(New Philadelphia, Ohio) – October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
The Tuscarawas County Board of Developmental Disabilities (TuscBDD) reminds community members that our communities work best when everyone is working. TuscBDD facilitates and coordinates services with providers and Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) to help people gain community employment. “Relationship building is the key to making employment services successful for the team and the person seeking employment,” shared Lou Paris, TuscBDD’s Employment Navigator. “The more you interact with each other, with the schools, with providers and employers, the more trust you gain from each other. This helps to develop a relationship that leads to further employment opportunities for all individuals.”
TuscBDD also seeks to support students as they prepare for life after graduation with transition-age services offered by the Employment Navigator. This service is for young people that are 15 years of age and older. “Transition services offer young people with opportunities to obtain work experience with the goal of equipping the young adult to be ready for the workforce upon graduation. We are trying to make the connections early in their life so that they are ahead of the game upon graduation,” furthered Paris.
Despite COVID-19 and the unusual circumstances that it has created, employers in the community are continuing to hire people with disabilities. Job coaches are still providing some services remotely and some in-person within the COVID-19 guidelines. The Employment Navigator has worked with area businesses and helped to secure four new employment opportunities over the last month. If you are an employer or person seeking employment and would like to find out how you can get involved, please contact TuscBDD’s Employment Navigator, Lou Paris, by phone at 330.308.7170 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. On-the-job coaching can be provided by area agency providers and is paid for by Medicaid, TuscBDD levy dollars, and various funding streams that are facilitated by TuscBDD with no cost to the employer or employee.