East End Houston organization helps individuals with disabilities land jobs

Nick Natario Image
Thursday, October 26, 2023
The Center for Pursuit supports people with disabilities in Houston
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, but The Center for Pursuit in East End Houston brings awareness and support to individuals with disabilities year-round.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- While October marks National Disability Employment Awareness Month, The Center for Pursuit in East End Houston is dedicated to raising awareness year-round for individuals with disabilities.

Tim Johnson, a member of The Center for Pursuit, can't help but share his passion to whoever he sits next to.

"I'm a huge gamer," he said. "I hope to get a job in software development or gaming development."

After earning a bachelor's degree in computer science, he starts an internship with a company this week.

This first step almost didn't happen. "I have ADHD," Johnson said. "I forget if it's ADHD or ADD."

His disability has made it hard for him to not only keep a job, but gain the courage to go for one.

That changed when he found a place at The Center for Pursuit.

"They have really shown me that I can be a valuable employee to some extent, and they really helped boost my confidence," Johnson explained.

The Center for Pursuit offers employment services for people 14 and older with autism and individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

"We promote hope," The Center for Pursuit director of employment service, Frank Higginbotham, said. "We push hope. We sell hope to the individuals we serve."

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the unemployment rate for individuals with disabilities is twice as high as the average of all workers.

The U.S. Chamber explained that companies fear it will cost more to employ individuals with disabilities. However, it conducted a study and found the cost was below $500.

"We're not asking for a handout," Higginbotham explained. "We're asking you to see this individual who has abilities and has skills to perform the job with reasonable accommodations."

It's an ability Johnson said he has. "I actually feel very excited and reinvigorated that I can get a job in my field," he said.

Now, Johnson not only gets to talk about gaming, but he'll soon start a career in it.

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