By Melanie Mowry Etters
Happiness exudes from Connor Yeatts, and you cannot help but smile when you are around him. He may be working, but he’s also listening to Disney music and singing every word.
Yeatts, 23, works as an office assistant at Cayer Behavioral Health in Tallahassee, which works with children on the Autism spectrum. When he was considering where he wanted to work when leaving school, he felt Cayer Behavioral Health was the place for him. “I thought it would be fun to work with people with disabilities like I have, although not the same disability. Working with kids like me would be much better than someplace else. I have several friends with Autism and that is who our business serves. There are signs that say Autism Awareness. We are aware of Autism every day. I like it because it is fun and I know everyone, and they know me.”
In his role as office assistant, Yeatts updates office calendars, files pay stubs, and does all the business’s shredding and some light cleaning. He will seek out tasks and ask peers if there is anything that needs to be done.
Connor Yeatts works for Cayer Behavioral Health in Tallahassee as an Office Assistant.
Practice Coordinator Maggie Williams said, “I love Connor. He is a joy to work with. Connor always has a smile on his face. He is always happy and positive. He is a real people person. He is great to have in the office.”
Yeatts receives services from the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD). October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and APD is highlighting the workplace achievements of people with developmental disabilities.
Yeatts says he is good at shredding and likes that task the best. He enjoys the environment of his workplace. “They are a lot of fun. They are good people to get along with. It’s like another family here,” said Yeatts.
In addition to knowing the lyrics to Disney songs, Connor also knows every detail of entire movies, including the dialogue. Listening to Disney music is his motivation at work, helping him to stay focused.
Williams said, “Connor is so incredibly smart. I love him. He is the best. Connor is equally excited to come to work on his first day and today. He brings that enthusiasm to work each day.”
Connor loves to visit Disney theme parks and is excited about the new opening of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attraction. Periodically, he will run in the Tallahassee Turkey Trot with his sister, Emma. He also enjoys playing video games on his Xbox. His friendly nature radiates kindness. In a conversation, Connor shares interesting facts about his family, such as his mother was born in South Africa, his grandfather worked at the Hershey, Pennsylvania, Chocolate factory, and he graduated from Lawton Chiles High School in Tallahassee in 2016.
Williams said, “Connor constantly interacts with others, and they love him. He is always willing to help.”
APD supports people with developmental disabilities to live, learn, and work in their communities. The agency annually serves more than 55,000 Floridians with severe forms of autism, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome, Phelan-McDermid syndrome, and Prader-Willi syndrome. For more information about the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, visit APDcares.org or call toll free 1-866-APD-CARES (1-866-273-2273).