How to find a job at WDW for my mentally handicapped son

BabybetterDisney

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 14, 2018
It sounds like you have made up your mind about getting him a job at WDW. Maybe you could do a google search for Orlando area employment help for adults with your son's situation. I think a local employment office would also know about helping him obtain a job. I'm not sure about how to get those specific jobs, but possibly a phone call or email to corporate human resources might help. Just google their number, it is easy to find.

What does your son think about moving across the country for a job? Does he specifically want to work for Disney?
It's not that I made up my mind about moving to WDW at all. I only wish to do it if that's the only place left, and in my mind, WDW has so much work he can do! Surely he can get a job there, if he can't get it anywhere else! But if he can get it somewhere closer to home, it is definitely better. Moving to Florida is not easy, certainly. Thanks for the recommendation of calling corporate, I did not think of that.

My son doesn't think. About moving across the country, or want to work for Disney, or anything. He doesn't understand what a country is, or moving across. He knows what a job is, or working at Disney. He doesn't want to work, really; for Disney or anybody else; he prefers playing Xbox. But I know that he will be happier with a job than playing video games for the rest of his life.
 
  • BabybetterDisney

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 14, 2018
    As far as state assistance/programs for disabled adults go, Florida ranks near the bottom nationally. I would NOT move to Florida. Its possibly worse than Montana.

    We live in CA, in Orange County. It costs an arm and a leg to live here, but this state and in particular this county, has a VERY good, established program through Regional Center in partnership with hundreds of local and national businesses to provide work programs for disabled adults. Our 2 sons are autistic and will likely work through these programs when they graduate HS as well. Disneyland is, for sure, a partner in this program. They hire bus boys that work in a couple of the Disneyland quick service locations, clearing trays, mopping floors, wiping down tables. I have seen these employees numerous times over the years. They also work with large supermarket chains and hire baggers, cart retrievers, etc. Starbucks is also part of the program, as are many other companies.

    If you can literally move anywhere (income/jobs allow that), look for a place with well established work programs for disabled adults, without years long waiting lists. Massachusetts is supposed to be very good in this area, as is Minnesota. Most southern states are terrible. Texas has a good reputation as well, as does Arizona. California is good, but supposedly Oregon and Washington aren't so good. Colorado is also supposedly good. You can Google "best places to live for disabled adults" and look for the index that measures work opportunities.

    Your narrow focus on getting your son a job at WDW is not the best way to go. However, if you truly feel that where you are won't help your son reach his full potential, moving somewhere that will isn't crazy.
    That is wonderful information, that Disneyland hires disabled people! I haven't gone there as often as WDW, and I never noticed.... but you would think that if Disneyland does it, why not Disney World? But I am really not focused on Disney World at all, I just thought that logically, it is the mostly likely place for a job because it hires the most people! But some other factor might come into play so that my deduction isn't true. If another place is better, I don't need WDW! Thanks for the great information!

    Yes, we can afford to move anywhere in the country, money isn't a problem. But moving to LA...wow, my husband will not be happy, he is a local grown Montana boy who hates big cities. But if Disneyland is a good location for my son, then I will make it happen. We will rent a luxury apartment in LA and my husband will just have to suck it up. Don't feel sorry for him, he won't die.

    And the thing is, we are not selling ourselves into slavery and staying there forever. If my son gains work experience to the point of being proficient after some years, we might be able to to come back and he can get a job at home.

    Thanks for the wonderful thoughts!
     

    kaytieeldr

    Post hoc, ergo propter hoc
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2005
    Even companies that hire developmentally delayed employees are going to do that through a program. They're not going to hire someone off the street whose parent applies and claims they "know" their child can do the job.

    Please please please start with the programs available in Montana - even though no, they are not geographically convenient. They're infinitely moreso than Florida.
     

    DLgal

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2013
    That is wonderful information, that Disneyland hires disabled people! I haven't gone there as often as WDW, and I never noticed.... but you would think that if Disneyland does it, why not Disney World? But I am really not focused on Disney World at all, I just thought that logically, it is the mostly likely place for a job because it hires the most people! But some other factor might come into play so that my deduction isn't true. If another place is better, I don't need WDW! Thanks for the great information!

