Job One is excited to announce the formation of a local A-Team Chapter! The Missouri A-Team organization was formed to provide individuals with disabilities, their guardians, caregivers and concerned community members a way to be active participants for the advocacy of employment choices for adults with disabilities. The “A” in A-team stands for advocacy!
The need for organized advocacy on this front is great. We often see legislators making decisions that impact this population without having all of the information they may need to fully understand the effects. Missouri A-Teams provide an outlet where the voices of individuals with disabilities and those who care for them can be heard, as well as an organized effort to share their message with decision makers. Most importantly, it is imperative to protect the operation of sheltered workshops in Missouri. Integration of adults with disabilities working in the community has been a success, however, sometimes a career in the general population is not ideal for a specific individual. Sheltered workshop employment allows a more closely supported environment for adults with disabilities so they can have a meaningful and productive work experience.
A-Teams celebrate both workshop and community job choices and advocates with those employees who not only prefer sheltered work environments, but for whom it is their only work option. If sheltered employment was to be ruled out as a job option, there are not enough day services and programs to provide a place to go for the population that organizations like Job One serves. At times, a day program is the only other choice for an individual, and due to lack of funding and expenses to run them, some waiting lists for these programs currently top two years.
Here some are benefits the local A-Team Chapter will provide:
- A-Team helps teach advocacy to not only employees, but also educates our community by getting the conversation going with anyone that is unfamiliar or misinformed with sheltered employment. A-Team aims to educate as well as empower.
- Our local group’s goal is to include all employees at Job One’s Independence Packaging & Assembly Workshop and Shred One KC facilities (soon branching out to Grandview) in quarterly activities to let those employees who are on the A-Team Action Team advocate with their peers.
So far, the local A-Team Chapter activities have included:
- A-Team Kickoff Party – Fall 2018
- A-Team “Why I Work Quilt” February 2019
- Plans to participate in 2019 Spring MO Day on the Hill in Jefferson City, MO on April 16th.
- Collaborate as an A-Team Action team and travel together
- Invite guardians and staff to participate by coordinating a trip as well
- Having an event on the same day for those employees who choose to celebrate from afar back in our area