It’s Not Impossible
The word impossible is often recklessly thrown around without sufficient cause. When an activity is erroneously stuck with that label, it automatically creates obstacles that may not be accurate. It casts doubts on what can be achieved, and it reinforces a negative belief that could be completely wrong.
Have you ever been told that something you wanted to do was impossible? Did that stop you, or did you go ahead and attempt it?
If you decided to make the effort, you quickly learned that it takes courage to step out of your comfort zone and try to do what others say can’t be done. It is a test of character to face a challenge when you don’t know if you can overcome it. And it is an act of empowerment when you accomplish a task that was wrongly considered to be beyond your capabilities.
For many of the men and women we work with, having a job was thought to be impossible for them. Because they had a developmental disability, it was automatically assumed that they could not be successfully employed. However, those assumptions were based solely on misconceptions that led to unfair judgment. They were not based on facts.
Over the last four decades, the Meadows has assisted adults with a wide spectrum of intellectual and physical challenges in achieving their goal of having a meaningful job, even though others were convinced it could not happen.
But the determination and persistence of these men and women allowed them to not only land a job and keep it, they flourished as their abilities improved over time. Correspondingly, that led to an increase in their self-esteem and sense of self-worth. For these adults, long-term employment has led to success in other areas of life. With hard-earned confidence, they are more willing to attempt new endeavors and explore new interests.
Unfortunately, however, not enough businesses are willing to hire people with developmental disabilities. The unemployment rate for this portion of the population is significantly higher than other segments of society.
A person with an intellectual challenge cannot know if they can do a job until they are allowed to try. But it is a certainty that without an opportunity, employment will forever remain out of reach.
That is why an organization like ours can make a difference. At the Meadows, individuals who would otherwise be pushed aside and ignored are given the chance they deserve to earn a paycheck. They get to experience the dignity of work while they develop a level of vocational proficiency that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. They become more independent and self-reliant. They learn social skills and how to interact as part of a team. Overall, their lives are positively affected in countless ways.
Happily, they are living proof that just because someone says something can’t be done doesn’t make it a fact.
We are proud that our nonprofit provides an encouraging and constructive environment that allows our workers to thrive and accomplish what others thought was only a dream that could never come true.
But the real credit belongs to the individuals themselves. The reason they have defied the skeptics is because of the extraordinary effort they consistently give. They are proud to have a job, and their commitment and dedication motivate them to excel and reach their potential.
Over the last forty years, it has been a privilege for the Meadows to play a part in the success achieved by men and women with developmental disabilities, and we look forward to continuing to be a safe and supportive place of employment that is always filled with possibilities.