Although this population of individuals faces several challenges on a day-to-day basis, there are many ways in which our community as well as communities world-wide are advocating and accepting about hiring these types of people. As this helps open society’s eyes to those that are different than us, it also creates great work opportunities. Below are my interviewees responses about the advocacy given within the community.
- “When I see an individual with disabilities working at a place like Wal-Mart, I have positive thoughts about the company as a whole. It shows that the administration and staff make an effort to include an individual with disabilities in the company’s operations. It also makes me think that they know how important human relationships are and that it’s not all about the bottom line of getting a task accomplished”. -Chris, Durango, CO
- “When I see an individual working within my community, I respect that company and it makes me want to shop there more. For instance, I live half a mile away from “Vons” and there is always this one special and unique worker that comes to my mind because she always has the biggest smile on her face and her work ethic is exceptional. She has special needs and I think the other workers could learn from her because of her joy and enthusiasm when she meets and greets the customers. Other companies such as “Pizza Hut” and “Edward Movie Cinema 15″ hires people who have special needs and that is amazing to me because I can see what type of CEO runs the company”. -Veronika Cannon, San Diego, CA
- “When I see an individual working at a local company, I am thankful that the company gives the person a sense of independence and purpose. I believe that companies that employ special needs individuals would be a more caring, and supportive place to work”. -Andi, Santa Cruz, CA
- “Our society advocates these people by hiring them at specific places within town. When I see this I support them wholeheartedly because the company believes everyone has a place in our society and attributes to offer”. -Lynn Martens, Durango, CO
- “Although it is sometimes difficult for me to feel comfortable around these individuals, I personally find businesses that employ individuals with disabilities to be some of the most influential and important companies to a community. These individuals should not be treated as a burden but rather as a unique, and important addition”. -Lexxi, Durango, CO
As several local communities offer advocacy towards this population such as food industries, movie theaters and grocery stores, there are also many support programs within schools to help support these individuals. For example, when I was in high school at Durango High, there was a program called the “Kids to Kids” class. Within this class it was our job as students to take those with disabilities to their classes, and also help them with any homework they were working on. This class was essential for the kids well being, but also ours, as students. Without being a part of that class I would have never found my passion towards this population. Being an advocate in today’s society is important in terms of helping people that are different than you, but also in terms of learning things about others that you would have never known before.