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Los Angeles Woman Makes Good on Trial Job Offer, Becomes Integral Part of Employment Team

by Leticia Lopez, Westside Center for Independent Living, Los Angeles, CA

Glenda* is a 37-year-old Latina who is married and has two children. As a child, Glenda experienced a bacterial infection that caused her to lose her hearing in both ears.

Glenda wanted to get a job and contribute to her family’s well-being, so she enrolled in the Latino Employment Connection program at the Westside Center for Independent Living (WCIL). During her first meeting with the job developer, Glenda was very depressed and self-conscious about her disability.

The job developer explained the program and reassured Glenda that together they would be able to find a job. The job developer assisted Glenda with employment preparation exercises such as doing mock interviews in Spanish and English, since Glenda’s Spanish was stronger than her English.

After the vocational training period, the job developer worked with Glenda to set up meetings with employer representatives and to submit applications. Glenda interviewed for jobs with several employers, but many of them seemed reluctant to hire people with disabilities. Sensing this, the job developer tried another technique: she met with the supervisor from Food For Less supermarket and asked her to hire Glenda on a probationary basis. This would allow Glenda to show that she could do the job like any other employee.

The supervisor agreed and hired her. Glenda has now been in this job for more than three months. On a follow-up call, the Food For Less supervisor told the job developer, “Glenda is doing a wonderful job and we are happy that she is part of our team.”

Glenda is satisfied with her position and her kids say they are proud of her.

*name changed