October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)
Did you know this was a thing? I know, there’s a lot to be aware of these days, but I do think disability employment is an important one. Often people look dumbfounded when they realize I indeed have a job. Several jobs in fact. I know it’s a subject that needs attention when I shock my own case worker talking about my job. Kind of like SMA Awareness Month, one of the best ways to bring awareness is to live it and talk about it. Yes, you can be disabled and have a job.
My first paid gig was through a program assisting young adults find summer employment. As an office assistant at a nursing home I maintained resident accounts, answered phones and sorted mail. Glamorous I know, but you gotta start somewhere. The next summer I greeted museum guests as a tour guide. If you want to know about the Kensington Runestone I’m your gal. Not only did these jobs earn me a little cash, I realized that despite my limitations I can be a valued member of the workforce.
After college I landed an accounts payable job at an eye clinic. My neighbor worked there as well so put in a good word with the boss. Although I still work for them I transitioned to strictly doing payroll entry allowing me to moderate these forums, do my vlogs and recordings for SMA News Today.
Employment can be challenging, but also rewarding. Do you work? What was your first job? I’d love to hear about it. If you don’t work, what’s holding you back?