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Disability Network Southwest Michigan

Removing Barriers Leads to Success

kitchen worker

When Disability Network Southwest Michigan connected with Richy, he was 45 years old and embarking on his first job. For Richy, getting a job provided a great sense of accomplishment. It also meant he would be able to get out of the house and interact with other people. Richy has a developmental disability and needed some guidance getting started in the working world.

Disability Network staff connected with Richy to help him identify any barriers he might have to doing his job. Our staff coached Richy on being a self-advocate and helped him identify his strengths and weaknesses. Richy’s strengths included dependability, being a hard worker and a good listener, as well as being goal-oriented and having a good sense of humor. Richy’s new job was doing dishes at a busy restaurant; the management was happy with his work but felt that he needed to increase his speed. Our staff met with the kitchen manager to discuss what accommodations could be put in place to assist Richy in being more successful in his job. They all determined that, because Richy does not read, he would benefit from a picture list of the tasks he needs to perform and where to find the things he needs at work. Our staff prepared the picture list, which now helps Richy work through his tasks and stay more focused.

Richy is enjoying his job and looks forward to going to work and seeing his co-workers at the restaurant. Having a job has given him a new sense of purpose and something to look forward to each day.

Congratulations, Richy! A job well done!