BY PHILIP WOODWARD
In celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Department of Health and Human Services is highlighting five stories of personal accomplishment and success during the week of Oct. 21-25, 2013 that demonstrate how Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) is making a difference in communities across North Carolina.
Meet Adam Lawler
Adam Lawler started receiving services from the Division of Services for the Blind (DSB) in 2008. In 2011 he returned to part-time employment with West Jefferson Chevrolet Buick GMC, which allowed him to supplement his Social Security Disability Insurance.
He was initially hired to perform auto sales, but quickly realized that his vision had worsened. He was no longer able to read the price list or other details on car labels. He struggled to locate the correct vehicle on the lot when assisting potential customers. In order to find a way to make sales, Adam quickly grabbed the telephone and started making cold calls.
A consultant visiting the dealership noticed Adam and suggested to the manager that they use his telephone sales skills. The manager created a position for Adam to work as a customer service representative for 30 hours a week, making outgoing calls to previous customers to conduct customer satisfaction surveys and determine whether they are in the market for a new vehicle.
Adam also greets repeat walk-in customers who stop by to see him and matches them with a salesperson who can assist them. In addition, he writes radio and print advertising copy and remains responsible for Internet sales.
Adam has received several services through DSB; include job development and job placement, orientation and mobility training, low vision assessment and devices, assistive technology equipment, job accommodations at his job site, and guidance and counseling related to career options.
The dealership recently won an award as Customer Satisfaction Leader in Sales and Service in the Greensboro and Raleigh Districts for the second quarter of 2013, for which Adam can take partial credit along with his team members. Adam has stated, “It’s just simply good to feel like I’m making a difference in the dealership.”
The Department of Health and Human Services is proud of Adam’s persistence and initiative.