Hope Services is committed to developing opportunities for inclusive and equitable employment for people with developmental disabilities, and there’s no better time to highlight the clients, partners, and programs that make it possible than during National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Dominic has been with Hope Services nearly his entire life, and that means for about as long as Hope has been around. Born with cleft palette and diagnosed with Spinal Meningitis at the age of three, Dominic was connected with Hope to help him get the best start possible. He began at Hope’s original schoolhouse, receiving support to help him overcome his speech challenges due to his cleft palette, for which he had two surgeries during his early life.

After aging out of secondary education, Dominic received job coaching and training that helped him hold several successful job placements for years at a time. Working with his job coach, Dominic learned valuable skills to help him communicate more effectively with others, and to feel heard and understood.

This year, Dominic celebrates one of his biggest milestones yet: 25 years of employment with Specialized Bicycles, Inc., where he finds continued camaraderie, fulfillment, and joy in his work. Dominic routinely wakes at 4:00 AM, takes VTA transport to his worksite, and arrives early enough to enjoy his morning coffee and read the paper before starting his shift. According to Dominic, he won’t be retiring anytime soon.

In addition to Dominic’s work routine, he enjoys a number of special hobbies that add to his personal fulfillment. Dominic is a member of the local Toy Train Operating Society (TTOS), a club that holds regular meetings, goes to swap meets in Sacramento, and operates trains in the mall during the holidays. He has an impressive collection of toy trains at home, which has become one of his favorite hobbies. Dominic has also been a member of the Go Getters Bowling League for the past 52 years. One of his favorite accomplishments was becoming an Eagle Scout after years of dedicated effort. The honor was presented to him in 1996 by the Mayor of San Jose.

Dominic’s story is a perfect representation of Hope’s goal for clients: to improve their quality of life and help them enjoy independence and fulfillment at every phase of life. We are proud of Dominic’s journey over the decades and celebrate his success this year and beyond!

Learn more about Hope Services’ programs advocating for inclusive employment for people with developmental disabilities here.