Ben is a young man who has learned that hard work pays off. He connected with Disability Network through the LIFE program when he was an ACE student with the Traverse Bay Intermediate School District.
Ben’s disability is cognitive impairment. It takes him a little longer to learn and understand things than others. “Before working with Disability Network, I thought of my disability as something that holds me back. But now I know that it is just something that I need to work around,” he said.
With the help of Disability Network, Ben has learned to speak up when he needs assistance, and to also be more independent. “Disability Network taught me about job skills, how to be a self-advocate, and what it takes to work for a company,” he explained. Ben is currently employed at Britten Banner in Traverse City, and has been working there for two years. “Because of Disability Network, I’m more comfortable in the work setting. If there is something I don’t understand, I’m not afraid to ask for help,” he shared. “If it weren’t for Disability Network and ACE, I wouldn’t have a good job like I have now. I might not have a job at all. I would probably be sitting around doing nothing,” he said.
The person who has most influenced Ben is Annie Campbell, who has worked at Disability Network since 2004. “She has helped me over the years with reaching my goals,” he replied. Disability Network strives to empower individuals with disabilities so they can become as independent as possible. “We’re here to help people problem solve and find ways to overcome the challenges they face,” Annie shared. “I’m proud of Ben. He’s motivated to achieve his goals and he’s learned how to communicate his needs. His dedication has paid off,” she explained.
For more information about Disability Network’s services, contact Jessie Bachmann, Program Manager, at 231.922.0903, ext. 13.
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