    Yes, we can afford to move anywhere in the country, money isn't a problem. But moving to LA...wow, my husband will not be happy, he is a local grown Montana boy who hates big cities. But if Disneyland is a good location for my son, then I will make it happen. We will rent a luxury apartment in LA and my husband will just have to suck it up. Don't feel sorry for him, he won't die.

    And the thing is, we are not selling ourselves into slavery and staying there forever. If my son gains work experience to the point of being proficient after some years, we might be able to to come back and he can get a job at home.

    Thanks for the wonderful thoughts!
    Do not move to L.A.!!! Stay away from LA altogether. That is a different county with different programs and opportunities. Disneyland is in Orange County, and Orange County is largely suburban with a network of small cities connected to each other, not a "large city."

    If you are TRULY fortunate enough to live anywhere, look into IRVINE, CA. It is one of the best "cities" in the country to live in, using multiple metrics. It's a master planned community with several villages, each with a unique feel. It is largely suburban, although there is a large presence of industry and business here. Population is around 250,000, but it doesn't feel like a big city at all. It is in the center of Orange County, and literally everything you will need is here. There are apartments (luxury and standard) galore, or you can simply rent a house (close to 50% of Irvine residents are renters). The ARC just opened a new corporate headquarters here and provides resources and therapy for disabled kids and adults. There is a plethora of services available here, the city is the safest in the nation, is #2 ranked for health care, and is full of beautiful parks (over 250 public parks), green spaces, networks of bike trails, hiking, etc. It is 15 min from Disneyland, 15 from the beach, and another 15 to beautiful foothills and campgrounds. The population here is VERY diverse and everyone is welcome. It is highly multicultural and well educated. There is a large number of jobs here as well, for every skill level. Irvine is VERY expensive, but completely worth it. We are here for the amazing special education programs within the school district, but plan to stay as long as possible. There is a huge community here of special needs support groups and so many opportunities for attending outings, parent support meetings, special events, etc. Since it sounds like money isn't an issue, you can live here and enjoy the amazing opportunities without the stress of the cost of living. Just for perspective, we rent a 3bed/2bath condo that is 1800sq feet and its around $3500/month. Luxury apartments will run in the $4000-9000/month range, depending how much "luxury " you want. The house we live in sells for just under $1M currently. Average home price here is around $850000, for a townhome or condo, $1.2M for a single family home.

    If you are serious, look at the site for the Regional Center Orange County. There is a lot of information and resources there to answer some of your questions. To my knowledge, there aren't any waiting lists for adult disability services. Once you move here, you can register with them and get started.
     

    DLgal

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2013
    Yeah, unfortunately, my husband is just selfish. He doesn't want to move, and he doesn't really care what's best for my son. Who is also his son, but you wouldn't know it.
    And you are married to him why? Sorry, that's probably harsh, but I cannot imagine having a husband who doesn't care what is best for our kids. That would be enough for me to leave him.
     
  • kaytieeldr

    Post hoc, ergo propter hoc
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2005
    The ARC just opened a new corporate headquarters here
    Bears repeating :)
    And you are married to him why? Sorry, that's probably harsh, but I cannot imagine having a husband who doesn't care what is best for our kids. That would be enough for me to leave him.
    Moving with zero assurance that a developmentally disabled person might possibly be able to get hired by even the largest single-site employer based solely on tasks one parent feels that person might be able to do, with no apparent consideration for the rest of the family, is as selfish.
     

    DLgal

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2013
    Bears repeating :)

    Moving with zero assurance that a developmentally disabled person might possibly be able to get hired by even the largest single-site employer based solely on tasks one parent feels that person might be able to do, with no apparent consideration for the rest of the family, is as selfish.
    No it's not. It's selfless. She wants the best possible future for her son. What is wrong with that? Do you have developmentally disabled kids yourself? I have two. I would absolutely pick up and move to a place that could provide better opportunities for them, in a hot second. Similarly, there are entire states completely off our radar because of lack of these types of support services. It's not the same everywhere, at all. Montana is not exactly known as the "land of opportunity" for anyone, nevermind people with special needs. It's just not populated enough, and there aren't enough resources. In addition, as the OP's husband likely demonstrates, people from there tend to be very small town oriented/close minded. That's not always the best place to be when your child doesn't "fit in."

