A-Team: Job One Chapter
The A-Team: Job One Chapter was formed to include employees and their guardians to be active participants in advocacy of choice in employment for adults with disabilities. Decisions are made by legislators at times that may not have all of the information and A-Team is that sounding board to help pass the message along from the individuals who may not otherwise be heard.
Most importantly, it is imperative to protect the operation of sheltered workshops in Missouri. Integration of adults with disabilities working out in the community has been a success, however, sometimes a career in general population is not ideal for an individual. Sheltered workshop employment allows a more closely supported environment for adults with disabilities so they can have a meaningful day.
A-Team celebrates this choice and advocates with those employees who not only prefer this environment, it is their only option. If sheltered employment was to be ruled out for employment, there are not enough day services and programs to provide a place to go for the population that we serve. A day program is the only other choice at times for an individual to participate in, and due to lack of funding and expenses to run them, some waiting lists for these programs currently top 2 years.
A-Team helps teach advocacy to not only employees but also educates our community by getting the conversation going with anyone that is unfamiliar with sheltered employment, or is misinformed. A-Team wants to educate as well as empower.
Our group’s goal is to include all employees at the Independence & Grandview Workshops, and Shred One KC facilities in activities to let employees who are on the A-Team Action Team advocate with their peers. So far, activities have included in the past:
- A-Team “Why I Work Quilt” February 2019
- February 27, 2019
- Participated in 2019 Spring MO Day on the Hill in Jefferson City, MO
- Collaborate as an A-Team Action team and travel together with other area workshops
- Invited Guardians and Staff to participate by coordinating a trip as well
- Support Team – selected individuals who are involved in planning events, training, and identifying advocacy opportunities. In our case they are parents/guardians of our Action Team Members
- Kim Hankins (Job One)
- Chelsi Flores (Job One)
- Shea White (Job One)
- Cristy Carpenter (Job One)
- Rebeca Swank (Job One)
- Paula Howard (Parent of employee)
- Teresa Nightingale (Parent of employee)
- Janice Walls (Parent of employee)
- Rosemary Mereness (Parent of employee)
- Action Team Members – selected individuals who are actively employed by Job One who can commit to A-Team activities. Also, are expected to be a peer leader within their place of work.
- Katie Howard (Shred One KC)
- Kristen Wilson (Shred One KC)
- Scott Nightingale (Independence Workshop)
- JD Walls (Independence Workshop)
- Andrea Duren (Independence Workshop)
- Team Members – Any person employed by Job One that participates in supporting the mission of A-Team. Or, any individual who wants to support the A-Team efforts.
- We would love to know who is interested in participating in coming up with new ideas to help include all stakeholders in advocating for sheltered employment.
- Anyone can help right now by writing to your state representative on the importance of sheltered employment
Some helpful links:
- Myths Vs. Reality: http://www.dignityhasavoice.com/myths-vs-reality/
- Find your state rep: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative
- A-Team Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Dignity-Has-A-Voice-1128372333871094/