Jan 7, 2015

mental health & housing guy in hat and glasses

Posted on Jan 07, 2015


The New Year brings with it the opportunity to unlock new possibilities and explore ways to improve our lives, both personally and professionally. Some of us take making resolutions or setting goals seriously and enjoy the feeling of self-fulfillment and accomplishment.

Ryan Woodruff is feeling especially good this New Year as he starts the second month of a great job with FedEx. Despite being deaf and having cerebral palsy, Ryan is an engaging young man with ambitious goals. Intent on working independently at a business in the community, Ryan worked with Rise staff to identify jobs which would be interesting and challenging.

Ryan applied for and was hired by FedEx in St. Paul where he is part of the team that sorts packages prior to loading delivery trucks. Initially, Rise staff joined him on the job site to provide American Sign Language interpreting services and help the employer make some easy changes so Ryan could communicate with his coworkers.

Rise staff still check in with Ryan and his supervisor to help ensure that all continues to go well at the worksite. His supervisor and coworkers describe Ryan as a great addition to the team, In particular, they admire his reliability, strong work ethic, and careful attention to detail – all attributes which make him perfect for the FedEx position.

Not only are Ryan and his employer happy, but his family is also excited. They say that Ryan feels better about himself and is reaching out to others who are deaf to encourage them to pursue their own dreams. A good job can be inspirational and motivational to others.

This new year, consider expanding and diversifying your workforce by hiring people who have disabilities or other challenges. You may just be lucky enough to find a great new addition to your team like Ryan.


Note: This article originally appeared in the January 2015 newsletter for the Anoka Area Chamber of Commerce. Read more about Ryan in the upcoming March issue of the Rise Reporter.

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