IamA Business Developer for Persons With disabilities, We will keep this thread running as long as possible AMA!
As the title says i am a business developer with a company in Concord, NH that helps persons with disabilities find their dream jobs, I have been doing it for about a year and by request from about 38 people i am doing this AMA to answer as many questions about my job, PWD , WOTC, anything at all, Seriously nothing is off topic.
My proof, let me know if you guys need something else &amp;amp;lt;a href="http://imgur.com/ZYO6yPy">&amp;amp;amp;lt;img src="http://i.imgur.com/ZYO6yPy.jpg" title="Hosted by imgur.com"/>&amp;amp;lt;/a>
Edit 1: Be back in a couple of minutes guys!
Edit 2: sorry guys, believe it or not my girlfriend broke up with me two days before our three year anniversary. So this is a i am now a single business developer AMA so please don't judge me if I suck or get a little chippy with some if my answers. Right in the fucking feels.
Edit 3: I am working full time on all your questions and messages, I love being able to help anyone and everyone so if there is Anything i can do for anyone please let me know ! PM me, call me, message me and we can talk.
Edit 3: hey guys I'm still answering pm and questions as much as I can, thank you everyone for your kind words and ill make sure I try to help out everyone I can.
Edit 4; it's 9:30 on Monday morning and I still have about 56 unanswered messages, I'm doing my best to get info out to those who need it and to try and keep this thread going to reach as many people as possible. This has really blown up and I just wanna day thank you to those who came with questions and all the nice words. You guys have really renewed my faith in humanity.
Edit 5: it's 5:00 pm EST and I have been getting calls all day from people looking for help and it's amazing !!! I would post my number here but I'm not sure if that's a great idea, feel free to PM me and ill give it to you, I'm on my cell 24/7 . Keep the questions coming and I will do my best to answer.
Thank you so much !
It's my dream job to fix links.
I can help you with that
Thank you (it's my dream job to thank you for fixing links).
im so happy you have fulfilled your ultimate dream, Im really glad i could help.
Your enthusiasm is infectious :) also, as an aside what were the prerequisites for applying for this job? You had undertake a specialised course or a mid-career switch with you planning to do something good?
The prerequisites were a Bachelors in a related field but preferably a masters degree. I have neither. ANd yeah i was a landscape foreman and Tree Climber/ Arborist before this job. But to make a long story short i got in a serious motorcycle accident about two years ago and was in a wheelchair for 5 months and then realized i wanted to help people.
This has to be the dumbest AMA in the history of reddit.
simmer down their vegan_activist, im sure your AMA would be no eye turner.
Tell us a story of the person you've helped or a situation you've been in that had the best outcome.
Alright i like that questions, I had a young gentleman who was intellectually gifted but physically limited. He was brilliant but had some sort of physical impairment that limited his ability to get around. Back in high school he was given awards for his science projects and was able to attend a national convention for the gifted. He was so down about his physical handicaps when he came to my company that he wouldnt do any of the applications that i asked him to or show up to the appointments. But after talking to him and having him meet an old client of mine that is wheelchair bound he was renewed and he ended up finding a job in a research and development lab for mobile technology that he had never thought he would be able to do. He has been there for a little under a year right now and is a team lead on several projects and may even be a somewhat known Developer.
As someone who is in a situation like this (working with someone who is smart, intelligent, nice, but physically impaired), what can I do to insure I help them as best as possible?
You can ask them straight out if you feel its right. Some people want to do their best to ignore their Disability but sometimes its my job to make sure they understand it and then Move past it or engage and conquer it. I would just ask them if there is anything you can do and if you are not comfortable doing that then just putting yourself in their shoes and seeing what they may have trouble with and taking those steps without even needing to ask.
Not a question but during the summer I work at a minor league ballpark. One of the concessions workers there is mentally handicapped yet probably the happiest person there. Most of the times he works condiments, making sure the condiment tables are clean and in order. He really does the best job and if anyone spills he cleans it up pronto. He really makes everyone there happier and give out like 300 fist bumps per game. What you do is awesome and keep it up!
Thank you so much! Give him a fist bump for me also!
What is the most offending you've heard from a potential employer? What are your worst experiences with companies? Good ones? Thanks so much for this ama!
edit: not employee, employer.
