The Lane Family
When Meri Lane attended EBI’s first Ramping Up for Independence series at the Ed Roberts Campus in 2011, she was looking for information that would one day help her son, William, in his search for employment. Flash forward six years. William completed college, participated in EBI’s tailored day (employment) service, and began an internship with State Department of Industrial Relations.
Last month, Meri and Jeff Lane hosted a fundraising party for EBI at their home. Speakers and partygoers talked about the need for advocacy and services to address the staggeringly high percentage of individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities who are unemployed. EBI, the Lanes, and their guests, celebrated William’s pioneering role as a paid intern under a newly implemented California law – and the very real possibility that William will be eligible to apply for permanent employment with the State. (And, last week William received a Certificate of Appreciation for his Outstanding Performance!)
Meri, Jeff, William, and Meri’s mother, Rose, reached out to family and friends and colleagues to come to their house party and learn about EBI, to understand the need for more employment training and job opportunities, and to support EBI’s work. “EBI relies on donors like us for many aspects of their work, including the type of legislative advocacy that led to William’s internship program,” Meri said in her appeal for donations. “They are at the forefront of developing innovative ways to help those of us with developmental disabilities, or our friends, family members and neighbors with developmental disabilities live up to their potential….”
EBI appreciates the many gifts that house party invitees made to EBI as well as years of generosity on the part of the Lanes and their extended family. But beyond their significant monetary support, EBI greatly values their role as partners to EBI in, not just our work with William, but our shared commitment to seeing employment become attainable for many more individuals with disabilities.