Customized Employment Grant Enables Independence

Daily Companions, Inc is a vendor for the Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) and our Employment Specialist was given the pleasure of working with a unique young man, Matthew, who faced many challenges due to a hearing impairment.  As a graduate of Washington High School, he was interested in finding employment in the community.

Matthew had established connections with the Jefferson County Community Ministries where he was able to volunteer.  He also worked with the Old Town Ranson Garden harvesting the produce for the Center and assisted in the pantry when needed.  While working with Matthew, it was important to establish his work skills and what type of employment he was interested in doing.

The Employment Specialist spent time in the community to observe different types of businesses and employment positions.  While speaking with a park ranger at the Harpers Ferry National Park, Matthew was informed that volunteering might assist him in getting a paid position.  Matthew established many supports while at the park, meeting numerous personnel, and connecting to other programs that would assist and further his skills.  Matthew worked directly with two interns through the volunteer program weeding, mulching, and cultivating the tree beds at the main visitor center.  He felt he was part of the team with his hat and tee-shirt.

During this time, the Employment Specialist saw a job opening at Shepherd University for the Student Center, part-time.  Matthew applied, was interviewed, and offered the position.  DRS provided the interpreter and the Employment Specialist provided job coaching and the use of photos to assist in communication.

Matthew is working Monday through Friday and occasionally will be asked to work for special occasions and events.  He has made new friends and has access to other areas of the campus while waiting for his transportation.  He feels his world has expanded and he is contributing to his community and his own independence.

Learn more about the Daily Companion Customized Employment program