BY: USA GAMES CORRESPONDENT, MIKE GASTINEAU
What if someone with an intellectual disability had their game changed to the point that they were able to change the game for others? Stay with me.
Anna Angrisano is developmentally delayed and has epilepsy and cerebral palsy. In 2005, she got a job at the Lake Hills Library in Bellevue, Washington, as a page assistant. She took advantage of a program offered by the King County Library System (KCLS) that created the page assistant job as a way to be inclusive of people with intellectual disabilities in their hiring procedures.
“The King County Library system worked with people in the community to develop the page assistant roles,” said Lake Hills Library Operations Supervisor Maya Gutierrez. “The jobs are flexible enough that they can be carved in different ways to fit the strengths of the individual skill sets of the people applying. We work with outside agencies who provide job coaches who have regular meetings with us to make sure everyone’s goals and expectations are being met.”
Anna’s job requires her to re-shelve books accurately, keep shelves and public areas neat and orderly, and assist in other ways. She took to the assignment and all these years later is a valued employee.
“I met Anna my first week as a new supervisor in a new building,” said KCLS operations manager and Anna’s former supervisor Norma Eades. “She told me everything I needed to know about Lake Hills, which was appropriate because she knows everything about how the library runs. She’s been a cheerful staple here for over 10 years.”
And that could be the end of this story. A nice program that promotes inclusive hiring practices to help people with intellectual disabilities get a good job.
A game changer.
Except, that’s not the end of the story.