Darrin receives support through DSC’s Community Employment program and has worked at Aspen Tap House for over four years. He began his employment there when it was still Scotty’s Brewhouse. He started as a greeter, and now helps with seating, and busing tables.
In the fall of 2021, when DSC received a donation of laptops from the Comcast Internet Essentials program, an initiative designed to help bridge the digital divide, Darrin was a recipient of one of the laptops. Since that time, he’s been working with his job coach, Maggie Brown, an Employment Specialist at DSC. They meet regularly at the Champaign Public Library for lessons on how to use the laptop.
For Darrin, learning to use technology is empowering in a number of ways, especially related to his work at Aspen Tap House. When he and Maggie meet, they review a tipping website that Darrin can access following his shifts. Working with Maggie, and having the new access to technology, Darrin is now able to transfer his tips to his bank account from the website. They also use a website called HotSchedules, which allows Darrin to review his work schedule. He and Maggie can then prepare for the weeks ahead, and have discussions around his schedule.
Maggie created a step-by-step checklist to assist Darrin when he uses his laptop on his own. The instructions assist him not only with powering up the laptop, but also with accessing Wi-Fi, and logging on to each of the websites. “Maggie is the best job coach I’ve ever had. She’s such a blessing to me,” said Darrin.
With Darrin’s increased access to technology, he will also be able to use the laptop for hobbies, and activities outside of work, such as his creative writing at The Crow at 110. Darrin also enjoys visiting a bilingual church, where the Spanish sermons are translated into English. With the laptop, he will be able to learn more Spanish.
Thank you Comcast Illinois, for your commitment to bridging the digital divide, and your generosity to DSC, and the people who receive our services.