Making Plans to Build Up Her Community: PCSEPP Participant Bayley

By Sara Porcaro | Aug 26, 2020
PCSEPP, BHDDH, Employment, Opportunity, IDD, Disabilities, Rhode Island, ADA, Empower, Equality

Whether we're connected virtually or in person, building our community remains a vital part of our everyday lives, and that's why it's important that the working environment be a place where we can be ourselves and share our talents. It's no secret that work makes up most of the day--and with the Person Centered Supported Employment Performance Program (PCSEPP) back in action, the ability to get connected to others--and do work that makes one happy--is greater than ever before. One PCSEPP participant supported by Perspectives, Bayley, is especially excited to begin her journey into a newly imagined work experience, and she's making the most of 2020 as she prepares for the year ahead!
Funded by the RI Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospitals (BHDDH), PCSEPP is a program designed for individuals who seek a place in the workforce tailored to their skills--one that lets their personality shine through along with their strengths. Perspectives, the J. Arthur Trudeau Memorial Center, and AccessPoint RI, in partnership with Skills for Rhode Island's Future, Able Opportunities, and the Institute for Community Inclusion at UMASS Boston, have created a solid network of community resources, training in technology and employment development, and support services to pave a path of self discovery for the individuals enrolled. With the program built on the philosophy of customized employment, which takes stock of a whole person and finds unique work opportunities not readily available in job postings, it's one that allows for complete flexibility as individuals find their niche--just as Bayley is looking to do with her love of community and animals.
"I really want to work with animals," Bayley notes. "I'm hoping to find work at a local animal shelter, so that I can give back to the community and spend time with the animals, especially the cats."
As an animal-lover, and a social individual who wants to put her heart into her work and make a difference, Bayley's community is important to her. She's been growing her roots in Rhode Island since she moved up from North Carolina as a child; as an adult, she receives supports from Perspectives' Independent Living program, where she lives peacefully in her apartment. Pre-pandemic, Bayley took part in all manners of community activities, like basketball, volleyball, softball, and bowling tournaments within Special Olympics, the Perspectives Holiday Chorus, and other outings. Making and maintaining friendships is especially important to her, as through Special Olympics, she made new friends like Jennifer, who is part of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. In order to better communicate, Bayley began learning American Sign Language on her phone.
"I wanted to talk to Jennifer more, so I got an app that lets me learn ASL," Bayley says. "She's on a lot of my teams, and it's nice to have new friends to talk to."
With the pandemic closing many of the community spaces we love, it was a tough adjustment to the shelter-in-place for all of us, but Bayley kept busy at home with all kinds of art projects like homemade bracelets, classic movies, and walks through secluded hiking trails. After the shelter-in-place ended, she took time to safely visit friends in her apartment complex, and of course, she's also begun her adventures into the world of customized employment with PCSEPP. Given her love of animals, her friendly nature, and her previous volunteer experience with one teacher in the local school system and the town hall, Bayley is already equipped with the means to succeed. She's excited to continue discovering--and building--her skills and talents, especially as she keeps learning new technology tips to stay connected to her friends virtually.
"I'm not sure what PCSEPP will be like," Bayley says, "but I'm looking forward to all that's coming in the year ahead!"
Summer is already drawing to a close, and individuals like Bayley are being proactive as they lay the groundwork for the year ahead. They're ready to bring their talents, dreams and many skills to their community. As our current climate of social distancing and technological communication continue on, the opportunities for education, exploration, and connection are still here--and, in fact, only continue to grow. If you or someone you know qualifies for this program, you can learn more by contacting the Perspectives Employment Services team; e-mail them at employmentservices@perspectivescorporation.com or call them at (401) 294-3990.


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