Hey ill answer this more when i can but the worst i have heard is. "well we already have a couple of those types of people, and since corporate wont let me get rid of them i cant take any more charity cases". I replied with "since im assuming you mean humans than i assure you that all i have for clients are humans and so i dont see any point in working together further and considering i know your Regional director i would start having an excuse ready as to why you dont work their anymore." Sure enough i called his regional director and he was fired, Big kudos to corporate for backing me up and not making me look like an ass. You would be shocked at the large retail company this was.
Go ahead, shock me
As much as i wish i could oust that person and company, that person was a parasite and not representative of the company as a whole. But i can say i no longer get my prescriptions from that location anymore.
Thank you so much for answering!! Are there cases where a client of yours got personally offended by the employer? Also, what is your most uplifting story?
Thankfully any problems with the clients have been brought to my intention rather than that persons but occasionally i do hear that a client thinks or knows that they are being looked at differently and feel down about it. And my most uplifting story is actually of a guy who i barely worked with. I got the referral to work with this gentleman who was suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder and Schizophrenia, Typically a big no no for my case load. But i took him on and met in public places where help could be administered quickly. His funding was quickly denied after only two meetings due to a residency issue and he was not able to renew services. So i still wanted to help him and knew that he would have a hard time getting a job without my assistance, So i met with him, And he worked so hard to get a job that he wanted, as a construction worker on bridges. He put in more effort than anyone i have ever met in my life! I still see him occasionally and strangely enough he has not had an episode since beginning that job, Strongly confirming my own personal beliefs that gainful employment can have a huge positive impact on mental health.
That's an amazingly uplifting story! We need more people like you. Keep up the good work and again, thanks for answering my questions :)
Absolutely ! I'm just so glad I get to work with the people I do.
Sweet justice. Thank you for standing up for people with disability against people with ignorant attitudes like that.
I do pro bono IT supprt for couple of charities in Sydney, Australia, and am always humbled by the dedication and compassion shown by people who work and volunteer there.
Also, thank you for making this a truly entertaining and enlightening thread.
Thank you for your nice words! I'm so glad I get to share what I know and what I have done. And also open some eyes as to the need for people to advocates people with disabilities.
8 hours later I'm still answering questions !!!
from folding pizza boxes 6 hour a week to a now partner in a large law firm making more than I will ever dream of.
What's the story there?
I apologize but that is actually a little out of context, I was talking about the ranges of jobs i find for people: Including a person that folds pizza boxes 6 hours a week and a person that is now a partner at a large law firm.
My friend's aunt has Down syndrome and she is the happiest person I have met. Another one of my good friends just had a baby with Down syndrome. What advice would you give him about raising his daughter from now until she is ready to find a job? I really appreciate the work you do!
With some obvious exceptions treat them like you would any other young girl growing up. It is proven that a community based approach to helping people with disabilities is that best approach. I would have him read some of the studies involving CBR (community based rehabilitation) and try to go to one of the seminars or meetings in his area. Let me know where he is and i can help him
You said in a previous comment that you helped someone with disabilities become a partner in a law firm, if you're not legally obligated to keep that secret (confidentiality agreements and whatnot) could you enlighten me to what disability he/she had that constituted your need, but still allowed for a job like that?
Actually he had a TBI from a motor vehicle accident that absolutely ravaged his short and long term memory as well as episodic grandma seizures. So he had all the knowledge he needed from previous law school experience and just needed help with accommodations for his memory lapses and ensuring an emergency plan was in place in case of a seizure.
*grand mal. Jus' sayn...
your absolutely right, Damn autocorrect
Totally not trying to be a jerk pointing out a typo, but I got a laugh out of someone having episodic "grandma" seizures.
Does that make me a bad person?
haha not at all, What would a grandma seizure even be? "Oh shit mom! David is Having a grandma seizure!" "Damnit billy! Get David out of that Rocking Chair, I knew he had been knitting too much."
Ahh okay that makes sense. As a 16 year old I have no idea what TBI means, or what a grand mal seizure is specifically
Traumatic brain injury, and a Grand Mal seizure is a seizure where you almost dissociate with the world around you unintentionally but can complete normal every day tasks, Its like your body is on cruise control but your asleep at the wheel.
