Courting Clean
By Katie Strickland

In rural areas such as Milton, Florida, it can often be challenging for people with disabilities to find and maintain employment. In August 2017, Miranda Bervig hit an employment milestone: one year of service with Stewart Law Firm in Milton. Bervig, a 27-year-old with cerebral palsy, has become an integral team member with support provided through her job coach, Jane Simmons.

Bervig is responsible for cleaning six offices, three restrooms, two conference rooms, a kitchen, and two foyers in the law firm. In addition, she also collects mail and shreds papers for the entire office. While Bervig enjoys all her tasks at work, she says her favorite tasks are shredding and getting the mail. Speaking of her employment, Bervig says “I love feeling needed outside of my home and most of all I love my paycheck. I enjoy working with others and being a part of a team. That makes me feel good about myself.”

Working at the law firm provides Bervig with a social outlet and she can interact with others outside of her family. She likes going to work “instead of staying home and being lonely.” Bervig says her coworkers are incredibly kind to her and they are extremely inclusive. When talking to her employer, Dan Stewart, owner of Stewart Law Firm, it’s obvious that her coworkers appreciate her presence in the office as well. Stewart says Bervig brings “joy and happiness” to their office environment.

Work gives Bervig not only a social outlet, but also financial benefits and independence. She goes shopping with her mother, and they like getting their hair done. Bervig can relax and appreciate these fun activities. “I earned the money, and it makes me feel good about myself,” said Bervig.

Through her work, Bervig hopes to continue to learn more office skills. Her long-term goals include maintaining employment and increasing her daily hours working. Bervig looks forward to more professional growth at Stewart Law Firm in the future.

Work gives Bervig not only a social outlet, but also financial benefits and independence.