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Monday, October 24, 2011
Jessica Rosado was thrilled when she was hired to work full-time for Melwood at the Naval Research Laboratory in 2009. She hoped for a part-time job when she applied. After graduating from her special education program, she enrolled in Melwood’s Employee Support Services, where she decided to seek custodial jobs with her counselor’s help.
Jessica was born with an intellectual disability, and motor skill problems make it hard to maintain her balance. “It affects me in my job. I have to look at the ground to keep my balance. I have to stand and talk, or I could fall and hurt myself,” she says. Sometimes people ask what is going on, and “I tell them I have to take care of my safety.”
According to Jessica, “I may need more help than other people because of my disability, but I accept who I am and want the same privileges as everyone else.” Jessica’s supervisor says she mastered her work responsibilities and is eager to learn and willing to ask questions if she doesn’t know something.
Most important, Jessica says, having a job gives her “the same opportunities as everyone else.”