The Last Six Years, Guests At The Valley Forge Hilton Hotel Have Had
A Better Night's Rest Thanks To One AHEDD Participant
the last 6 years, Karen Thal has tried not to "cut (or wrinkle)
any corners". She's in charge of keeping the bed linens used at
the Valley Forge Hilton Hotel crisp and neatly folded.
With the assistance of a private non-profit agency, AHEDD, the Montgomery
County Office of Mental Retardation, and the Valley Forge Hilton Hotel,
Karen has been able to successfully address the challenges posed by
her multiple disabilities (Karen is deaf, has mild Cerebral Palsy and
slight limitations with her cognitive abilities). Difficulties with
communication have been overcome by Karen reading the lips of other
co-workers and writing down her responses. In addition, Thal has found
ways to hurdle the obstacle of the limited arm movement she experiences
in her arms.
Director of Human Resources, Michael Paduano is pleased that Karen has
remained with the Hilton Laundry Department for the last six years.
Paduano states that Karen has "helped with productivity. She's
brought stability to the laundry department." Even after 6 years
of practice, no employee is perfect. Paduano hopes to help Karen continue
to improve her job performance.
In an age of job hopping, loyal employees are an asset to employers.
Personnel with disabilities have proven to be reliable. The reliability
demonstrated by Paduano's personnel with disabilities is one reason
why he says he would consider hiring other employees with similar challenges.
Paduano believes that "everyone needs a chance. I think they are
good workers and can bring a lot of stability to the hotel. They are
the kind of people we look for in the hotel business."