    If she moves to OC, I can almost guarantee her son will find meaningful employment eventually, might potentially qualify for a group home living arrangement, and might actually have some semblance of an enjoyable adult life. Sitting at home, isolated, playing video games is NOT a good life. Everyone deserves the best chance to experience a meaningful existence and I applaud this mom for aiming high with the goals she has set for her son's life.

    Of course, she won't get very far trying to "get her son a job" on her own, but this is the entire purpose of these types of state/county funded programs. Their goal is to give EVERYONE a shot at a job, even though it might be something as small as bagging groceries for an hour a day, 3 days a week. It is something to do, something to engage their minds and give them a sense of purpose and belonging.

    When it comes time for my autistic sons to find employment, you better believe I will be right there alongside them, steering them to jobs I *KNOW* they can perform, and fighting for their right to try. This is what we, as special needs parents, should be doing for our kids every step of the way.

    Edited to add: The simple fact that this child is graduating HS and doesn't appear to have a meaningful transition plan to adulthood, through the school district/county support services, shows me that this area doesn't care about helping special needs kids/adults. By law, technically, this child is entitled to transition services as part of his special education plan if he has or will earned a diploma, or the school district is entitled to continue providing services until he is 22 years old if he has not. Seems to me like he is being "graduated" from HS without a transition plan in place, or his mom would not be here posing this question. In my district, transition planning begins sophomore year of high school, where students are given the option to take vocational classes through the ROP, are connected to the Regional Center in an official capacity, and are given specific job skills/life skills training in school to learn how to apply for and interview for jobs, learn job skills, and have a chance to practice them, etc. It's a very involved program, and kids who "graduate" from HS here go directly into either community college/college (when it's appropriate), get connected with a job, or enroll in a trade or vocational program. No one just graduates and sits at home playing video games all day.
     
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    kaytieeldr

    Post hoc, ergo propter hoc
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2005
    No it's not. It's selfless. She wants the best possible future for her son. What is wrong with that? Do you have developmentally disabled kids yourself? I have two. I would absolutely pick up and move to a place that could provide better opportunities for them, in a hot second
    In the meantime, how does the family survive?
    If she moves to OC, I can almost guarantee her son will find meaningful employment eventually, might potentially qualify for a group home living arrangement, and might actually have some semblance of an enjoyable adult life.
    Sure. But she started this thread with the assumption that Walt Disney World will hire him to do tasks she knows he is able to do, despite him having no employment experience whatsoever.
    Of course, she won't get very far trying to "get her son a job" on her own, but this is the entire purpose of these types of state/county funded programs.
    Yup. But she was not looking for any type of government funded or social service or work training program. Her original focus was very narrow: son > job > Disney.
     
  • kathyk2

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2004
    Bears repeating :)

    Moving with zero assurance that a developmentally disabled person might possibly be able to get hired by even the largest single-site employer based solely on tasks one parent feels that person might be able to do, with no apparent consideration for the rest of the family, is as selfish.
    I agree with you. There are also other factors to consider before moving. Does he see any specialists or have health insurance in Montana? He would lose all of that if the family moved. There are waiting lists for vocational services as a new resident he would be at the bottom of the list. It's great that he can prepare meals for himself but at Disney he would have to prepare meals for thousands of guests every day. Can he get a job in Montana to see what he can do before moving?
     

    BabybetterDisney

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 14, 2018
    Do not move to L.A.!!! Stay away from LA altogether. That is a different county with different programs and opportunities. Disneyland is in Orange County, and Orange County is largely suburban with a network of small cities connected to each other, not a "large city."

