Organization aims to increase employment opportunities for those with disabilities

Local News
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The U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey estimates that individuals with disabilities were less likely to be employed than individuals without disabilities between 2008 and 2010. (CBS 4 News)

An organization is working to ensure that people with disabilities in the Rio Grande Valley have the resources available to help them get employed.

Leigh Ann Godinez, a unit specialist for the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services in McAllen, said DARS has helped more than 95,000 people with disabilities find employment statewide since 2014.

“We help people not only find and maintain jobs, but we also help people increase their independent living goals,” Godinez said.

Stephanie Corrales, a 23 year-old single mother who was diagnosed with a learning disability when she was young, found employment with the help of DARS. She was able to receive job training and is now a full-time employee at the Chick-fil-A restaurant inside the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley campus in Edinburg.

“Everyone’s disability is different. I think everybody can learn. If they help them and guide them then they should be able to do it,” Corrales said.

The university also offers training for those with disabilities through the Community Rehabilitative Placement Services program.

“A lot of employers are very cautious about hiring people with disabilities, but they are the ones that show up to work every day,” said Keely Smith a counselor for the program.

Smith encourages the community to open their doors for people with disabilities who need help finding employment.

If you are a person who needs help finding employment, or an employer looking for more information about DARS, you can visit their website

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