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[Audio] Easter Seals of West Kentucky Employs and Empowers Disabled Individuals

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Employment benefits both individual and business, allowing each to contribute adequately and uniquely to the community. Individuals with disabilities, however, often find navigating the workforce intimidating, difficult and sometimes impossible. Employment Connections Manager at Easter Seals of West Kentucky, Ashley Taylor, speaks with Tracy on Sounds Good about how she works with her team to positively match disabled individuals with local employers. 

Employment Connections works to build relationships with disabled individuals and local businesses, going out into the community to match employees to employers.

Ashley describes the program as working "to empower people who have disabilities to become more independent in their life."

While potential employers may be intimidated by the process of hiring a person with disabilities, fearing what could happen if the situation doesn't work out, Ashley works to assure businesses that Employment Connections advocates for them just as much as they advocate for the disabled individual.     

"We don't want to set anyone up for a failure," Ashley said. "So we would be the first ones to approach [the employer] and admit that we didn't make a good job match, that this job isn't for this person. We want everyone to succeed at what they do."

Fortunately, that situation occurs very infrequently. Because Ashley's team works hard to learn the individual's strengths, weaknesses, interests, likes and dislikes, the job matches they make are successful more than they are unsuccessful.

Employment Connections recently worked with a local doctor's office that was paying nurses overtime to stay late and shred papers, stuff envelopes, and build new patient files. 

"It was costing them a lot of money," Ashley said. "They were able to bring in one of our folks and gave this person a job making a very good rate of pay, and they really did enjoy it and it was a huge success."

Those who are interested in learning more about employment for disabled individuals can contact Ashley by calling 270-443-1200. 

Easter Seals of West Kentucky will be holding its annual Heart & Soul Art Celebration and Auction this Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Walker Hall Events Center in Paducah. There will be a live and silent auction, food and fun, and proceeds benefit the Adult Services Art Program. 

More information and tickets are available by calling Easter Seals of West Kentucky at 270-444-9687. 

Tracy started working for WKMS in 1994 while attending Murray State University. After receiving his Bachelors and Masters degrees from MSU he was hired as Operations/Web/Sports Director in 2000. Tracy hosted All Things Considered from 2004-2012 and has served as host/producer of several music shows including Cafe Jazz, and Jazz Horizons. In 2001, Tracy revived Beyond The Edge, a legacy alternative music program that had been on hiatus for several years. Tracy was named Program Director in 2011 and created the midday music and conversation program Sounds Good in 2012 which he hosts Monday-Thursday. Tracy lives in Murray with his wife, son and daughter.
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