Sara Swaciak Snyder ’14 (Early Childhood & Special Ed.) graduated from Roberts Wesleyan in 2014 with a degree in Early Childhood and Special Education. Right after graduating, she transitioned from her student-teaching position at Holy Childhood to a being a Special Education Teacher for the summer. After, she got a job as an Employment Specialist in the Adult Program at Holy Childhood. Sara enjoyed that job more than she had expected. She had the privilege of assisting adults with disabilities become contributing members of society by job finding and job coaching. A big part of the job (and one of her favorites) was creating supports for the employees so that they could be independent in their career. For example, she made pictorial recipes for fast food employees so that they could make the food like everyone else and created an enlarged version of a secretary message pad so that a woman’s poor eyesight and large handwriting didn’t get in the way of her dream to become a secretary. Her next venture was creating a bag design that allowed everyone to pack their personal belongings without having to be written a packing list or be told what is needed. This idea came after she had her son and found that the task of packing for a trip, writing a list, and remembering everything, quite tedious. Sara thought of how much more frustrating it might be for the individuals she worked with. From that point, she went on sketching designs, gathering ideas, gauging interest, and later, applying for a patent. From there, Sara learned how to sew and got to prototyping. Now, two years later, she has launched 4 bags on Kickstarter and is blown away by the responses from parents of children with autism, Down syndrome and other disabilities.
She is excited to see where this venture takes her and is continuing to brainstorm other supports that will help grow independence in kids and individuals with disabilities. To learn more about the work Sara is doing, click here.