By Tim Brown
For more than 13 years, customers at the local Publix supermarket have enjoyed having their groceries bagged by Patricia “Patty” Bradley. She is known for her warm personality, greeting everyone with a smile and occasionally a hug. “I like to be here all day. I love helping people, bagging, and taking groceries,” Bradley said.
Bradley has a developmental disability. October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and APD is highlighting the workplace achievements of people with disabilities and the employers that hire them.
Bradley works at Publix from two to four days a week, bagging and helping customers load groceries, and gathering carts in the parking lot. She lives nearby in her own condo and enjoys walking to work, considering it part of her daily exercise routine.
Store Manager Doug Hill says once on the job, Bradley puts her customer service skills to work, which he says she has down to a science. “Some customers request Patty bag for them. She’s developed strong friendships with many of the customers. She separates things, bags according to their wishes, and offers to take them to the car.”
Job Coach Kim Green says in addition to Bradley’s warm personality, she has many other skills that help her succeed. “She’s an organizer. She’s very neat. She doesn’t like to see things out of place. It helps her on her job with bagging groceries.”
“We look forward to her coming to work every day. Publix takes pride in hiring people from all different walks of life and abilities and that’s what makes our company strong,” Hill said.
In her spare time, Bradley enjoys shopping at the mall and walking around Cranes Roost Park.
APD supports people with developmental disabilities to live, learn and work in their communities. The agency annually serves more than 58,000 Floridians with 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).