Toolworks’ newest program, the Disability Employment Initiative (DEI), is built to improve communication between state and local employment and training programs to increase employment options for people with disabilities.
Our team primarily supports San Francisco’s Comprehensive and Neighborhood Access Points, offering job assistance and training resources in American Sign Language, Cantonese, and Spanish in addition to English. DEI started operating under Toolworks in June of 2013 and has already started making a difference in the community.
One of our first job seekers, Laxmi Lwin, provides a clear example of the types of people who are benefiting. Laxmi, a Nepalese immigrant, started to find her customer service oriented job at her family’s restaurant was no longer a good match as she started to lose her hearing.
Though a multifaceted approach focused on developing Laxmi’s communications skills, finding hard-of-hearing support groups, practicing interviews and working on cover letters, she was able to build the confidence and skills necessary to start looking for work. After discovering what types of positions she was most interested in pursuing, our team helped her apply to several hotels in San Francisco.
In short order, she landed a full-time position as a lead housekeeper in Union Square, where Toolworks kept working with her and her employer. Our team coached her on how to disclose her hearing loss to her employer, educated her on employee rights, and offered solutions to her and her employer to ensure her success.
After months of uncertainty, Laxmi is now assured in her new position and ready for the future.