Disability proves no challenge at the office

Working two jobs, Carl Johnson doesn’t let his disability hold him back. He enjoys staying busy and learning important on-the-job lessons.

carlTwenty-four year old Carl Johnson keeps his schedule busy with two jobs, the first at the Dewey Square Group and another at the California Endowment offices in Sacramento, CA. Carl is just like everyone else in the workforce—he works hard, follows direction, and comes in early—but Carl is developmentally disabled.

Although to some, that may seem like an obstacle, Carl meets this challenge with a smile. Tamara Torlakson, senior associate at Dewey Square Group, says “Having Carl in our office helps all of us learn and understand what assets people in the developmental and intellectually disabled community are.”

Whether Carl is helping with filing, mailing letters, consolidating recycling, watering the plants or assembling folders, Carl always has a strong work ethic and completes his tasks with a smile, bringing a contagious positive attitude to the office. When asked what he likes most about his job, Carl is quick to reply “I like being a hard worker, I like everybody.”

Since 2009, Carl has not only been a contributor to office productivity, but indirectly improves office moral at the Dewey Square Group. Margaret Lyons, managing principal at the Dewey Square Group, agrees and says “Every day is better when Carl is in the office.”

Prior to his current jobs, Carl worked at a variety of places including the California Department of Developmental Services and Shriner’s Hospital where he learned many valuable organizational, operational and cleaning skills. Carl is a true role model in the office and any company would be lucky to have him.

Carl balances his work schedule with a three day a week exercise program called Healthy Start, which teaches participants with intellectual and developmental disabilities about nutrition, exercise, and general good health. Carl is a well-rounded,shining example of how an individual with developmental disabilities can lead an active and healthy life.