a man sits in an electric wheelchair outside the entrance of a bank with a stone facade

Catch Him If You Can

Looking for Mr. Leslie?  So is everybody else.

Whether he’s signing for checks from the delivery man, greeting a guest at the door, or zipping around in his motorized wheelchair to ask colleagues a question, Richard Leslie is always on the go at Beverly Bank & Trust.

Mr. Leslie has been working at the bank part time for 10 years with support from Envision services designed to provide comprehensive, home-based support. He lives nearby, so the commute to work is quick and easy. Importantly, the work is satisfying. And Mr. Leslie’s job is a crucial one: he handles all incoming mail, ensuring that statements match up with the names on the checks and that his colleagues receive their correspondence in an accurate and timely manner.

Several years ago, Mr. Leslie received a call that he had become eligible to receive home-based services through Envision. He and his family were elated, as these types of high-quality opportunities can take years for individuals with developmental disabilities to receive. Envision program staff quickly put together a strategic plan for Mr. Leslie. In addition to collaborating with him on his individual service plan and resource agreements, his support team was able to help him secure employment in the community.

Mr. Leslie liked the idea of working for a business in his neighborhood. He likes his colleagues and will often join them for a lunchtime sloppy joe sandwich at a restaurant near the bank. He enjoys interacting with customers as well, many of whom are neighbors that Mr. Leslie has known for years. The bank – “big and fancy” in his estimation – is an important anchor institution for the Beverly community, and Mr. Leslie is proud to be a part of that, too.

When he’s not running around the bank, Mr. Leslie is traveling across the city, usually by public transit, to catch a Cubs game or some other sporting event. He exudes confidence and a sense of independence that have no doubt been fostered by the support of Envision and the professional and personal growth he’s undergone while working at the bank. Mr. Leslie appreciates that every day brings with it different tasks and new things to learn, within an atmosphere that’s supportive and adaptive to his work style.

As the words “Hi, Rich!” echo across the bank lobby for what seems like the third time in ten minutes, Mr. Leslie is off again, ready to receive a package or respond to an inquiry at a moment’s notice. He says his long-term plans are to stay at the bank, continue to acquire new skills, and engage with the community he loves. It’s clear that this community loves him back.

Like all participants with home-based services through Envision, Mr. Leslie chooses what services he would like and with whom he would like to work in order to achieve the goals and outcomes he’s set for himself. This approach helps to ensure that individuals with disabilities remain in their homes and become as independent as possible in their communities.