508.755.2340 TTY: 508.890.5584
Seven Hills Foundation

Media Center

11 2024

Providing life-changing employment for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities

Providing life-changing employment for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities

Posted by Seven Hills Foundation
Jan 11, 2024
Posted by Seven Hills Foundation

WHP - TimFor individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities (IDD), meaningful community employment can be life changing. It’s more than a paycheck, a routine, or a place to go. Having a competitive job can give people a work identify that builds confidence, boosts self-esteem, and fosters increased independence carrying over into other areas of life. We see examples of this virtually every day in our work at Seven Hills Foundation in Worcester. One example of a young man supported through the ASPiRE! program highlights just how life changing employment can be for individuals with IDD.

This young man – we’ll call him Nate – joined a community-based day and employment supports program with Seven Hills when he turned 22 and transitioned to adult services. Nate initially presented himself as shy and unsure, hesitant to speak or even make eye contact with others, often looking away when passing people in the hallway. But Nate wanted to work. He just needed some support to explore opportunities and enhance his social and functional skills to succeed in employment.

Nate has maintained a daily work schedule at AIS for more than two years, performing production in one of the manufacturing stations, assembling inserts for cabinets and office furniture. He and his peers produce approximately 25% of all pieces coming out of that department daily with high quality control and a reject rate of virtually 0% upon completion. This is work requiring careful assembly, attention to detail, and precision. Nate performs this work exceptionally well and is regularly recognized by coworkers and leaders at AIS for his high performance.

During a visit to AIS, I observed Nate not only engaging in conversation with others but presenting in front of a group of peers, some of whom were new to that worksite. He provided a demonstration and instruction on how to perform assembly work. He spoke not only with confidence, but with a quality of leadership in what I observed to be a sincere case to support others to learn the job and be successful.

Rick Marchand, collaborative program coordinator at AIS, has made inclusivity a priority for the organization. “AIS is honored and humbled to provide job skill training, employment opportunities, and embracing the true values of inclusion in the workplace,” Marchand said.

Thanks to partner employers like AIS, organizations making it a priority to improve diversity and enhance inclusion, people like Nate can find their niche and not only succeed, but exceed expectations and deliver tremendous value to their employers, coworkers, and communities at-large.

Media Inquiries

Bill Stock
Vice President for Government and Community Relations 81 Hope Ave, Worcester, MA 01603
Phone: 508.983.1305
Fax: 508.849.3888
Email: bstock@sevenhills.org
Kathleen A. Myshrall
Vice President of Advancement 81 Hope Ave, Worcester, MA 01603
Phone: 508.983.1302
Fax: 508.849.3888
Email: kmyshrall@sevenhills.org
Jennifer Wentworth
Director of Communications 81 Hope Ave, Worcester, MA 01603
Phone: 508.983.1304
Fax: 508.849.3888
Email: jwentworth@sevenhills.org