Cindy Wagstaff began her employment at ACHIEVE’s workshop on Cutler Pond Road in October of 1979. During the past 31 years, she has performed numerous jobs at different locations, including Lester Avenue where she currently works. Cindy has also taken the opportunity to work at two off-site locations over the years-at NYSEG/IRC and Team World. Except for the time she spent at Team World from March of 2008 through February of 2009, she has remained at Lester Avenue since it opened in 1997.
Cindy has been receiving prevocational services since January of 2000. She has been working with Country Valley Industries (CVI) staff on improving her communication and problem solving skills. When Cindy first started, she was a very quiet worker: she would come in, do her job, and go home, barely saying a word. She had the tendency to talk about irrelevant topics and/or repeat what others had said, just to try and interact more with peers and staff.
Cindy lives in a rural area and has always arrived to work at different times because of her bus route. It was never known when she would actually arrive in the morning. There were times when she took days off to spend time with her family and friends, and/or was unable to come in due to inclement weather. Cindy’s mother would generally send a note about appointments, days off, etc. and call the receptionist when Cindy was not coming to work, but sometimes it was forgotten about.
After talking with Cindy’s mother, her Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) felt that Cindy would benefit from increasing her independence with communication and would help her feel more confident in her ability to relay information and converse more appropriately with others. Cindy’s communication goal was modified and she was instructed on how to use the telephone and leave messages on answering machines. She was also expected to inform the CVI receptionist or her VRC when she had arrived in the mornings, or needed to leave early. This boosted Cindy’s self confidence and she began to find it easier to improve her communication skills even further, along with increasing her independence.
Since the goal was first written, Cindy has learned to use the telephone independently and has called CVI reporting her absences, and providing an explanation. She also reports her arrival to work in the mornings, so everyone is aware of the exact time she comes in. Cindy has also become more talkative and not as shy about visiting her VRC, or even her Medicaid Service Coordinator to report any information, upcoming events, or appointments she has. Cindy feels more comfortable and is becoming even more confident. She also has wonderful affect on others and will frequently make comments during the day with her dry sense of humor, which makes for lots of laughter at CVI.
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