Rep. Tim Whelan joins photo session highlighting Latham’s Vocational Services

A 30-minute photo session at Agway recently captured the essence of Latham Centers’ Vocational Services Program. Our goal was to take a few photos of Drew, a member of our Adult Services program who works at Agway, for a spot in the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers (ADDP) 2019 Calendar. Latham Centers is delighted to be featured in next year’s calendar—and to have had the opportunity to spend some time with State Representative Timothy Whelan who joined us for the photo shoot. The ADDP calendar is distributed to all state legislators, and Rep. Whelan will be highlighted along with Drew and Latham Centers in the highly regarded calendar.

At the August 15th photo session, the spotlight was on Drew. He works during the spring and summer in the pet department at Agway of Cape Cod’s South Dennis store. Drew’s story illustrates both the positive results of Latham’s client-centered individualized career planning and the support from local businesses such as Agway who provide meaningful, competitive-wage jobs for Latham’s residents. The photos are beautiful—they offer a glimpse of community collaboration at its best. In addition to thanking ADDP for the opportunity to share our program highlights in next year’s calendar, we’d like to express our sincere gratitude for the following photo session participants who enthusiastically helped us share the impact of our program services:

  • Drew allowed us to interrupt his work routine of stocking shelves in the pet department to have a series of photographs taken. He smiled, he conversed with Latham and Agway staff about his work, and he happily went outside on an uncomfortably hot day in the interest of helping us get just the right group photo in front of Agway. He was gracious and didn’t seem to mind being the celebrity.

  • Case Manager/Vocational Counselor Sam MacDonald reworked his schedule to accompany Drew in the photo session and expressed appreciation to have Latham’s good work shared with our legislators and ADDP colleagues.

  • The team at Agway was beyond accommodating; store manager Lizzie and assistant manager Steve warmly welcomed the potential chaos of a photo shoot during a busy retail day – inside the pet department, outside the store, and with their pet department manager Hillary who expressed how incredibly helpful Drew has been and who willingly smiled for the camera (many times!) Lizzie is so fond of Drew and the opportunity to oversee his placement that even though she couldn’t be present for the group photo, she arranged for one to be taken of her and Drew the following week, noting, “Drew has been such a great help and we all appreciate his hard work.”

  • State Representative Timothy Whelan said he was honored to join us for the photo session, and his congratulations to Drew as a valued employee at Agway made everyone proud. He is a dear friend to Latham and his words of encouragement and support—and wonderful dose of humor and storytelling—were memorable moments for all of us.

  • Photographer Denise Pressman from Fleeting Moments Photography masterfully captured the essence of Drew’s rewarding job experience at Agway. It will be hard to choose which photo to send along to ADDP!

Thank you all for helping Latham Centers share our vocational news!

More about the ADDP calendar: Each year, ADDP produces a calendar for legislators and state agency administrators showcasing its members who provide services to individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD) and brain injuries. This project helps to educate local legislators about the need for adequate funding for services and supports that individuals with I/DD and brain injuries benefit from. It also provides an opportunity for service providers to involve local legislators in their agency and/or program.

More about Latham’s Vocational Program: Under the leadership of Director of Vocational Services Maura Smith, Latham Centers collaborates with community partners to create meaningful job opportunities, enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities. For Drew and other Latham residents, the benefits of greater inclusion, happiness, and fulfillment have positive ripple effects throughout Cape Cod and southeastern Massachusetts.

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