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General Manager of Mrs E's

 

As a Job Coach, or Employment Consultant, Mary finds employment for persons with developmental disabilities -- some with severe physical and mental limitations -- and then trains the newly-hired employees until they master the job.

 


General Manager of Mrs E's

 

Tony Schwager, who teaches shop at Baldwin High School, said the long term goal of Anthony’s Beehive is financial independence for his son.


General Manager of Mrs E's

Ray and Janet Steffy are big believers in working with the community that surrounds their son to find what he can do and what he wants to do.


General Manager of Mrs E's

“Circle of Friends” has been key to Justin White’s tremendous growth over the last couple of years.

 


General Manager of Mrs E's

 

Now 21, David works full-time as a medication aide in a senior center, has his own apartment, car, and computer, and plans to gain additional education to continue a career in health care.


 

 

 

 

Employment1st.org is funded by the Kansas Council on Developmental Disabilities (KCDD). Design by Lawson Phillips Associates. Stories by Tim Hoyt. Photography by Lawson Phillips. Publication design by Arthur McCash and Lawson Phillips.

Allison at WorkAllison Loveland gets a kick out of the fact the hospital where she works is also where she was born.

“I was born here in 1978,” Ms. Loveland says as she makes her way down the fourth floor hallway of Wesley Hospital in Wichita, dusting the walls high and low as she goes. “I was born in the old part of the hospital.”

Ms. Loveland, 32, is actually employed by Aramark Healthcare, which contracts with the hospital to provide environmental services. Ms. Loveland, who has Down’s Syndrome, has worked at the hospital three years, working three days a week, four hours a day.

“I love part-time,” Ms. Loveland said.

It was through Kansas Elks Training Center for the Handicapped (KETCH) that Ms. Loveland received help obtaining the job with Aramark. Ms. Loveland originally worked with KETCH job coach Patty Waters at the hospital learning the job, and Mrs. Waters still comes by occasionally to see how Ms. Loveland is doing.

Esther Lazos, assistant manager for Aramark, said Ms. Loveland has done a very good job at the hospital.

“She has a great attitude,” Mrs. Lazos said. .

But it is Ms. Loveland’s co-workers in the break room that really give an idea of the type of worker Ms. Loveland is. “She’s a sweetie,” said co-worker Linda McWilliams. Another Aramark worker Debbie McNeill said Ms. Loveland “does a really good job. She’ll always ask you if you need help. She works hard.”

The cleaning job at the hospital is one of several jobs Ms. Loveland has held since graduating from Chisholm Life Skills High School in Wichita in 1998 at age 21. Under federal law, students with disabilities can remain in school past their graduating class if goals on their Individual Employment Plan (IEP) remain. Allison’s mother, Karen Loveland, said Allison has worked in a day care, a flower shop, a nursing home, and fast food restaurants.

Mrs. Loveland also said she and her daughter are active with the Jehovah’s Witness Church.

“Spiritual life is very important to me,” Ms. Loveland said. “I go to field service; I go out and talk to people about God’s Kingdom. I do love to talk to people about God’s Kingdom.”
Allison’s mother said her daughter has displayed an independent streak. Mrs. Loveland said when a cousin around Allison’s age got her driver’s license, Allison was determined to do the same.

“It took her three years to do it, but she got her license,” Mrs. Loveland said. “She passed with 98 percent.”

Mrs. Loveland said her daughter drives very little now; she takes the bus to and from work.

Ms. Loveland also took a trip to Canada by herself to visit a sister, her mother said.

Asked whether working at a hospital among people who are sick ever bothered her, Ms. Loveland had a quick answer. It was based on her religious beliefs.

“I had some fear at first, but now the way I start each day is I know I can conquer each day,” she said. “I know people are good at heart.”