Disabled workers struggle to find employment

Program offers help matching disabled workers with jobs, but the workload is taxing the system.

By

State News

February 7, 2020 - 3:34 PM

Project Search intern Genesis Coleman cares for children at the Child Development Center on McConnell Air Force Base. Photo by STEPHAN BISAHA / KANSAS NEWS SERVICE

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. (AP) — Nikki Heiman was excited to learn that the state was sending a job counselor to work with her son, Trenton, a high school student with Down syndrome.

But that excitement fizzled when Heiman learned the specialist could only meet with Trenton once a month — and only for 15 minutes. That’s all the time the counselor could squeeze into her schedule while handling a large caseload that forces her to shuttle between multiple counties.

“We were very disappointed,” Heiman told the Kansas News Service. “When you cover five counties, you spend so much of your workweek driving and not nearly enough providing services to people who need support.”

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