Roselyn Hathaway at Work

Springbrook has been making great strides in its Supported Employment Program, which works to build partnerships with area businesses in hiring people with developmental disabilities. As a community-based organization, Springbrook’s Supported Employment Program (SEMP) was the next logical step in providing the most innovative supports around. But this program is about more than just our relationships with the local community. It’s about giving people a chance to prove to themselves—and to the world—that they have the professionalism and skills necessary to contribute to the workforce.

Shoppers at the Great American grocery store in Unadilla, New York, are likely to see SEMP employee, Roselyn Hathaway hard at work. Springbrook is always reaching out to local businesses to see which ones would be interested in hiring people with developmental disabilities, and Great American was an enthusiastic and supportive partner. Roselyn has been working there for a little more than a year and her duties include straightening the items on the shelves, checking for expired items, off-loading freight, helping out in the Deli Department, and bagging groceries as needed. Another task she performs—and one of her favorites—is cashing customers out at the register. Roselyn works fourteen hours-per-week and works with little assistance. She gets along with her co-workers well, and feels that she has plenty of support if she has questions. She says, “My supervisor, Becky, said that she thinks I am enthusiastic and that I am willing to try new tasks and that I do the best that I can.”

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Roselyn has gained confidence and independence by working and earning a paycheck. She is known to be a fast learner and is eager to acquire new duties that expand her understanding of what it means to be working in the community. SEMP Employment Specialist, Haywood Edwards, says that Roselyn “works very independently, and I am there once a week to check on her progress. She doesn't need my assistance…” He continues, “We used to be called [to help] when she was learning new tasks but not so much anymore.”

As time goes on and more businesses decide to partner with Springbrook in helping people with developmental disabilities join the workforce, we are confident that even more people will be able to tell their success stories, just as Roselyn has.

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