In the spirit of never giving up, I went with my daughter this week to ACCES-VR, the government agency responsible for helping people with disabilities find employment. Samantha and I met with Stacy Genn, the same nice Vocational Rehab Counselor on the 5th floor of 116 West 26th whom we saw in 2015. As most of my readers know, Samantha continues to be unemployed, so the purpose of our recent visit was to get a new referral to an agency that will (hopefully, FINALLY?) provide my daughter with supported employment (SEMP). Stacy highly recommended Birch Family Services over another agency we were considering because Birch has job coaches who specialize in working with people on the spectrum and help “customize” jobs to fit their skills and interests. Also, Birch supposedly has a shorter waiting list of three or four months, instead of two-plus years at other places.
“Sounds good. Let’s do it.” Sadly, I’m used to all of these delays and resigned to picking the best-case scenario in a bleak landscape.
“Are you sure?” Stacy advises us to read through two pages of paperwork before Samantha signs.
I give the papers a cursory glance and pass them to Samantha to sign. She had already pulled out a pen from her purse. It’s not as though we have other options….
But after leaving ACCES-VR I feel oddly optimistic. Coincidentally, someone I trust had just sent me a flyer from Birch Family Services offering seminars she thought might interest Samantha. Check out firstname.lastname@example.org Also, instead of taking three subways and trudging 8 blocks on a bitter cold December day in 2015, Samantha and I had taken one train–the new Second Avenue subway–and walked only 3 blocks on an unseasonably warm February afternoon. Perhaps it’s an omen?