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Wanda’s Story

Seeking an employer who understood the accommodations required because of her disability.
Wanda worked as a part of the kitchen staff for a Rehabilitation Center. However, long hours on her feet caused her excessive stress and pain on her body. Doctors recommended that she sit for certain periods of time while at work, but she struggled to find a balance.

“My favorite part of my job is being able to work with others and watch them get more confident in what they’re doing. Sometimes, when they start, they’re shy and only do what you tell them to do, but now they go ahead and do other things that they see needs to be done. [My team] likes to be praised…we all love that! Hearing that motivates you to want to do better.”
— Wanda

When a friend highly recommended BDI to Wanda, she leaped at the opportunity. “I was able to show them what my doctor had prescribed for me, and they let me do that without it being a big issue.”

Now, Wanda works at DEFACS and Fort Gillem doing janitorial services. After working for DEFACS for six months, she was promoted to Lead Janitorial, where she delegates tasks and keeps everyone on her team on track. She is proud of herself for becoming a lead and has enjoyed the position for 4-5 years.

Wanda also applied the skills she gained at work to her home life. Through her job at BDI, where many of her coworkers have disabilities, Wanda learned to be more patient and to communicate better with her son, who also has a disability. This strengthened their relationship while also nudging her son toward greater self-sufficiency. Instead of doing things for her son, she now coaches him to do things for himself, such as arrange transportation to the doctor. She hopes he will also find a job with BDI’s help.

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