Joan Ford’s introduction to working with the handicapped took place in 1981, when Executive Director Dave Molstad suggested she apply to work at the bottle depot. Joan started out as a cashier at the depot and has been employed with the Association in various positions since that time. Training has always been available through the Association and Joan has taken part in many of the available workshops throughout the years.
With no previous experience working with the disabled, Joan learned that they had a lot to offer in the workplace and she found many ways to relate with them. Joan cannot recall any particular problems stemming from their inclusion in the workplace.
Joan moved on to become a supervisor at the bottle depot three months after starting as a cashier. She eventually took over as Manager at the depot and spent twenty years working there in total. Joan remembers the depot as being a busy workplace with a demanding pace for everyone involved. Joan says the public reaction to the clients working at the bottle depot was very accepting.
Over the years, Joan has enjoyed watching the clients learn and has shared in their successes along the way. She has always enjoyed working with the clients and has had a lot of fun with them.
Five years ago, Joan started a job share position at the Developmental Activity Program (DAP). She says that working at DAP is a “luxury” compared to demanding environment of the bottle depot.
Joan feels fortunate that she has been involved with the Association. The experience has helped her to become much more appreciative of the good in life and has widened her horizons in many ways.