Vickie Anderson's job has not only allowed her to stay engaged in the community, it has also helped her achieve her dreams of traveling.
In the past few years, Vickie traveled to Hawaii and Spain for vacations. She keeps mementos from her travels on desk. Her income from her job at Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB) helps to make her travels possible.
Vickie started working at EWEB in 1996 and receives ongoing supports from the Office of Developmental Disability Services (ODDS). She currently works 20 hours per week in the office. Her primary job is to reduce junk mail by sending letters to advertisers and others asking them to remove EWEB from their mailing list. EWEB is a customer-owned, not-for-profit water and electric utility.
In addition, Vickie also collects mail throughout the entire building and delivers office mail to other employee's desks.
Her job coach, Kris Bluth, assists Vickie by doing quality checks on the letters, and changing the paper out of her printer.
In addition, Kris also assists when Vickie has trouble remembering where she needs to be. Vicki's developmental disability causes memory loss, so Kris helps by prompting her to remember where she needs to be at certain times, and what task is next.
Vicki lived in Florence for 13 years before moving to Eugene in the 1990s. She said previous jobs included night janitorial work, which she did not enjoy.
She likes living in Eugene, in part because of the ease of using the transportation system. She takes the bus to work each day and her commute is fairly short. She is a client of Eugene-based Alternative Work Concepts, which helped her find an office job more suited to her preferences and skills.
"There has been a lot of discrimination against me and people like me out there," Vickie said. "But I like it at this job. They don't discriminate. They are nice and let me do my job."
Vickie also has a good relationship with Kris, who takes her fiery personality in stride.
"Vickie arrives ready to work," Kris said. "She works hard and we work well together. She likes to make sure everyone stays on task."
Kris was hired as Vickie's job coach through Vocational Rehabilitation (VR). He works full-time at EWEB, doing office work during the other 20 hours he is not working with Vickie.