Trying to gain employment with a disability

After I graduated with my associate degree in web technology from Pellissippi State, which took me five years just to earn my associate degree where people usually takes people two years to complete an associate degree. In my case it took me longer than two years because I need to balance my class schedule, where I didn’t end up with classes which have five pages papers for each class, and the papers would be due within same week. I usually take six hours per semester to avoid overload myself. In 2013, Michael weaver which was a support employment specialist from the Cerebral Palsy Center of Knoxville, helped me grained this position since Vocational Rehabilitation paid the center to provide me with supported employment to help me obtain some employment. Supported employment is a service which provides individuals with disabilities obtain proper job placement. Michael Weaver was concerned if I work few hours a week will affect my Tenn — care benefits which pay for my caregivers and buy me a new wheelchair every five years. I was so tired living on a social Security Check which was only for $240.00 monthly. I was actually excited about getting a job so I could support myself without relying on my mother for money was getting old At first I was leery of the Cerebral Palsy of Knoxville since they were sending letters to my mother asking her to donate money because of the center can continue provide services to their clients. The center also supports individuals with Cerebral Palsy who want to live independently or in group home setting. My intentions with the center were supported employment because I didn’t want to live in group homes which was run by the Cerebral Palsy Center of Knoxville. The idea of me being in a group home seems so boring and I think I wouldn’t stride in that environment. The people who usually live in these group homes are lower functioning than I was. After a few weeks waiting on Michael Weaver from the Cerebral Palsy Center, Weaver made me wait for few more weeks and that frustrated me but Weaver explained that he has a lot of clients ahead of me. After a few weeks Michael Weaver finally said that he thinks he have a possible job opportunity at Public Broadcasting Service. During my interview, Chris Smith which was an office manager at East Tennessee Public Broadcasting Service which conducting my interview. He was asking me question If I know how to work with graphics in adobe Photoshop. I noticed that he was amazed with how I worked my Tobii Dynavox with my eyes. Then he explained what I will do for them which was putting the airdates on Image. The airdates on the images tell when the shows aired on the channel, the images would go on the website. Every Thursday I would go to the studio and work a couple of hours a week. Chris’s assistant emailed some images so I could work at home and I was ok with that because I thought they were going to give me more responsibilities. I was getting pay only 48.00 dollars and I just earned my college degree. I also earned I was hoping to grain some experience working for a huge organization like PBS since I only has little experience working non — profit organization such as the East Tennessee Technology Assistive Center where I was the newsletter Editor after I graduated from the Tennessee Rehabilitation Center where I made $60 every three month whereas I make $48.00 monthly at the East Tennessee Public Broadcasting Service. When I started working for the Public broadcasting services I didn’t get to do web design like I originally planned on doing but I was hired as a Contracted graphic Designer, my responsibilities were to put the airdates on the images which displayed the time of the shows. I had an associate degree in Web technology, but I didn’t get to work on the website and I thought I was going to do when I took the position. I wasn’t getting pay enough as I think that I should be getting paid with a college education. On top earning a associate degree I also earned my certified Internet webmaster certification. I kind of found this as a big disappointment as after I worked so hard, but I was happy to get this position. My job wasn’t really time consuming at all, but I always have sixty images to add an airdate must be added to each of them. I used a graphic editing program Adobe Photoshop to airdate to each image, which I learned how to use from Pellissippi. My employment through East Tennessee

Public Broadcasting Service only lasted six months prior before that I asked Chris if I could work on the website, he said he didn’t felt like I have enough experience to work on the website. I felt like saying I could learn but I continue to do my job. That made my blood boiled since I have a freaky Associate Degree in Web Technology. I felt like an Africa American going through the 1960’s. After a couple weeks Michael called my mother and said I was receiving the Rudy Sullivan Award which presented by the Knoxville Area Employment Consortium. The ceremony was held at the crown Plaza hotel. Michael Weaver and Bob Sexton from the Cerebral Center which was there to support me. Although it was a honor to receive a prestige award like the Rudy Sullivan Award I would rather be working. Looking back at my employment PBS I saw it as a stepping stone to decide if I wanted to go back to school. Thank you bias people for giving motivation to go back to school.



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