Employment

Fri, February 24, 2012
When I was 10, my grandmother always saw me as a radio DJ. I was living in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, with her and I used to listen to all the disco station. I love music and have so many albums in my apartment. YAI and Job Path have encouraged me to pursue my dream of getting a job in the entertainment industry. I would love to work at The Apollo Theater or Magic Johnson's movie complex in Harlem. I've had other jobs. A couple of years ago, I was a receptionist at Job Path, but it was a difficult...
Tue, July 13, 2010
This year, the YAI Network is thrilled to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This groundbreaking legislation brought human rights to people with disabilities, giving millions of people new opportunities to lead meaningful, productive lives. The ADA outlawed discrimination in employment and housing. This sweeping federal law made discrimination on the basis of physical or developmental disability illegal, specifically with regard to employment and hiring...
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Fri, September 23, 2011
As an intake specialist and supervisor in YAI’s LINK Department, the intake, information and referral unit, I help connect people with disabilities to the services that meet their unique needs. So far this year, our department has received over 3,000 inquiries from people seeking information on autism services. An estimated 25 percent of those inquiries are specifically regarding individuals who either have a diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome, or are characterized as having “high functioning...
Fri, July 25, 2014
Even after 24 years since it was signed into law, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is still having trouble gaining traction, especially regarding Title 1 which focuses on employment. According to United Cerebral Palsy's 2014 "The Case for Inclusion" report, only 13 percent of people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities, including autism, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy, are currently employed in New York. The U.S. federal government is offering tax credits to...
Thu, December 15, 2011
As a person with a disability, in the past it's been a real struggle for me to obtain employment. I've been working at the New York City Self Advocate Association for the AmeriCorps project. The people, the office . . . working there was great. This October I got a call from my Job Coach at YAI: “There's a library job opening at the New York Public Library.” I jumped on it right away! I'm currently working as a page at the library where I look for books, put them back on the shelf, and do...
Fri, January 20, 2012
I recently got transferred to a new floor at the New York Public Library on 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue. Looking from the outside, the library looks more like a small fortress or mansion. I started working on Stack 5 -- always busy. Most of the time I’m on my feet. I was recently transferred to Stack 3. The reason was the area should be less stressful. A few weeks ago, I was given the schedule for when I was to go on break. Then, on my own, I took a break (which wasn't the exact time as on the...
Tue, May 29, 2012
Over the course of the last several decades, we've seen tremendous change in the developmental disability service-provision system. Between 1960 and 2010, 195 large, state-run institutions were closed, bringing with their closure the promise of better lives in the community for their former residents. The expansion of supported employment services between the mid-1980s and 1990s showed that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities could not only live in the community, but that we...
Wed, December 25, 2013
One of my earliest routines I had was getting the mail. For as long as I can remember, I would brave the heat, cold, rain and snow and walk down the path in my front yard just to see what the mailbox held. To my family, my routine of fetching the mail was a normal part of being me: Something I did because I enjoyed it or just because I could. They had no idea of the truth, of why I really got the mail six days a week. They had no idea getting the mail had become routine because I always hoped...
Mon, July 30, 2012
I love when I can hear someone smiling on the phone. It happened today when I spoke to Adrian, a 30-year-old who lives in a YAI group home in Queens. Since moving into the residence, Adrian's life has changed dramatically. He had lived with his mom, moving from place-to-place for many years, until January of 2010. Adrian was hesitant about moving in, said Heather Dawson, the residential supervisor. "Adrian's life had been filled with uncertainly. And here was a chance to move into a home, and...
Mon, December 10, 2012
I'd like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy, healthy and peaceful holiday season. Much has been going on at YAI and I think you will like the direction our organization is headed with its new mission of living, loving, working, and learning. The people YAI and thousands of other agencies across the country support every day are really not that different from any of us. They want to live in a nice home, enjoy good friendships and relationships and have a good job. With that in...

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