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Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month: Promoting inclusion, integration and independence


Stephen Rogers, who works at Iron Mountain, credits Devereux Pennsylvania’s CAAPP program with helping him bounce back and find a full-time job that he enjoys after being laid off from his previous job due to COVID-19.

Jessica Beauvais says Devereux Pennsylvania’s CAAPP team has helped her thrive in her role as a computer-aided design drafter at DJM Design, CAD and Coordination Services.

“Children, adolescents and adults with developmental disabilities, such as autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities and learning disorders, should be given the same opportunities as those without disabilities – to achieve their goals and live their best lives.”
  — Devereux Vice President of Operations – Adult Services
      Stephen Bruce, M.Ed., BCBA.

In recognition of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in March, Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health wants to celebrate the many contributions made by people with developmental disabilities, and raise awareness of the challenges that remain for these individuals.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about one in six children in the U.S., between the ages of 3 and 17 (or about 17 percent), have one or more developmental disabilities or other developmental delays.

“Individuals with developmental disabilities want to be included, accepted, appreciated and understood – just like everyone else,” said Bruce. “At Devereux, our goal is to help youth and adults of all abilities build self-confidence and self-esteem; develop essential job, life and social skills; and achieve success in their homes, schools and communities.”

Securing meaningful employment

One individual who is thriving in his community – with support from Devereux Pennsylvania – is Stephen Rogers, who works at Iron Mountain in Sharon Hill, Pa.

Rogers credits Devereux Pennsylvania’s Community Adult Autism Partnership Program (CAAPP), which provides individualized and innovative community-based support services for adults with autism spectrum disorders and other disabilities, with helping him bounce back and find a full-time job that he enjoys after being laid off from his previous job due to COVID-19.

“At my old job, I liked that the company treated me with respect and checked in with me to make sure I was emotionally and physically OK,” Rogers shared. “I had a good support system. The people there respected my work, and I learned what it means to be part of a team. That has helped me at my new job – I like working at Iron Mountain. I load and unload trucks and shred paperwork. I have learned a lot from working there, such as how to read labels and sort through paperwork.”

Showcasing skills and talents

Since 2017, Jessica Beauvais, who also is enrolled in Devereux Pennsylvania’s CAAPP program, has been working full time at DJM Design, CAD and Coordination Services in Schwenksville, Pa., as a computer-aided design drafter.

“I draw plumbing parts and plans. I have learned a lot of specifics about the placement of toilets, sinks and piping, such as how far away the piping should be from other things,” Beauvais explained. “At the beginning of the pandemic, I was working from home, which was challenging. I went back to the office in July and my performance improved. I prefer working in the office – it’s easier to stay on task and ask questions because my co-workers are right there.”

Beauvais says Devereux Pennsylvania’s CAAPP team has helped her along the way and keeps in regular contact with her employer. “It’s helpful to have someone who I can ask if I’m doing a good job,” Beauvais noted.

Devereux’s programs and services

As part of Devereux’s continuum of care, the organization provides innovative programs and services for youth and adults with developmental disabilities, which vary by state, and include:

  • Treatment in residential settings
  • Community-based living
  • Outpatient and other specialized services
  • Special education day schools
  • Therapeutic foster care
  • Employment and transition services

Learn more about Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health.


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