Published: January 10, 2018
Employment for people with intellectual disabilities and KentuckyWorks were recently featured in an article by Valarie Honeycutt Spears in the Lexington Herald-Leader. The article highlights the significant contributions of people with disabilities, like Megan McCormick, who works as a para-educator at Lexington’s Millcreek Elementary.
“I want them to see how I could be a good role model for them to learn … and to reach their potential and work hard so they can do things like go to college,” McCormick said. “I want to be their inspiration. Elementary school should be a stepping stone to get the job they want.”
“She just has a heart of gold, [Principal] Ross said. “She really does desire to do the best job she possibly can. It’s been great for both of us I believe. She’s so reflective. There’s not a day that goes by that she doesn’t ask, ‘Dr. Ross, Is there something that I can do better?’ She’s always wanting feedback.”
This feature about Megan’s experience and the desire of people with intellectual disabilities to be employed is set in contrast with low employment rate and wages for people with intellectual disabilities in Kentucky. KentuckyWorks is highlighted as a program aiming to improve employment outcomes for people with intellectual disabilities in Kentucky. Further, the article brings attention to the importance of hiring people with intellectual disabilities as valued and valuable employees who are members of our community.
KentuckyWorks is a collaborative effort between the Human Development Institute, the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), the Kentucky Department of Education and Education Co-ops, the Kentucky Division of Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities, Kentucky Protection & Advocacy, the Kentucky Office for the Blind, Commonwealth Council on Developmental Disabilities, the Kentucky Office of Autism, and the Kentucky Autism Training Center.