A Note from the Creative Team.
Passion Drives Our Work
It’s what gets this magazine published. It’s what keeps all of us here (rather late at times): our passions, our drives, our careers. And this edition is full of stories that celebrate these qualities.
Too often people think that the one and only way to become employed is by submitting a résumé, enduring an interview and then waiting and praying for a phone call.
For those of us with disabilities, the process is only made worse by the often-perceived uncertainty that an employer will not see past our disability to see our ability.
In the case of all of us in the marketing department, the road to employment was different. It started with a willingness and interest in volunteering at Ability360. The experience and the interaction lead to being in the right place at the right time. When the opportunity for a paid position arose, management looked at those of us with a proven performance and offered us our positions. Thus a marketing department came to be – one volunteer-turned-paid-professional at a time.
In this edition of LivAbility we recognize October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month. We encourage you to think about where your passions lie and consider seeking out opportunities that match.
Volunteering does not have to be a one way street. There is nothing wrong with donating your time and skill towards a good cause that ideally someday could turn into a career.
Ability360 kicked off a new program in September, the Community Leadership Academy (page 60), which trains adults with disabilities to lead. First, in volunteer appointments on boards and commissions, then potentially leading in elected or appointed policy positions – yet another employment path.
Creative pathways to employment are out there. Ability360 alum, Tony Jackson (page 45) found his new path through entrepreneurialism, creating his own company with capital raised through GoFundMe.
Three of our profiles, Casey Johansen (page 34) and Tiger Desmarais (page 40) and Vasant Garcia (page 43) continued on their established career paths after acquiring their disabilities.
Lisa Purdy (page 38) is Ability360’s Lead Employment Coordinator for the Ticket to Work program. Give her a call if you’re ready to explore your return to work. Visit our website, Ability360.org/Employment for more information.
Speaking of employment, November is National Family Caregivers’ month. Many of us could not maintain our own employment without the help of our caregivers and for them we give thanks. Ability360 offers one of the best caregiving agencies in Arizona and if you’re looking to work, this may be your ticket to a fulfilling career (see back cover).
We’re proud of our work to bring you this edition and we hope you enjoy it.