuring the work that’s done to connect individuals with disabilities to gainful employment, because it provides both self-sufficiency and a sense of purpose, and purpose is essential to the human soul.
Many individuals with disabilities choose to pursue employment, for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s to learn, to contribute to their community, or to further their own sense of independence, when someone sets themselves the goal of attaining employment, it’s a big step and can feel overwhelming. ADEC’s Employment Services department strives to help with this transition as much as possible and assist them in making their career dreams a reality.
Our teams of Skills Trainers, Managers, and Employment Consultants are there to work alongside the new prospective employees for every step, with the assistance of Indiana’s Vocational Rehabilitation program, as well as all of the local employers who hire ADEC clients.
There are several options when it comes to ADEC Employment Services, making it possible to figure out what placement will best suit each individual. The first option is called Skills Training and covers the basics of job seeking and employment: things like career research, practice interviews, and training in basic job skills that you’d find in service or manufacturing jobs.
Another option for those training for a job is working at our Gaining Grounds coffee shop, to learn specifics about retail and food service over a year-long, paid internship. This option gives real-world experience while providing more on-the-job training than would be available from most employers.
Finally, there is the option of direct placement into a job in the community, with the assistance of a job coach (Employment Consultant.) Real-world job assistance from an ADEC job coach includes prepping for interviews, job shadowing, on the job side-by-side training, attending the new job with them, and communication with the new employer about necessary accommodations, or financial issues regarding working while receiving disability benefits. Of course, the end goal is a happy employer, a happy employee, and the job coach’s role to eventually come to an end, happily.
This month, with our “I Will” campaign, ADEC is proud to celebrate our friends and neighbors with disabilities who are choosing to shatter stereotypes by stepping into the working world, as well as highlight the resources available to assist them in taking those steps.
How can you help?
As we celebrate March Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, we must remember that further inclusion and possibilities for individuals with disabilities comes through education and action. Check out the links below to learn how you can be involved and make a difference:
Your voice can make a different by speaking up for important issues at our local, state, and national levels. ADEC is a chapter of The Arc of Indiana, an organization that advocates for our community members with intellectual disabilities and their families. You can access their wide range of resources to help advocate for the rights and choices of our neighbors with disabilities.
When you donate to ADEC, you give the gift of choice and possibility. Your support ensures that programs like ADEC’s summer camp for children with disabilities and employment skills training for transitioning adults continue to as resources in our community. Your generosity helps fulfill the vision of ADEC’s founding families – that their children and our neighbors with disabilities would experience fulfilling lives as contributing members of our community.
When you support ADEC through volunteering opportunities, you help build lifelong relationships with your neighbors with disabilities. You can choose to support programs by sharing your personal talents and interests or engage in a fun ADEC event to bring more awareness and support.
Questions? Check out adecinc.com or reach out to ADEC at 574-848-7451.