Have you seen Amy at Coronado Mall delivering food to hungry employees? We caught up with her this week and she shared her experiences about living with a developmental disability and some insights into how we can all champion our community members with disabilities.

Amy takes food orders from employees at various mall stores. Retail workers have a hard time getting to the food court for food and drinks so Amy finds out what they want, picks it up, and brings it to them, making friends along the way. Amy says that working in the community with Adelante’s support boosts her self-confidence.

A woman with short blonde hair and wearing a light blue polo shirt.

Evan, Amy’s job coach, advocates for people participating in Adelante’s supported employment program and enjoys seeing how the daily efforts motivate him, too. Evan says, “Everyone has the right to feel like they’re contributing. It’s important to have something to take pride in doing, and often people don’t see the person underneath.” Amy emphatically agrees: “They need to look at me more often. Be patient and polite, and listen to me carefully.”

Our hope at Adelante is that every person with a disability who wants a job in the community is able to find one. That is our priority when we think about employment options. However, we need employers to work with us on this effort, to give people a chance and focus on their abilities more than their disability. The unfortunate truth is that only 19% of people with developmental disabilities in our country are a part of the workforce. Together we can improve that. If you would like to consider hiring someone with a disability, call (505) 341-2000 or visit our website to learn more.