Wayne Finds the Perfect Fit
March 2, 2013
“Have a good attitude and work hard.”
That’s what Wayne Decker tells himself every day before he starts work at the Country House restaurant, something he believes is very important to remember.
Wayne, a long-term member of Elim’s Adult Services program, has disabilities that have required special services. While Wayne has had many different job opportunities, he has had a hard time finding the right fit because he struggles–as he readily admits–with his attitude and communication skills.
Dave Fussell, Manager at Country House Restaurant in Alsip, Illinois, believed that Wayne deserved a spot on his team. “A lot of people don’t give people with disabilities a chance. We just thought it would be great to have him use his life skills and develop new skills, so that he can grow and learn and work regardless of a special challenge that he may be facing.”
That decision has paid off. “We never need to tell him to do anything,” Dave enthuses. “To see how happy he is every day being out in the community–that helps the restaurant, because this is a stressful business, and when you see Wayne happy, it makes other people happier, too. He’s a breath of fresh air when he comes in to work.”
Not only does Wayne always do his best, but he is best known for blessing each customer by saying, “Goodbye, and have a good day,” as they leave their tables. It’s that type of special acknowledgement that makes customers return time and again, and it’s a testament to that pep talk Wayne gives himself before work every day.
Community integration and vocational programming are vital components of Elim’s Adult Services program. Elim’s staff works hard to find individualized vocational opportunities that maximize the adults’ learning opportunities and best match their skills.
Elim’s adults also often participate in service learning, field trips, and social and recreational outings within the community. Through community involvement, Elim’s adults learn while blessing others, displaying the value of individuals with disabilities.