Feature Writer John Christie – Seeking to Eliminate Limitations

As October 2010, also National Disability Employment Awareness Month, came to a close, the staff at Work Without Limits reflected on the progress of enhancing employment opportunities for people with disabilities in Massachusetts. Alexis Henry, who is the ScD, associate professor of psychiatry and Associate Director of Work Without Limits, and Kathy Petkauskos, Work Without Limits’ senior program director, held a brown bag lunch seminar at UMass Medical School on October 25 to discuss their successes as well as their goals for the future.

The Work Without Limits initiative spreads information to the disabled community and to other groups involved with getting the disabled community employed. It also helps build and create community networks as well as provide training and technical support to service agencies and providers. They routinely conduct research and evaluate and analyze policy so that changes can be made throughout the system.

“We are a booster engine to the large engine of state infrastructure that helps people with disabilities fully participate in the community,” said Dr. Henry, also co-principal investigator group that funds Work Without Limits. “We deploy our resources to give many different kinds of activities a lift. Sometimes we’re very behind the scenes, sometimes we’re more out in front.”

Work Without Limits was created in 2008 to improve employment opportunities for the disabled and also focuses on improving transportation and medical insurance as well.  They encourage employers to work with them so that they can meet their business needs as well as the needs of the disabled community.

Work Without Limits occasionally holds meetings solely for the disabled. They welcome guests to come and speak on topics such as finding employment with federal agencies. They’ve also held open discussions on employment issues after the guest speaker speaks. Some of the employment issues that are discussed include interviewing and resources on the net to find employment and overall accessibility problems. The meetings are held in the evening from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Boston Public Library.

Work Without Limits is a fantastic group who not only advocate for the disabled but provide services and seminars which encourage discussion and instill hope in a community that is woefully underemployed.

To find out more about Work Without Limits you can go to:

http://www.umassmed.edu/oc/who_we_are/index.aspx

Source: http://www.umassmed.edu/news/articles/2010/work_without_limits.aspx

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