2022 Annual Report - Employment

2022 Annual Report - Employment


Advocacy Victories Employment

DRC Client Justus Harris at the Chase Center being interviewed by NBC regarding a hype song he produced.

Client Story Disability Rights California Supporting Justus Harris to Achieve his Sound Engineering Dreams

Justus Harris applied for services from the Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) to receive assistance with work training to become a music engineer. When Justus applied for services, he encountered many struggles with getting the services and support he needed. The DOR staff assigned to his case also made efforts to discourage him from pursuing work training services to pursue his goals. They eventually sent him a letter denying his request for training services based on their evaluation of his abilities. Feeling frustrated and like there weren’t any other options, Justus contacted DRC for support.

Advocates from DRC Find Ways to Help Justus

DRC staff Sabrina McCall and Ivan Guillen
DRC’s Client Assistance Program (CAP) advocates Sabrina McCall and Ivan Guillen reviewed Justus’ case and determined:
  • That Justus was not receiving appropriate counseling and guidance; 
  • He was being denied training services without proper justification; 
  • Justus was capable of being successful in a training program for music engineering based on DOR’s own psychologist’s evaluation of his abilities; and
  • It was clear he wasn’t being supported by the DOR staff assigned to him. 

DRC staff represented him to advocate for a change of counselor. They explained to DOR that according to Justus’ case record, DOR’s denial of training services was unjustified. DOR acknowledged this was true and agreed to support Justus with getting the right trainings for him to become a music engineer. In addition, DRC advocated for Justus to have weekly check-in meetings as an accommodation for his disability to help with communication and to help him get the services he needed.

As time passed, Justus’ communication and computer skills improved because of the additional check-ins he had. DOR also eventually agreed to support Justus through a private school due to the ongoing problems in getting accommodations from his local community college.

Steps for the Future

musical note

Justus was able to communicate his needs effectively on his own with his new DOR counselor, with whom he continues to build a positive relationship. He received an A on his last midterm exam and has completed his training program. He currently works as a sound engineer and music producer and DJs at weddings and other events. His stage name is Just-us the Party Starter.

Justus is very grateful to DRC for helping him re-establish a positive relationship with DOR and helping him get the services and accommodations he needed to achieve his dreams!