October is National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month. The theme for 2021 is “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion.” Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, The Center for Family Support has strongly emphasized the importance of employment. “Keep It Moving”, an employment specific virtual support, was established at the start of the pandemic in April 2020. We are proud to relay that this ZOOM group still presently runs with consistent attendees two times a week!
“Keep it Moving” was an integral piece of the recovery process for those that lost their jobs during the pandemic. Group facilitators, Cristina Perera and Jennifer Pires, kept the hope alive for a brighter future in some of the most uncertain times. As the virtual group grew larger, additional groups were formed to meet the varied needs of all participants in different stages of their employment process.
Strong bonds and connections were organically developed between attendees. Those that were employed empowered those that were considering employment. Triumphs were celebrated together including many returns to work and even some new employment opportunities gained. A Covid-19 Safety Series was created. This series was found to be instrumental for those seeking and returning to work. Attendees received Covid-19 Safety Certificates as they mastered many “new norm” ways of seeking and maintaining employment. Practicing telephone interviews, video interviews, mask wearing, medical reporting and social interactions with customers were all part of the curriculum.
Continuity and structure was the key to the success of this group. When schedules permit, those back at work still check in with the group from time to time and continue to “keep it moving”. While focusing on our abilities and not disabilities as well as learning from one another we always get there.
A special acknowledgement to all who are currently in the process of working towards obtaining a job and those employed.