October 24 – “Playspace Lifeguard”!

America’s Workforce – Empowering All

Reflecting a commitment to a robust and competitive American labor force, the 2018 National Disability Employment Awareness Month  (NDEAM) theme is “America’s Workforce – Empowering All!” Observed each October, NDEAM celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities and educates about the value of a workforce inclusive of their skills and talents.

The Philadelphia “Employment 1st, Employment NOW!” Steering Committee is once again celebrating this event with a month of employment success stories. Each day we will be posting another success story about someone who is contributing to their community through employment. For those who have requested to receive our employment announcements, you will receive the link to the story in your mailbox. We invite you to join us as we celebrate the successes of people with disabilities working in our communities!

“Playspace Lifeguard”!

October 24 – Izzy K.

A picture of Izzy picking up and organizing a play area.
Here’s Izzy, keeping the place in order.

Izzy plays the important role of “Playspace Lifeguard” at NEST Philly, a bustling daycare center in Center City. For nearly 3 years, Izzy has been working hard to keep the facilities orderly, sanitary, and safe for the children that spend their days there. When she first began, it was challenging for her to keep up with a steady workload and maintain a positive attitude while on the clock. But with self-determination, and support from her job coach and her coworkers, Izzy has risen to the challenge and become an integral part of the team.

Izzy uses a visual system to monitor her workload and reinforce positive habits at work. A visual chart allows Izzy to track her progress day-to-day and week-to-week. This system has worked incredibly well, with Izzy receiving recognition from her coworkers and supervisors for the progress she has made.

Izzy’s family initially had some concerns about her travelling to work on her own. She had not spent much time alone in the community and would need to walk through Center City to get to work – this was nerve-wracking for Izzy and her parents! With training Izzy quickly learned the route and how to be aware of her surroundings, and now travels to work on her own each day. This was a huge step for Izzy and her family, helping her gain more independence in all areas of her life.

Izzy’s mother tells us that travelling independently and working has “helped us all realize that our daughter is capable of living an independent life in the community.” Izzy continues to show progress and learn new skills at her job.

~Submitted by Community Integrated Employment (CIS)