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Disabled Job Seekers Get Help - KOAM TV 7

Disabled Job Seekers Get Help

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PARSONS, KANSAS - United Healthcare's "Empower Kansans" program is distributing $1.5 million over a 3-year period to organizations in Kansas helping disabled individuals find jobs.

Steve Webber not only works with the mentally and physically disabled at SKIL Resource Center, but deals with personal hurdles of his own.  

"Mental health disabilities," Webber said. "ADD, and Bi-polar, and some depression."

So when he sees programs like Empower Kansans funding groups to help the disabled find jobs, he knows the importance.

"A lot of employers, they don't necessarily understand that people can overcome things and still be a good asset for them," Webber said. 

One of the grant recipients, Assistive Technology for Kansans, received funds to continue it's "Achieving Employment with Digital Technology" initiative. Which Webber took part in.

"For individuals to acquire basic computer skills and looking at how those computer skills can help them address the barriers that they're facing in terms of employment and/or health," said Sarah Sach, Director of Assistive Technology for Kansans.

"It allows access to different accessibility features within the iPad applications that may make something possible for somebody that without that the device they may not be able to do," Webber said.

Officials say the program's success can be credited to the ability to cater the program to specific job seekers.

"Training is addressing their identified skill set they're working on," Sach said. "And then it's also looking at other health measures. So we employ a number of apps to monitor their health, their exercise, their stress levels. So it's a package."

"I'm excited that we're gonna be able to put this on again and help out and reach out to some more people," Webber said. "Get them trained so they can get out there and be active members of our communities."

Of the 45 people who participated in the program with Webber, 17 have found full-time employment.

The upcoming classes will expand to 80 people.

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Tim Spears
FOX 14 News Anchor, Reporter

In September 2014, Tim Spears joined KOAM as a Reporter. Tim previously worked at 95.1FM (Mike FM) and was a Sports Producer at PSU. Young Timothy was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and was raised in Kansas City, MO area.

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