Best Buddies Jobs, Los Angeles: It’s Not Just A Job, It’s A Future!

I want to work.”

“I don’t want an internship…I want a paying job.”

“I want to make money.”

“I don’t want to rely on SSI.”

“I want to be independent.”

As the Supervisor for the Best Buddies Jobs program in Los Angeles, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard these phrases uttered over the past four years.

As I reflect on the Americans with Disabilities Act, and specifically Title 1, I’m reminded that there’s still an uphill battle being waged every day regarding employment for people with IDD.  Just because a law exists doesn’t mean that companies go out of their way to enforce it.

That’s why supported employment programs like Best Buddies Jobs exist; to advocate for people with IDD and educate employers on why this untapped population may be one of the best business decisions their company can make.

Every time an employer says “Yes” to hiring someone with IDD it feels like a major victory for the movement. I like to tell all of my participants that they are ambassadors for people with disabilities. Their success on the job changes attitudes and stereotypes, and hopefully opens doors for more people with IDD to realize their dreams.

I’d like to personally thank all of our Employer Partners in Los Angeles County that have hired people with IDD. I’ve included their twitter handles, so please show your appreciation and send them a tweet thanking them for being part of the Inclusion Revolution!

20th Century Fox: @20thcenturyfox
Access Hollywood: @accesshollywood
Allan Company
Banana Republic: @bananarepublic
Best Buddies California: @BestBuddiesCA
British Petroleum: @BP_America
City of Beverly Hills: @CityofBevHills
Creative Artists Agency: @caafoundation
Entertainment Tonight: @ETonline_Alert
Equinox Century City: @Equinox
Fairmont Miramar: @fairmontmiramar
FIJI Water: @FIJIWater
Fox Operations and Engineering
Gelfand, Rennert, and Feldman
Guess?: @Guess
Hilton LAX: @HiltonLAX
Imperial Capital
Latham and Watkins: @lathamwatkins
LA Mayor’s Office: @LAMayorsOffice
Long Beach Mayor’s Office: @longbeachcity
Manatt Phelps and Phillips: @manatt
Ralph’s: @RalphsGrocery
Relativity Media
Seyfarth Shaw: @seyfarthshawLLP
Sprouts Farmers Market: @Sproutsfm
Trader Joe’s: @traderjoeslist
United Talent Agency: @UTAFoundation
William Morris Endeavor: @WMEFoundation

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About Rachel Spooner

Originally from Carmichael, California, Rachel has been with Best Buddies Jobs Los Angeles since 2008. She spends her days sourcing competitive, integrated jobs for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Before coming to Best Buddies Jobs, Rachel was an anchor and reporter for local news stations in Washington and California.

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