compiled by Cathy Goucher
It’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month, a time to reflect on and take meaningful steps toward creating workplaces that welcome the talents of all people. Employment is a significant way to empower individuals with disabilities — helping them work toward independence, full community participation, and economic self-sufficiency.
At Make Studio, we cultivate an inclusive work place, providing broad exhibition and sales opportunities, a work place that is welcoming to all, and opportunities to act regularly as teaching and presenting artists in the wider community beyond the studio.
We also support our artists’ efforts to maintain other employment in their immediate communities. Our artists work in varied settings including retail, food service, maintenance, and office settings, as well as in the studio as self-employed professional artists. Chuck, Dasha, and a newer artist, Katelynn, recently sought new employment opportunities. In celebration of this important month, they wanted to share a bit of their recent employment experiences.
The job is at Canton Carwash in White Marsh. I found this job because I had been there before with family and staff from my house and I liked the way they did the rims.
I clean the van at EMERGE once a week inside and out and I do a good job for them. My staff told me that I do a good job with that. One day I went online and did the application online. I put that on my application because I am good at cleaning! They called me back- me and my job coach- and I got the job! Now, I’m waiting on paperwork- copies of things and figuring out transportation, you know, waiting.
They are really eager to help me though to do the job right. My goal is to get better at time management on the job. I don’t like to be rushed. For me, that will be a challenge. I also work at Make Studio and there I can work on pieces slowly over days sometimes weeks. I work at the EMERGE greenhouse, too, and there on lawn crew, the pace is a faster because we might have three lawns to do and a certain amount of time to do it. This November, I’ll have been at the greenhouse thirteen years! It’s fun.
I got to keep in my mind that like my other jobs the car wash is a job and I have to do it in a timely fashion, but still a good job and I will DO a good job! The manager of the car wash will be a good manager for me because he told me that he would put me under his wing because he has a family member with a disability, too. I thought that was pretty cool- he kinda knows and understands what it might be like to have a disability. I will be wiping down the cars, drying them off and detailing rims! I can’t wait!
A few weeks ago, I applied on Indeed with a resume and phone number for a job as a dog groomer. I currently have a professional animal worker certificate (PAWS) and Canine and Feline first aid CPR cards.
The owner of a pet salon contacted me for an interview in two to three days as a result of me posting my resume. I wore an interview suit because I did not expect to demonstrate my skills as a dog washer. I was hired and now work in Timonium!
I wash dogs, do laundry, and generalized cleaning. I LOVE my job working with dogs every day. I work five days week, averaging 20+ hours per week, Tuesday through Saturday. Because I use Mobility to go back and forth to work I am allowed to arrive between 8:30 and 9:00 in the morning and leave when the last dog is washed but no later than 2:00 pm.
For now, I am taking a break from Make Studio while I continue to adjust to my new job. I hope to be back in the studio in the new year- I miss working at Make Studio!
Art is a job, too!