October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) and throughout the month, we are featuring people within the DSC community about this topic, from employer to employees.
Casey is an Employment Counselor who joined the agency a little over a year ago. Her background and education are in Musicology, which she also holds a Master’s degree in. She previously worked in Special Education classrooms and did research in Morocco and North Africa. Casey had plans to work in academia, however, like many of her DSC colleagues, she landed here at DSC. “When I did decide that I wanted to go a different path and began to apply for jobs, DSC was my top choice,” said Casey.
In her role as an Employment Counselor, Casey largely focuses her efforts around The Crow at 110, a fairly new space for DSC. Therefore, the employment groups she works with are centered around topics that lend themselves well to that location. A few examples of current groups are Storytelling, Dungeons and Dragons and the Music group. “The venue is better suited than other DSC locations because DSC employees are not working there, so if group members want to practice their music or read their poetry aloud, they feel a sense of freedom to do so. There are large display windows on the front of the building where artwork can be displayed for passersby to see. One of the main desires expressed by group participants is for their work to be published and seen by the public. There is a real sense of ownership.”
Casey said the employment program also has plans for the community to be involved with the Crow at 110. “The participants are eager to engage with other artists and writers. We don’t want this to be only for DSC,” said Casey. In November, DSC will host a Holiday Open House at the venue that will include a poetry reading and an open mic format.
One challenge Casey has encountered has been with coordinating schedules. “Many theater, writing and art related events take place on the evenings and weekends. Transportation and scheduling can be quite challenging to get everyone there and on the same page outside of their time here at DSC. Funding is always a challenge too. We’ve also learned that many buildings we’d like to visit in the area are not accessible to people with disabilities, which means we can’t show everyone the artistic works we’d like to.”
The DSC Storytelling group created a DSC Zine earlier this year, and the group has several members who have become passionate about their writing. “What I love about my work here is seeing growth in the people we support in the area of arts. One person comes to mind that didn’t see themselves writing at all. Now, they’re writing forty-page, historical-fiction pieces. That’s something to get excited about.”
Thank you to everyone that came out and made this year's Oktoberfest a huge success! Between the wonderful music, Bavarian themed food, delicious beer, and fun children's activities, we hope all party-goers had a wonderful time! So many volunteer hours and effort went into making this event happen, we want to thank everyone involved. We are excited about the fun we had and are already looking forward to next year! If you have comments or suggestions, please share them by contacting Evan Burie, Special Events & Marketing Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next year, PROST!
CONGRATS to Barb Hastings for winning the first ever Oktoberfest Raffle! After receiving the call, Barb chose to take the $4,500 CASH option. Congratulations Barb!
Click below to enjoy the latest issue of the DSC Community News newsletter!
Safety Care for Families is a workshop that is designed to provide family members with a basic set of prevention skills for working with individuals who have developmental differences and exhibit challenging behaviors. For more information, please click the link below.
DSC and Community Choices are collaborating through the creation of LEAP (Leaders Employing All People) to advance the Employment First initiative.
Rockwell Automation was one of our first LEAP trained businesses, and when asked why they decided to become LEAP trained, Ms.Marty Miner, Senior Human Resource Representative, shared, “It’s just the right thing to do.” In working to make Champaign County an even more disability inclusive community, we are offering businesses to receive this training through the hiring, or interest in hiring, people with disabilities. For more information about LEAP contact Jamika Smith Employment First/LEAP Coordinator at 356-9176 or email@example.com.
Congratulations to Riggs Brewery for becoming LEAP certified!
LEAP stands for Leaders in Employing All People and is funded by the Champaign County Developmental Disabilities Board. LEAP is a collaborative effort between DSC and Community Choices. This program is designed to offer a one-hour individual or group training for Champaign County businesses that offers education on becoming a disability-inclusive business. This training helps to increase the pool of hiring candidates, improve morale among existing staff, and sets the bar for other businesses in the community. If you’d like more information, contact DSC Employment First/LEAP Coordinator, Jamika Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or 217-356-9176.
Well we have just the thing for you! DSC Business Operations center recycles all kinds of cardboard and paper - including magazines, catalogs, office paper, etc. - as part of our effort to keep the environment clean and financially support DSC's programs. (We do not accept books at this time).
You can bring your recyclable paper to DSC’s Business Operations at 3102 W Clark Rd in Champaign, 8am—4pm, M-F. From Duncan, turn west onto Clark Rd (just north of Springfield). Turn right to go behind DSC’s Business Operations facility to drop off your items at the back loading dock door.
Our staff strives to provide quality supports and services to consumers, their families, and fellow employees each and every day and they deserved to be recognized for their exemplary work!
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