Consumer Gains Confidence and Finds Independence
The first time we met Hannah was through her participation in Disability Mentoring Day, and she began working with us through Kansas Vocational Rehabilitation Services as a consumer in 2016. She was quiet, scared of doing things on her own, and her parents would accompany her to most meetings. Hannah was hoping to find a job but was not sure what she needed to do to get one and after working a bit with a local retail store realized she needed some extra training in order to be successful. Hannah needed assistance with learning how to use public transportation, as she relied on her parents to get places and had never ridden the city bus before. We worked with Hannah as she spent time learning how to ride the R-CAT (Reno County Area Transit) Over time the R-CAT became less scary and Hannah became less shy.
“Hannah has really opened up. She’s not this quiet and shy girl anymore. She doesn’t know a stranger now!,” said Nicole Scott, Independent Living Specialist. “Hannah began to open up and got to know our team well. Now, she hands out drawings and tells jokes to everyone.”
Hannah was not sure what kind of job she wanted so we helped her learn basic job skills including job search, interviews, and how to be a part of a team. Then we began to explore career possibilities.
Hannah began working with the End Dependence Kansas Program in February of 2017--a program that helps people with barriers to employment explore the world of employment and learn more about the different fields that are available. In the process of finding a job Hannah learned about childcare, cleaning, and retail. She took tours of many different employers and even tried out jobs at several different places. Each work experience she participated in gave her more confidence and independent skills.
The Hannah that was scared of the R-CAT is now riding it as often as she needs and comes to Beyond Barriers on a regular basis for Independent Living services. She always has a huge smile—as does her service dog Lily! “Beyond Barriers has made a big change in Hannah’s life and helped her become more independent, but she’s also taught us many things along the way. Her bright personality and gifts of art are constant reminders of why we do what we do here at Beyond Barriers,” said Nicole.