July marked anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 2, 2016

By Wilson Cherry

For the Salisbury Post

As we celebrated our nation’s independence with fireworks, barbecues and parades, we also recognized July as the month when the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law by former President George W. Bush.

The ADA provides protection for citizens with disabilities to have equal opportunities and access to public accommodations, employment, transportation state and local government services and telecommunications.

Rowan Vocational Opportunities is making a concerted effort to help consumers understand their rights and opportunities for employment based on the individuals meeting the prospective employer’s criteria and job requirements.

Many years ago people with developmental disabilities and cognitive impairments were not given much hope or support in finding employment in the competitive work force.

Many of their futures were uncertain and frequently they were institutionalized rather than being given a fair opportunity to work.

Many individuals face a bleak future if job training programs and sheltered workshops are alleviated. For example, many consumers cannot adequately perform job searches, fill out applications or be prepared for a successful job interview. Frequently lacking in sufficient reading, writing and math skills, some people cannot understand company policy and safety regulations. Others cannot learn to perform at a satisfactory level without Supported Employment.

Services provided and managed by RVO are designed to assist individuals in achieving, maintaining and maximizing their potential with an emphasis on person-centered planning.

According to Gary Yelton, RVO Executive Director, “We emphasize Person-Centered Planning as a process that helps evaluate their abilities, skills and talents while training and motivating them to attain their desired outcomes based on their choices.”

“Thanks to the support of our community partners, we have been able to identify and successfully collaborate with businesses throughout the area to provide meaningful services and opportunities for our consumers and quality production for those we work with,” said Glenn McDonald RVO Sales and Marketing Director.

“Helping individuals become wage earners, have choices and have some control over their own lives is an asset to the individual and the company they work for,” McDonald said.

For information about utilizing RVO services or consumers, contact Glenn McDonald at 704-798-0683. RVO is one of 16 United Way agencies serving Rowan County.

Wilson Cherry is community affairs director for Rowan Vocational Opportunities