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Disabilities awareness day educates employers and future employees

By Tori Shaw
Published On: Oct 23 2012 04:18:25 PM CDT
BEAUFORT COUNTY -

National Disabilities Mentoring Day is recognized by taking those with disabilities into the work place.  Wal-Mart employees take time to share with their visitors what they do every day.

"I was wrapping bread and putting labels on them," said Lee Williamson, who helped in the bakery.

After a few hours of work, the mentors and their partners have lunch at The Meeting Place in Washington.  The cafe and catering business has been nationally recognized for hiring those with disabilities.

"It takes a little extra training, but that's nothing compared to the joy you get," said Anne Martin, owner of The Meeting Place.

For the past eight years, Wal-Mart has partnered with Beaufort County Development Center, Beaufort County Schools and Vocational Rehabilitation in Washington to show ethics in the workplace and to show employees that all they need is a chance.

"Someone gave me chance when I first started in the workforce.  They have goals just like everybody does," said Martin.

Washington High School sophomore, Edward Keys, just wants a job and hopes to get one as a Wal-Mart cart pusher.

"I like payday.  I like getting paid," said Jessica Paige, who went through the job shadowing program last year.

Just like payday, National Disabilities Mentoring Day rewards them for their abilities and doesn't focus on their disabilities.