NJ Man Triumphs Over Disorder That Once Shut Him Out of Successful Employment

Share Article

National Disability Employment Awareness Month highlights 65 year mission of Easter Seals New Jersey and the everyday difference made in the lives of the people they help.

Dave is a real asset. We don't know what we'd do without his help.

Reclusive and at home most of his adult life due to agoraphobia, middle-aged David had never held a job. The Millville, NJ resident suffered from a condition where he became anxious in unfamiliar environments or where he perceived he had little control like groups and crowds. Agoraphobia can be socially debilitating as it is often, but not always, compounded by a fear of social embarrassment. The person fears the onset of a panic attack and appearing distraught in public. This disability is also sometimes called 'social agoraphobia’, a type of social anxiety disorder.

Easter Seals employment service specialists helped him develop social and work skills and overcome his fears of public settings by slowly integrating him into group and community settings. He quickly mastered his in-house assembly and packaging responsibilities and was encouraged to learn warehouse operations and socialize with his counterparts. He became proficient at taking inventory, loading and unloading trucks, and soon became a certified forklift operator. A few years later, David was ready for Easter Seals to help him secure employment in the community working full-time in the warehouse of a water conditioning company.

Coupled with Easter Seals’ support, counseling, and encouragement, David’s increased socialization skills and regular interaction with coworkers, helped promote him to warehouse manager - nearly doubling his pay. Now he even accompanies staff on installations out in the community.

"Dave is a real asset," his employer shared. "We don’t know what we would do without his help."

Across all age groups, people living with disabilities are much less likely to be employed than those without disabilities, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website. National Disability Employment Awareness Month, which drew to a close in October, shines a light on the mission of Easter Seals New Jersey to help individuals and families with disabilities or special needs to live, learn, work and play in their communities with equality, dignity and independence. The bureau notes that the employment-population ratio for persons with a disability was 17.8 percent in 2012 and is now up to 18.2 as of September 2013. The ratio for those with no disability increased from 63.9 percent to 64.1 percent in 2013.

Statistics like this make David’s story that much more important to share.

About Easter Seals

Easter Seals New Jersey has been creating solutions that change the lives of people with disabilities and special needs since 1948. Our mission is to help these individuals and their families, to live, learn, work and play in their communities with equality, dignity and independence. Annually, over 7,000 people in New Jersey with developmental disabilities including autism, physical disabilities, mental illness and other special needs receive services in our programs designed to help them work toward achieving independence and full community-integration. For more information on Easter Seals New Jersey and its statewide disability services, please contact 732-257-6662 or visit http://www.eastersealsnj.org or http://www.facebook.com/eastersealsnj.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Alyson Balan-Altman, Communications Manager

732-257-6662 x290
Email >

Anysa Holder, Marketing Director
Follow us on
Visit website