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Latino Employment Connection for Proyecto Visión in Los Angeles

by Lupe Espinoza, Westside Center for Independent Living, Los Angeles, CA

At 9 years of age this Latino Employment Connection (LEC) consumer was paralyzed on one side of his body when he hit his head on the corner of a table while playing. He ended up in a coma for couple of days. Ever since his accident he had experienced depression and talks about watching the other children running and playing outside of his window and not being able to join them. The doctors told him he was going to be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life, however, while he is paralyzed on his left side, later in his in life he regained the strength to walk again.

Throughout his life, he had been employed at several non-profit organizations and was frequently laid off due to the limited time frames of the contracts that funded his positions. More recently at the age of 55, he had struggled to find employment due to his disability and his age.

He then enrolled in the Latino Employment Connection (LEC) and met with the job developer to discuss his employment options. After only two months in the LEC Program, the job developer worked with him to identify and secure a part-time position at the American Red Cross as a clerk. The consumer continues to be happy with his current job and has reached the 90-day retention mark.