Strategies for Success sarah December 28, 2023

Strategies for Success

MY LIFE MAGAZINE - WINTER 2023-2024

By James Harley and Lisa Danford

Having a job coach can allow people with disabilities to work in the community with assistance. A job coach or other employment specialist helps people learn their job duties and understand how to do their work.  

Demetrius Scott is a kitchen steward at Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati, where he’s responsible for washing dishes and other cleaning tasks. He’s been working with Laura Kamesar of Easterseals Redwood for more than a year. “I definitely appreciate Laura,” he said. “She’s given me suggestions on what I should do and how to improve.”  

Kamesar, who has been a service coordinator for 20 years, said her role is supporting people at their job. “We help solve problems, but most important is to have our clients learn on their own to progress and excel at work,” she said.  

A young man and woman are seated at a table with documents in front of them as part of their job coaching arrangement.
Demetrius Scott discusses his job duties with his Easterseals Redwood Service Coodinator Laura Kamesar.

Scott is a visual learner and prefers to watch how tasks should be done. He’s detail-oriented but sometimes needs help seeing the big picture. For example, he used to wait for the dishwasher to finish its cycle before completing other work.  

“It’s a quick cycle, but I told him he should continue to do anything else that needs to be done without having to wait for the dishwasher,” Kamesar said. She also had him set an alarm on his phone as a reminder to check the water temperature or let a dirty pan soak before trying to scrub it clean. “He’s very responsive and has improved so much,” she said.   

A woman working at a department store takes a break from doing various tasks, such as returning items to their shelves, to smile for the camera.
Anna Leah Swafford works at Meijer restocking items around the store. She has a job coach from Ikron who checks in with her at least once a month.

Anna Leah Swafford works at Meijer, where she helps put items back on the shelf. She works with a job coach from Ikron at least once a month. “It’s good having someone check in with me while I do my job,” she said. “My job coach also helps me with computer training or if I have trouble finding an item in the aisle.” 

For people considering on-the-job support, Swafford says employment specialists can help with your strengths and weaknesses, as well as skills like time management or interpersonal relationships.  

Scott recommends people not be afraid of asking for assistance. “What makes me feel good about it is that I’m able to do more things,” he said. “Having Laura’s support and strategies helped me succeed.”