After high school, Abby worked with DVR and Todd Steven & Associates to work towards finding a job in the community. During the day while she was at respite, Abby did volunteer work with Covey at St Vincent de Paul and Parkview Nursing Home to start gaining work skills. From doing volunteer work during High School, Abby knew she enjoyed working around people so when a temporary work experience at Edenbrook of Oshkosh became available, Abby was thrilled! Abby received 100% job coaching during this work experience and because the employer was so impressed, she was hired on as a permanent employee in January of 2019.
Abby’s work shifts were during the day when her parents are at work and she is with her respite provider so the team worked together to problem solve and ensure transportation wasn’t a barrier. Abby’s respite provider brought Abby to and from work so she could remain at respite before and after.
Over time, Abby’s job coach and supervisor worked with her to learn her job duties and gain independence. Abby utilizes a checklist to help keep her on task and let her know what to do once she completes her current task. Abby’s team discussed fading back job coaching supports but it wasn’t until an unplanned absence of a job coach one day, that they realized just how independent she had become. By May, Abby was receiving job coaching only 18% of her time on the job. While at Edenbrook of Oshkosh, you can find Abby busy assisting with activities, doing 1:1 visits with residents, cleaning, and assisting with the drink cart. Abby especially enjoys cleaning the bunny cage and is proud that she learned the computer charting system which she is now able to do on her own!
Working in the community has helped Abby increase her independence overall. Abby is now spending less time at respite and more time in her home without supervision before and after work. Abby remains involved in her community, participating in Special Olympics, Music lessons, and staying active at the YMCA. Abby also continues to be involved with volunteering with Covey in her community.
Abby’s parents notice that Abby has been much happier since working at Edenbrook of Oshkosh and has enjoyed making connections with residents. Abby’s supervisor states that Abby is a joy to have at Edenbrook of Oshkosh, she brings a smile to the resident’s faces, and is a hard-worker.
Lakeland is proud to support members like Abby who set an example for people with disabilities working in Competitive Integrated Employment!