Spears Urges Self-Advocates Happy with Their Work to Stay Put
In October we celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) by spotlighting people with disabilities who are out in the workforce.
Chris Spears is a self-advocate residing in Daytona Beach and is the President of FL SAND's Self Advocates of East Volusia self-advocacy group.
Today we are going to talk about his employment at The Home Depot - where Chris not only works as the head cashier but helps out in all departments of the store. We’re also going to look into some advice he gave.
Hometown: Daytona Beach
Employer: The Home Depot
Position: Head Cashier
Duties & Responsibilities: Checking out items, customer service, loading vehicles, returning carts, stocking items around the store, and helping with safety training.
Years on the job: 5 years
What is the best advice or encouragement you’d give to a fellow self-advocate about accessing or keeping employment? There are jobs out there. If you are happy with the job you get, keep it. If you’re not, you have the right to look somewhere else.
What advice would you give employers about hiring a person with a disability? My advice would be that employers need to give self-advocates a chance. Give the person opportunities to let them show you what they can do. If the employer doesn’t give a person with a disability a chance, then they’re not a good employer.
What is the most significant employment-related challenge you've faced as a person with a disability? Sometimes I still run into certain things I still need to work with my managers on. However, they are working on it and they understand that I am capable of working on it.
Which agency (VR, APD, CIL, etc.) was the most helpful to you in accessing and maintaining employment? Agency for Persons with Disabilities and the Conklin Davis Center for the Visually Impaired helped me.
In your opinion, how does employing a person with a disability help their quality of life? Employing a person with a disability can improve the quality of life because it can help them with getting income.
Florida Self-Advocacy Central would like to thank Chris for his time and thoughtful answers.