Meet Matt (Iowa)!
“While many people chose not to work during the pandemic, Matt and many other individuals with disabilities chose to continue working to ensure that the needs of their community were going to be met.”
Matt works at Hy-Vee as a courtesy clerk. Hy-Vee is a regional grocery chain, and remained open to the public throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Matt has been a valued essential worker, and has been responsible for collecting carts and sanitizing them to limit the possible spread of the COVID virus.
“While many people chose not to work during the pandemic, Matt and many other individuals with disabilities chose to continue working to ensure that the needs of their community were going to be met,” said Eva Castillo of Hope Haven. Matt and his co-workers received a hazard “bonus” for contributions.
At the start of the pandemic, Matt had to adjust to new policies surrounding COVID. He had to learn new concepts such as social distancing, wearing person protective equipment (PPE) and maintaining safe boundaries while still being the “helpful smile in every aisle” that Hy-Vee is known for.
Matt receives supports the Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS) waiver. Access to these services was particularly beneficial to Matt to support him in multiple areas of his life during the COVID crisis. “Matt’s team was vital in advocating for his choice to continue working during the pandemic, and in helping him understand new policies at work,” Eva said. Matt’s support team also assisted him in understanding how his continuing to work in the community might impact him and his roommates, and what extra steps he could take to keep everyone safe.
Celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month!