Ed Rauch works for The Arc San Francisco as a floater. He does everything from training new workers to working with clients at job sites. He has worked with people with disabilities for 25 years, and he loves his job. You are helping people become independent. It is spiritually rewarding, he says.
Rauch trains other workers. I show them the procedures and how to interact with clients. The hardest thing is being professional. You are not their friend, you are their helper, and you have to act in a professional manner. You have to understand the clients personality and what to look for and how to deal with it. Change doesnt happen overnight. What is success? Someone who has their own apartment and job, and is leading their own life.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?
It could be years. It could be a lifetime. It could be just a few months. Im giving, Im not taking. That is the bottom line, Rauch says.
Each client has their specific goals, like travel training. A lot of clients have to learn how to cross the street. You have to show them how the lights work; which lights are stop, which are go; when to go, when not to go. And make sure they look left and right. I train the staff how to teach them that.
Another example of success is a person who was afraid to step on a bus, and then working with that individual and having them become independent on public transit. It is a process. You ride around with them and get them comfortable. Then they have a destination that they have to go to. So you plan that route with them, and then you teach them how to get to that destination by using landmarks. The exciting moment comes when they can get on the bus on their own, and we can say, Bye-bye.