How OneSource Solutions helped one woman find renewed confidence

Linda Rollins

Linda Rollins, who was badly burned in a house fire several years ago, says she feels blessed these days. She has a job, her driver's license, and a renewed self-confidence, thanks to two programs of Rochester Rehabilitation: OneSource Solutions and DriveOn. OneSource Solutions employs people with disabilities in a variety of jobs including janitorial services, packaging and fulfillment, and document imaging. DriveOn helps people with disabilities drive safely and with confidence. "I thought I couldn't do a lot of things because of the accident, but I've built my self-esteem and overcome a lot of my fears," said Linda.

Severe burns and a brain injury from a house fire that also claimed the life of her father have left an indelible mark on Linda. During her recovery she endured months of skin grafts, hand surgeries, and therapy to walk and talk again. Consumed by pain, grief, guilt, and anger, she turned to drugs and alcohol. For years she struggled to cope, but eventually sought help from various agencies, support groups, family, and friends. Collectively, they helped her to overcome her addictions. But it was still difficult for her to be seen in public, let alone interview for a job. In September 2006, Linda interviewed for a custodian opening at OneSource Solutions Janitorial Services group and was hired to work with an evening cleaning crew at Monroe Development Center.

The job was demanding both physically and mentally. Linda needed to learn how to use her constricted hands to open garbage bag liners, clean restrooms, and mop floors. With help from her supervisor and job coach, and the support of her co-workers, she rose to the challenge and exceeded expectations.

Encouraged by her job success, Linda wanted to drive again. At Rochester Rehabilitation's DriveOn program she reconnected with her former occupational therapist provider, Midge Kogler. "One thing Linda said that I'll never forget," said Midge, Manager of DriveOn, "'you were never afraid to touch me.'"

Midge saw in Linda the desire and potential to drive. With driver specialist Don Palmere's instruction and patience, Linda earned her license last year. "I thought I couldn't do a lot of things because of the accident," said Linda. "I've built my self-esteem and overcome a lot of my fears." Because of her positive attitude and accomplishments, Linda won the 2008 William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Award by New York State Industries for the Disabled (NYSID). She was chosen from among 50 individuals with disabilities who were honored through NYSID's annual recognition program.

To learn more about OneSource Solutions, please call Greg Wolfe at 585.473.2052 or email him at gwolfe@rochesterrehab.org.

To learn more about DriveOn, please call Nancy Steinkamp at 585.271.1894 ext. 1674 or email her at nsteinkamp@rochesterrehab.org