Let me tell you about a magical place called Google...
never heard of it? Do you have to buy this Google?
What if I told you it was a hub of near limitless information and you don't have to pay one cent to use it?
What would you say to a person with a minor disability (comparitively, of course), such as problems remembering things in the short term, Who uses that as a crutch to not have as much responsibility at the workplace?
Unfortunately kicking people in the butt to give them motivation is part of my job, But above all else i have to be situationally tactful, Some people can handle criticism and some people cant. I cater to those that can and give them a swift kick but also to those that cant and i take a gentler approach. I would say though that you should overcome every objection they have and show them that where there is will there is a way. If they have trouble remembering tasks, write a list. If they cant remember to follow up with tasks, text them or call them incessantly, set alarms and reminders. Most of my job is thinking outside the box so everything is a possibility.
thank you for the answer :)
Hope it helps! let me know if i can help any other way!
What are some examples of their dream jobs?
I had a person that only wanted to work with flatworms in a greenhouse, as apparently they are a vital part of the nutrition of plants. He is now working at a local greenhouse and guess what! He works with flatworms.
How did you get into this job? My girlfriend is an ABA right now, she loves working with these kids, but sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming as their staff is reduced a lot from people calling out, and the upper level administration seems to care less about getting things done right, she has some rough weeks but loves these kids, I am just curious if this is something she might enjoy doing as well.
This job literally fell out of the "you will never in your life get this job" bucket and into my lap. And im lucky because my director have an amazing balance of profit and human service and are able to help me with that as well. And we deal a lot with the adult community but if she doesnt mind working 60 hours a week, 7 days and talking to some strange people then yes this is a great job for her!
Absolutely, I will make a call to the Vocational Rehabilitation department in Colorado and get you a list of some places that could help you free of charge. Just PM your location and what you need and i will do it!
Do you ever get any people that have such severe mental disabilities that there is absolutely no work opportunities out there for them?
Never! My first Motto is everyone can work. I have never met anyone that couldn't work. No matter the level disability. Paralyzed from the neck down, Can you talk? speech to text software to transcribe doctors notes for 16.18 an hour. Cant speak, we will push you around while you great people with your smile at walmart for 8.25 an hour.
Is there a branch of your company in the New York New Jersey area?
we have offices in Connecticut and Maryland but not New York or New Jersey as of yet, were still growing every day so i would not be surprised if their was one soon
How successful are the people that you place into their dream jobs? Do you work only with mental disabilities or disabilities of all types? Thanks for the AMA. It's awesome that your passion helps other people find their passion.
Hey thanks for the question, i do everything i can to make sure they are successful but obviously things do happen and things can fall through. And i work with every type of disability and barrier to employment you can think of. I have a retention rate of 89% which means 89% of my clients stay in their job for a year or more.
How'd you find this job?
I met the director at an upscale party and managed to network my way into a Field Interview with the Senior Vice President even without all the required degrees and next thing i knew i was wearing a suit and hanging out on corporate conferences.
How big is this industry? I'm currently in a job that's cool, but I don't feel rewarded at all. I wouldn't say I'm a bleeding heart, but I honestly want to get paid to do some good on this planet before I die. It sounds like you have a career that is incredibly satisfying every damn day.
I do absolutely love it and actually for a human services position i make Well above the average Human Services salary and in fact make about double that in bonuses! Its amazing having Every day feel like a vacation
I would like to say thank you for doing this AMA!!! I currently work in the staffing industry after being bumped from my long term sub position as a para-professional (damn union). I love both jobs and your current job seems like the best of both of my jobs. My questions for you are
1) What degree do you have for this job?
2) What is the hardest part of your job?
3) How common is a position like this?
Thank you for helping me realize MY dream job! 😊
I actually work very closely with several staffing companies in my area so thank you for doing what you do! PM me with your location and if your interested i can help find you some companies around the area that help PWD's. 1. No degree (99% of my coworkers have masters in social work) due to a great interview with Senior VP of Business Development. 2. Watching people deal with rejection in their personal lives, Hearing from parents that their kid or adult child cannot do something because of their disability.
