The JJs List Blog

Using Disability Awareness On The Job at Meijer

Posted by on August 29, 2018 - 0 Comments

By Brian Rohde, Disability Awareness Player, Meijer Employee

Part 2

Read Part 1 of my story here.

Brian Rohde, Self-Advocate and Meijer employee

Thanks to my time with No Boundaries, ComEd, and the Disability Awareness Players, I improved my communication skills, gained self-confidence, and got a part-time job at Meijer!

At my job, I deal with customers all the time and I have to be able to respond to customers when they have questions.  When interacting with customers, the challenging part is responding to situations where I don’t know the correct answer.

Through being part of Disability Awareness Trainings, I now understand that communication with supervisors is part of getting answers to customer questions. I have become more confident in my ability to work as a team with supervisors and co-workers in order to do the job right. I also learned that is okay to ask for clarification and to speak up for your needs.

Brian at work

Another way that being a Disability Awareness Player has helped me is that I have learned how to do sighted guiding. I was recently involved in a scenario at Meijer where I had to assist a customer with mobility struggles. The customer approached me and asked me where the restroom was located. I put my knowledge of the sighted guiding role play to the test. I took the initiative to guide him to the restroom.

One of my co-workers at the service desk complimented me for taking the time to help this customer find the restroom. This was a nice compliment because it made me feel accomplished. At the same time, I felt it was a priority to help this customer because I did not want it to be a hassle for them to walk to the restroom. This experience made me feel proud and realize that I can have a positive impact on others with and without disabilities.

As a person with a learning disability, I still find communication challenging at times. But with practice and a boost in confidence, I have learned how to communicate better privately and professionally. No Boundaries, ComEd, and JJ’s List all helped me build this important skill. I have become more focused on interacting with people at work and on demonstrating that I have many skills to offer. Disability doesn’t define me, but my hard work to overcome challenges helps me be successful.

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