    If you are TRULY fortunate enough to live anywhere, look into IRVINE, CA. It is one of the best "cities" in the country to live in, using multiple metrics. It's a master planned community with several villages, each with a unique feel. It is largely suburban, although there is a large presence of industry and business here. Population is around 250,000, but it doesn't feel like a big city at all. It is in the center of Orange County, and literally everything you will need is here. There are apartments (luxury and standard) galore, or you can simply rent a house (close to 50% of Irvine residents are renters). The ARC just opened a new corporate headquarters here and provides resources and therapy for disabled kids and adults. There is a plethora of services available here, the city is the safest in the nation, is #2 ranked for health care, and is full of beautiful parks (over 250 public parks), green spaces, networks of bike trails, hiking, etc. It is 15 min from Disneyland, 15 from the beach, and another 15 to beautiful foothills and campgrounds. The population here is VERY diverse and everyone is welcome. It is highly multicultural and well educated. There is a large number of jobs here as well, for every skill level. Irvine is VERY expensive, but completely worth it. We are here for the amazing special education programs within the school district, but plan to stay as long as possible. There is a huge community here of special needs support groups and so many opportunities for attending outings, parent support meetings, special events, etc. Since it sounds like money isn't an issue, you can live here and enjoy the amazing opportunities without the stress of the cost of living. Just for perspective, we rent a 3bed/2bath condo that is 1800sq feet and its around $3500/month. Luxury apartments will run in the $4000-9000/month range, depending how much "luxury " you want. The house we live in sells for just under $1M currently. Average home price here is around $850000, for a townhome or condo, $1.2M for a single family home.

    If you are serious, look at the site for the Regional Center Orange County. There is a lot of information and resources there to answer some of your questions. To my knowledge, there aren't any waiting lists for adult disability services. Once you move here, you can register with them and get started.
    Wow, what awesome post! I will carefully save this information and be sure to never lose it. It is all extremely helpful. I should clarify that when I say "LA", I just refer to the area around Disneyland being that we put in "LAX" for our destination when we fly there.
    Your neighborhood sounds awesome! And very expensive! But still, awesome! When I say luxury apartment I'm just referring to the 2 bedroom apartments that cost $2500 a month and is with 10 minutes drive of Disneyland. But it is great to hear about your area, I will be sure to check it out!
     
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    BabybetterDisney

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 14, 2018
    And you are married to him why? Sorry, that's probably harsh, but I cannot imagine having a husband who doesn't care what is best for our kids. That would be enough for me to leave him.
    Well, DH has his redeeming qualities. He works hard, makes good money, is honest, sincere and forgiving, and is popular and well respected in our community. He is nice to the kids (he's nice to everybody) and they like him. He is best described as an "inoffensive" father.

    It doesn't really matter that he doesn't think about what is best for the kids because I think carefully about all of it, and once I figure out the best action, he will do what I tell him.
     
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    BabybetterDisney

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 14, 2018
    Bears repeating :)

    Moving with zero assurance that a developmentally disabled person might possibly be able to get hired by even the largest single-site employer based solely on tasks one parent feels that person might be able to do, with no apparent consideration for the rest of the family, is as selfish.
    Selfish...for who? the disabled person? He is not the one deciding to move; he is not able to to do that. Me, the mom? What am I getting out of moving so that my son can get a low wage job, when I can just stay here and he can get government support that is likely more money than he can ever earn from any job he can do, and the government support will terminate if he is able to earn money?
     
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    BabybetterDisney

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 14, 2018
    No it's not. It's selfless. She wants the best possible future for her son. What is wrong with that? Do you have developmentally disabled kids yourself? I have two. I would absolutely pick up and move to a place that could provide better opportunities for them, in a hot second. Similarly, there are entire states completely off our radar because of lack of these types of support services. It's not the same everywhere, at all. Montana is not exactly known as the "land of opportunity" for anyone, nevermind people with special needs. It's just not populated enough, and there aren't enough resources. In addition, as the OP's husband likely demonstrates, people from there tend to be very small town oriented/close minded. That's not always the best place to be when your child doesn't "fit in."

    If she moves to OC, I can almost guarantee her son will find meaningful employment eventually, might potentially qualify for a group home living arrangement, and might actually have some semblance of an enjoyable adult life. Sitting at home, isolated, playing video games is NOT a good life. Everyone deserves the best chance to experience a meaningful existence and I applaud this mom for aiming high with the goals she has set for her son's life.

    Of course, she won't get very far trying to "get her son a job" on her own, but this is the entire purpose of these types of state/county funded programs. Their goal is to give EVERYONE a shot at a job, even though it might be something as small as bagging groceries for an hour a day, 3 days a week. It is something to do, something to engage their minds and give them a sense of purpose and belonging.

    When it comes time for my autistic sons to find employment, you better believe I will be right there alongside them, steering them to jobs I *KNOW* they can perform, and fighting for their right to try. This is what we, as special needs parents, should be doing for our kids every step of the way.

