Easterseals work has rippled into many lives thanks to an incredible client with a strong motivation to grow his career. Chris was initially referred to Easterseals Massachusetts’ Assistive Technology Department by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) after receiving vocational services from MRC five years ago. He needed a home office setup that would alleviate his chronic back and hip pain from an injury that made him unable to work for the previous five years. Assistive Technology (AT) was the solution to support Chris’ desire to work again and lead a more independent life.
After a home visit to assess Chris’ needs in 2017, ESMA’s AT Specialists set him up with a sitstand desk, allowing him to get a part-time remote job as a Business Developer for Work Opportunities Unlimited. This job was meaningful to him as he helped other people with barriers to employment. Then in 2021, he was offered another incredible opportunity as a parttime Grant Writer at Pocasset Pokanoket Land Trust. After three months of success in grant writing, the nonprofit wanted to increase Chris’s role to full-time. With the goal of finding a solution that would allow him to work more hours, he once again connected with ESMA.
Ebert and Oren, AT Specialists, visited Chris’ home and set him up with an Altwork station – an adapted workstation with a seat, keyboard, and computer monitors that would allow him to work while reclining. After three months of testing in his home office, he was able to work 8 hours per day. For the first time in more than a decade, in January 2022, Chris started working full-time! He shared, “Easterseals was instrumental in helping me build a career within the limitations of my disability.”
The past year has been a gamechanger for Chris. He was promoted from Grant Writer to Director of Programming and Development. He took on communications, managing most of his organization’s programs, and leading their most successful grant funding year ever. AT services played a crucial role in Chris’s success by providing him with the tools he needed.
Chris’ journey is a testament to the power of technology in improving people’s lives and is a reminder that disabilities do not define a person’s capabilities. With the right accommodation and support, individuals can unlock their full potential and thrive in the workforce and other areas of life.
“In the five years I’ve been supported by Easterseals, I’ve gone from being unemployed to a part-time entry-level position, to a part-time professional position, to a full-time upper management position. I couldn’t have done it without Easterseals’ help.”