What kinds of disabilities do you help?
Every single one in the world, You name it i work with it.
HTML code doesn't work in self posts
Sorry! does the new link on the top work?
What sort of education do you need to get a job like that?
Way more than i actually have lol
Do you go around and talk to employers before hand or do you just assist people in applying and going through the interview process?
I do everything! from start to finish, i have an amazing network of employers that i talk to every week, and then when i have a client that wants that position and fits the companies needs i match them up and do the whole interview process with them and ensure its the right fit. Then after they are placed in that job i do about 90-180 days of after care or until they are naturally supported in that jobsite and then its off to help another person. Except i do about 25-30 clients at a time. In all different stages of the process.
What are some of the dream jobs people have gotten to do?
Animal caretaker, LNA, Teacher, Car salesman, Greeter at walmart, tech designer, to name a few.
First of all this is absolutely amazing, even more so because I'm the one that requested you do this AMA.
My question is what is the incentive for employers to hire someone with a disability? I know there are all kinds of tax exemptions from hiring vets, to hiring people on government assistance. I know it sounds fucked up but I feel like you would have a hard time finding someone who voluntarily wants to hire a disabled person.
yeah for real!! this really got big quick and i freaking love it! But the incentive is that these people have all the skills necessary to perform the job and they have already been trained and prepared by someone (me) to do the job, so its essentially getting a pre-screened, vetted, applicant.
Do you also keep an eye on your clients after you got them employed? I mean do you check them if everything is OK, if they are treated well, are they happy?
And following question would be:
if you have met a person after you found them a job, have you noticed some kind of improvement in their condition? Maybe you have heard stories of such thing happen? This would mostly apply to mentally disabled (I think)
P.S. sorry if something was hard to understand or sounded offensive ( like words mentally disabled? Is it OK to say that?), English is not my native language
Yes i help them for as long as they need it after they get placed in a job and usually its about 90-180 days. I see improvements in conditions due to employment ALL THE TIME! its incredible to see someone who has Cerebral Palsy be able to build up stamina by working 4 days a week for two hours a day and then be able to hold down a 32 hour a week job feeding animals on a farm without any cane or Walker.
That is so nice to hear! Thank you for what you do and this great AMA :)
Thank you !
Since nothing is off topic...What's your favorite type of pie?
I might get downvoted but im not actually a huge pie fan, i try to stay away from most desserts as i really dont stop once i start but if i had to choose, it would be vanilla oreo pie.
How do you approach employers?
Usually i just start by setting up a little company interview to see if they would be the right fit for our company and then telling them about us, our philosophies and such. Then following up with them to build a relationship in order to place my clients there in the future.
You don't need to use HTML to post the link. It won't work like that, haha.
Anyway, how did you get involved in this field?
My other question: what color do must people you help like?
Oh yeah, totally knew that,
And most of the Visually impaired people i work with seem to enjoy the color black.
Any advice for a 16 year old?
In terms of what ?
Hey. Sorry to hear that. You might wanna try Inderall 40mgx2, it is said to help a traumatic experience. Don't let that derail you.
Thanks , really hurts.
Guy from NH here. About an hour away, can I buy you a beer?
I would love to have a drink sometime, where are you located ?
Fuck your girlfriend, OP.
Not anymore my friend.
You sir, are an awesome person!
I know, but I don't let it get to me head
Do you have any suggestions for good resources to find products to help employees with disabilities be accommodated in their jobs?
Yes ! If you go to askjan.net it is a phenomenal website that helps you identify ways you can help employees with disabilities.
Hey concord! So glad great things like this are based out of there. Not saying it's bad at all, but very unrecognized
Very unrecognized ! I feel like I get to shape my area of the world.
What got you started in this field?
A passion for helping people and a continued ability to give my time.
Hey man! I just started a job doing something very similar. A client I started working with just got a job in a backroom warehouse and is excited about the job. It was really gratifying helping someone out, so my question to you is... what is one of the most stressful interview you've been in while helping out a client.
Hey man welcome to the field! i wish you the absolute most success in the world! if you need anything Im here, cause this job can get frustrating, and people burn out all the time. Just remember, worry about what you can change and put aside the rest.
Fixed that link
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