Ashley's Story

Uploaded by communityinclusion on 08.02.2012

My first experience was a very personal one,
knowing that I was going to be a part of
a company, ICI as an organization
and what their mission and vision is,
their belief system is very closely related
to mine, actually, in believing in
social and independent inclusion of people with
intellectual developmental disabilities.
I actually started as Ashley's supervisor
I think it was four years ago now
on the Choosing Employment project.
Over the course of that project, our relationship actually
evolved from a traditional supervisor-supervisee
relationship, and now we have a mentor-mentee relationship
and Ashley actually has another supervisor at ICI.
One of the great things about working with Ashley
is she is not shy about asking questions.
She's really good at the qualitative research that we do,
looking at data and developing themes
and being critical and analyzing that data.
She's going to be taking the lead on
conducting some interviews and as we do them,
she's also going to be looking at key aspects of those interviews
and developing themes and analyzing them.
This is a very interesting type of research because
it's focusing on human research and human social behavior.
You have to know what you're doing.
You have to be sensitive and smart with that.
You have to get trained within the ethical boundaries.
You're dealing with human subjects,
you're dealing with human people,
you have to know how to work with that.
I did it, and so I got through with that,
I passed the ethics test.
I have no intention of leaving the field
because this is what I do,
it's what I believe in, it's what I love.
We wanted to make sure that we were
making every aspect of the research project
inclusive so that Ashley could be included in
all of the decision making, just as any other team member
at ICI would be on a research project.
I hope that Ashley can continue to expand some of her
roles and responsibilities here at the
Institute for Community Inclusion.
I really feel like she brings a lot to the table,
both in her expertise and also in her background
in some of the other projects that she's worked on.
Her content knowledge is really good.
People with intellectual developmental disabilities
or any other type
can do any kind of work, it doesn't matter.
As long as they can perform the job functions
and be accommodated for, being supported within
the job itself, the workplace, the employer knowing
how to work with them.
Don't discriminate.
Just because the individual has a disability,
it doesn't mean they can't work.
You have to give them what they need,
so they can be at their best.