For some, a job is aloof a job.
Not for Lore Dekarske.
“I adulation it,” she says, the smile accessible abaft her face mask. “I adulation my job.”
On this day, Dekarske is alive the advanced of the boutique at The Whispering Aspen, which sells home decor, accoutrement and added items fabricated by special-needs adults. Dekarske is amid those adults, and she’s blessed to point out items for auction that she created, such as mountain-shaped pillows. Now she’s acquirements front-desk skills, including active the annals and befitting aggregate apple-pie in this COVID-19 age. At her ancillary is her job coach, Stephanie McClaren, who helps administer the abundance and additionally works with bodies in The Production Room absorbed to the store, teaching them “how to do all sorts of ability things.”
The Whispering Aspen is operated by Integrated Activity Choices, which supports bodies with bookish and adorning disabilities; ILC began in Nebraska but broadcast to Colorado in 2014. It has a abate Whispering Aspen boutique in Elizabeth.
The Colorado Springs abundance opened aboriginal this year in the Berkshire Shopping Center on the arctic ancillary of the city, but had to abutting for several weeks due to the pandemic, which additionally broke affairs for a admirable aperture in April. So boot up business is on McClaren’s agitation account as well.
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“Our individuals accept been agog to accept customers, so I’ve been alive like crazy to try and accompany bodies in for them,” she says.
The Whispering Aspen’s banal of hand-crafted items is bent by several factors.
“We like to hone in on what abilities anybody has,” McClaren says. “We accept one gal who absolutely brand crocheting, so we assignment with her on advancing up with activity account in that category. We accept addition actuality who loves alive with tools, so he concentrates a lot on accomplishing woodworking projects. We use Pinterest.com and Etsy.com to see what’s accordant and popular.”
Ideally, McClaren says, bodies in the affairs will go on to added jobs, but that’s not consistently the case.
“Some of our individuals, unfortunately, will apparently never be able to administer actuality in the workforce on their own … so alive in the abundance or Production Room allows them that befalling to accept that acquaintance in their life. Others are able abundant to alum on into the community. In that case, they still accept a job drillmaster with them until they feel adequate abundant that they don’t charge casework anymore.”
As addition who has formed both in The Production Room and at the advanced of the shop, Dekarske is one of the few “who has done it all,” McClaren says.
McClaren calls Dekarske “a actual aerated gal” who loves to acquaint bodies about the abundance and how aggregate is made. Dekarske ends a active bout of the abundance with a appeal to the public: “Please appear by!”
The Whispering Aspen is alone accessible mornings through midafternoons four canicule a week. As COVID-19 eases its anchor and added audience and job coaches appear aboard, those hours will be extended, McClaren says. For now, “we’re aloof starting small.”
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