Self-Advocates: Chris & Christina

Chris & Christina shared thoughts on employment, marriage, and self-advocacy at the 2019 Florida Self-Advocates Network’D conference in Orlando.

Chris, an employee at Home Depot, speaks about a recent recognition he received for providing excellent costumer service. Christina is a secretary at the Conklin Center for the Blind. She talks about the accommodations they provide to her to make her job easier. They are both part of a self-advocacy group from East Volusia.

Ben Davis: The Fashion Consultant

With mentoring from a job coach on workplace soft skills, Ben Davis learned to succeed and grow in his job as a sales floor associate and dressing room attendant.

Englewood, FL – “The brunette ladies like to wear blue dresses, and the blonde ladies prefer red.” This observation comes from Rialto Goodwill’s fashion consultant-in-training, Ben Davis. Ben, who is a sales floor associate and the dressing room attendant for the store. Ben enjoys talking to the customers and helping them with their clothing choices. He is also eight percent deaf in both ears, is legally blind without his glasses, and has an organic brain injury that occurred when he was born prematurely.

Continue reading “Ben Davis: The Fashion Consultant”

Fernando, guest operations host at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Fernando is thrilled with his new job as a guest operations host at the aquarium, but it was a difficult journey getting there. Fernando has vision problems due to a head injury, and he was having trouble finding a job because of it. He came to vocational rehabilitation (VR), a state agency that helps people with disabilities get or keep a job, to see if they could help.

Continuing reading Fernando’s story on the Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation website.

Self-Advocate: Amanda

Amanda shared her employment story at the 2019 Florida Self-Advocates Network’D conference in Orlando.

Amanda is originally from Pennsylvania, and moved to Florida about six years ago to pursue a job at Disney. Today, she works as a guest services coordinator at Universal Orlando. Amanda says, “Guest service coordinators try to make their guests’ day just a little bit better trying to figure out what to do in situations where they’re going to be, you know, upset and just try to make life a little easier for them.” Listen to the interview to learn more about her, especially her very cool first job as a Macy’s parade balloon handler!

Let’s Get Everyone to Work: Shane, imaging technician

Shane has a career in data processing at a company in St. Petersburg. Watch his story to learn more about what he does and how he learned to do it.

“It feels good to have a job and a paycheck.” Shane Dahlin

Shane is one of 12 individuals with disabilities who share personal stories about employment and education as part of the FDDC’s “Let’s Get Everyone to Work: Resource Toolkit for Students and Families.” Learn more (and see more videos) at