A Chance to Work: Employment Helps People With Disabilities Find Purpose, Independence

shared via Evening Sun

Donovan Beltz, 24, from Hanover was diagnosed with autism in 2001. After his first year in the Special Olympics, Donovan says he has found his purpose. Ty Lohr, The Evening Sun

 

FREELAND, Maryland – For about six months, Jeffrey Vogel searched for a job.

The 23-year-old from Hanover applied for several positions but was told he wasn’t qualified.

“I needed a job or else I was going to lose my mind,” Vogel said.

When Jeffrey was born, he was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, meaning he had too much fluid in his brain, which causes learning disabilities and developmental delays.

He wonders if those employers he interviewed with didn’t understand his disability.

But with help from Penn-Mar Human Services, Jeffrey secured a job at Weis Market in south Hanover.

Since Jeffrey got his job, his mom has noticed that he is happier, and she sees a change in his mood.

“It’s all a morale thing,” Bonnie Vogel said.

For people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, who rely on the support, structure and socialization that school offers them, their lives “come to a halt,” after graduation, said Patty Trexler, a job developer with Penn-Mar Human Services, located in Springfield Township and Freeland, Maryland.

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