Organization helps people with autism and Asperger's find jobs

Organization helps people with autism and Asperger's find jobs

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - People who live with disabilities and hope to land a job now have a new hope.

As part of a partnership with SRVS and Retail Employees with Disabilities Initiative (REDI), people with physical and intellectual disabilities can receive on-the-job training and job coaching through externships.

One woman, Calisha Mack, will soon graduate from Memphis' first ever externship program with Walgreen's.

"I learned a lot about customer service and working the cash register," Mack said.

Mack has Asperger's Syndrome, and works hard everyday to improve her social skills.

"The big thing is social Autism," said Calisha's mother, Kisha Mack. "So what she struggles with is not knowing how to react in different situations."

Calisha Mack's work experience in customer service at Walgreen's proved a huge accomplishment for her.

"I learned if you have a question, you don't need to be afraid to ask," Mack added.

The opportunity to work in these environments is incredibly important for people who are often misunderstood because their disability isn't visible.

"Many of the people that SRVS work with, you don't see those issues right away," said SRVS representative Stephanie Potter. "But they do come out once people start working."

Mack and her classmates feel the lessons they've learned will last a lifetime.

"You should never say never," Mack said. "You can do anything you put your mind to. I did it."

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