FSACentral is proud to celebrate Disability Employment Awareness month by featuring some people with disabilities who are out in the workforce.
Name: Tim McCann
Hometown: Tallahassee, Florida
Employer: Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology (FAAST)
Position: Information and Assistance Specialist
Length of time at current job: 14 years
What is the best advice or encouragement you’d give to a fellow self-advocate about accessing or keeping employment?
As far as accessing employment, having a resume ready to be given out when looking for employment. Next, get interview ready by practicing for potential questions that might be asked and role playing with someone on what the interview might be like. Make yourself most comfortable in the potential situation and sell your strengths. Present yourself well and don’t forget to dress in professional attire. In other words, dress the part for the job. As far as keeping employment, know your job description. You employer should give that to you in writing. Do the job that is assigned to you and be the person to help if and when change needs to happen at your job.
What’s the most important employment-related challenge you face as a person with a disability?
For me, there have been none because FAAST has worked with me to identify and address any of my needs. However, I think people with disabilities need employers to give them the opportunity to work. FAAST gave me that opportunity many years ago. Employers may think hiring a person with a disability will lead to HR nightmares for them as a business or that people with disabilities take more sick time from work than their able-bodied counterparts, but that is simply not the case.
How should we be advocating for better employment opportunities and practices in Florida?
Empowerment and educating people about what has been done in the past and what needs to be done and continue to advocate. As different administrations go in and out of various offices, priorities change.
Which agency was the most helpful to you in accessing and maintaining employment?
I haven’t used any agencies. However, had I known they existed, I would have kept that in my back pocket in case I could have used their help.
FSACentral would like to thank Tim McCann for his time and thoughtful answers he gave during the interview.