    Edited to add: The simple fact that this child is graduating HS and doesn't appear to have a meaningful transition plan to adulthood, through the school district/county support services, shows me that this area doesn't care about helping special needs kids/adults. By law, technically, this child is entitled to transition services as part of his special education plan if he has or will earned a diploma, or the school district is entitled to continue providing services until he is 22 years old if he has not. Seems to me like he is being "graduated" from HS without a transition plan in place, or his mom would not be here posing this question. In my district, transition planning begins sophomore year of high school, where students are given the option to take vocational classes through the ROP, are connected to the Regional Center in an official capacity, and are given specific job skills/life skills training in school to learn how to apply for and interview for jobs, learn job skills, and have a chance to practice them, etc. It's a very involved program, and kids who "graduate" from HS here go directly into either community college/college (when it's appropriate), get connected with a job, or enroll in a trade or vocational program. No one just graduates and sits at home playing video games all day.
    You are right. Montana graduates disabled kids from high school at age 18 like non disabled kids and there are no transitional programs of any kind. The vocational rehab does a little bit, but it doesn't begin to do what my son needs. What's worse, you have to wait in line until they get around to you. You also have to pay (I don't know how much) if you have money. They are more suited for people who are mildly disabled and can get jobs on their own, it's just that once in a while they might need job or emotional counseling. We don't have enough population to support programs.
     

    BabybetterDisney

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 14, 2018
    In the meantime, how does the family survive?

    Sure. But she started this thread with the assumption that Walt Disney World will hire him to do tasks she knows he is able to do, despite him having no employment experience whatsoever.

    Yup. But she was not looking for any type of government funded or social service or work training program. Her original focus was very narrow: son > job > Disney.
    I started this thread wondering how to get a job working at Pop Century cooking and cleaning at the food court. I was just curious and gathering information that I couldn't seem to find myself online. I am open to information, such as Disney doesn't hire disable people without a training program. I never said I wasn't looking for work training program, I just said that there aren't any in my area that suits my son, and I said I would love to go live by Disneyland if my son can get into a suitable work training program there.

    Money isn't a problem.
     
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    BabybetterDisney

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 14, 2018
    I agree with you. There are also other factors to consider before moving. Does he see any specialists or have health insurance in Montana? He would lose all of that if the family moved. There are waiting lists for vocational services as a new resident he would be at the bottom of the list. It's great that he can prepare meals for himself but at Disney he would have to prepare meals for thousands of guests every day. Can he get a job in Montana to see what he can do before moving?
    My son has no physical or emotional problems and sees no specialists. (We are very lucky that way.) Money, including insurance, is not a concern. You have a great point about waiting lists for vocational services; that's what they told me here, that my son would go on a waiting list, and being that we have money, we have to pay for it when he gets his turn. The whole point of moving is because he can't get a job here; if he could, we wouldn't be moving at all.
     

    BabybetterDisney

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 14, 2018
    In the meantime, how does the family survive?
    She said money isn't an issue. Maybe they are independently wealthy. Maybe they are lotto winners. What does it matter?
    People seem concerned about money even though I already said money is not a concern, so let me clarify by saying that we can easily afford to move anywhere that has better prospects for my son.
    Perhaps the reason people are concerned about money is because I'm looking for a low wage job for my son, assuming that if anybody have money, they wouldn't be making their kids do low wage work. But I believe my son will be happier and have a more fulfilled life having a real job like normal people, even if it is a menial job.
     
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    kaytieeldr

    Post hoc, ergo propter hoc
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2005
    It's not that I made up my mind about moving to WDW at all. I only wish to do it if that's the only place left, and in my mind, WDW has so much work he can do!
    It did/does not appear you investigated any other options - not that WDW is your last resort
    What am I getting out of moving so that my son can get a low wage job
    It appeared you were intending to move first, with the automatic assumption that he will get hired.
    I started this thread wondering how to get a job working at Pop Century cooking and cleaning at the food court.
    Way, way too specific. He would apply with the company, not at a specific location for a specific job.
    I am open to information, such as Disney doesn't hire disable people without a training program.
    I would expect, depending on the type or degree of disability, that few if any employers would hire except through a training program.
     


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