“There is no greater disability in society, than the inability to see a person as more.” ~~~ Robert M. Hensel

ADEC’s Community Employment is the glass window of our foundation. As family here at ADEC, we may view this window as a form of protection for our clients, but it can also allow us to show those clients the beauty of not only the world, but of themselves.

The ability we have to give our clients that hope that they may have thought was long lost, is the basis for not only my career, but I am sure everyone else’s.

Are we always successful in gaining community employment for each client? No. Nevertheless, the dedication we have, the time we give and the love we share for our clients is the pure essence of what ADEC has strived to become. It is never easy what we do and we all wear many hats to customize the experience based on the clients’ needs. Building relationships with our clients is just as crucial of what we call the “ Discovery Model” in which we provide such services as job shadows, situational assessments and vocational testing, just to name a few. In combination with those services, we form a bond and a relationship with the adults we serve, sometimes being the only person they have in their corner for support.

I will admit, I have shared a few tears with some of my clients, but I have also laughed with them and been the ear they need to listen as well as the advocate in their corner to help others listen as well as understand.

As quoted by Maya Angelou, “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”

Our clients are the butterflies that community employment helps change into that beauty by giving them a sense of worth and a sense of belonging through employment. We are all a team that rally for not just our clients, but our team as well. Every one of us, no matter how difficult a situation is or will be, we come together to help one another.

At the end of our monthly department meetings, we end with “kudos” to a team member or members that have gone the extra mile or have achieved a goal. I would like to give kudos to my entire department for the hard work we all do every day to make a difference in our clients lives so they may “live lives full of choice and possibility.”

Editor’s Note: Brandi Brockwell works as an Employment Consultant in ADEC’s South Bend office at WorkOne. Her essay is the sixth in our series on staff perspectives across the agency.

Photo by Rod Tackett / Communications Specialist