In a world filled with harsh judgment, cynicism, and intolerance, we all wish there was a place that made us feel respected and appreciated. Somewhere that treated us with dignity while allowing us to reach our potential and thrive.
The Meadows Center for Opportunity is such a place.
Since opening our doors in 1983, we have focused on hiring men and women with developmental disabilities and other intellectual and physical challenges. Many of these individuals were either denied the right to work, or they were unable to maintain jobs in the community. But fortunately, they found a home with us because we provide meaningful employment for adults who deserve to be valued not because of what they can or cannot do but for who they are.
That is why we have created an environment that fosters trust and goodwill. Under our roof, each individual is treated as a person – not as a diagnosis. These men and women are rightfully proud of their employment, and we make every possible effort to help them succeed. That includes adapting workstations and giving assistance and support as needed so that every person remains safe and comfortable.
Our facility is a place of discovery as new skills are developed in an uplifting atmosphere of encouragement. Positive reinforcement is used to temper any constructive guidance that is needed. Even if the outcome of a person’s attempt at a particular assignment is not what was hoped for, there is still valuable experience to be gained from their efforts that can be useful to them in the future.
As an individual slowly determines what skills and abilities they possess, we remain patient endeavoring to remove any feelings of pressure or anxiety which could hinder their ability to learn. It is our willingness to allow a person to progress at their own pace that sets The Meadows apart from other businesses that focus solely on results that affect their bottom line. Although we are a successful non-profit, that success is not achieved at the expense of our employees.
Additionally, we have a responsibility to the families of those we employ. We are humbled by the trust and faith they have in us. They depend on our staff and management to monitor the well-being of their loved ones at all times. And since the health of our workers is our primary concern, it’s a responsibility that governs our every decision and action.
Because of the employment and vocational training we offer, we are pleased to play a part in shattering the myth that people with developmental disabilities cannot work. We know this misconception has no basis in fact because each day, our employees demonstrate, beyond any doubt, that they can be productive citizens. And when these individuals have the chance to contribute, our society becomes more accepting and inclusive.
Every person with an intellectual challenge who passes through our doors richly blesses us in their own way. The satisfaction they experience when hired increases as they become proficient at their job. And as their employer, we also get to share the joy of their achievements and sense of accomplishment. It is our privilege to be a part of their growth and success.
That is why we intend to continue to serve the disability community by ensuring that The Meadows remains a place of new beginnings, where the dream of employment can become a reality.