Independence Now continues to celebrate 30 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act and 75 years of National Disability Employment Awareness Month by sharing inspiring stories from our amazing consumers.
Nikos Daley was out of work for 14 months. The pandemic slowed down his job search considerably, but Nikos was incredibly determined to get back to work. There were many times he felt discouraged or not knowing where to look next. This was particularly true after he would receive a negative response from a company or right after a job fair.
At first, Nikos was looking for recruiting work like what he did at Blind Industries. As time went on however, he looked for anything and everything he and his support network could think of…from Federal jobs to front desk agent at a car dealer.
Finally, Nikos found a job working for The Arc Montgomery County. He says, “Working at the Arc thus far has been extremely fruitful and rewarding. It is a perfect balance between what I use to do and have experience in and learning new things i.e. how a person-centered plan for someone with an intellectual disability would look like.” Since he started his job in August, he said he feels like his life has a normal structure once again. He said, “I am glad I can start contributing to our household among other things.”
When asked if he thought people with disabilities should work? He replied, “I would say that anyone who can work should, no matter what disability they have. Be prepared for the long hail your job search is likely to take turns you never expected, or thought would be possible. Tell everyone you can and trust that you are looking for work and do lots of practice interviews.”
Nikos felt Independence Now was helpful indeed in his job search and acquisition. He said, “They walked me through everything such as resume writing and review, the importance of having many resumes you can change to fit the various jobs you apply too, cover letter writing, mock interviewing, and networking at a job fair.”