top of page

Toward Maximum Independence: Bridging the Gap Between Cultures

Congratulations to Toward Maximum Independence (TMI) Supported Employment client, Juan, who has been working for Lantern Crest Senior Living for just over three months and was nominated as Employee of his Department for his dedication and hard work. Juan, who is a client with TMI’s deaf and hard of hearing division, learned his duties with the assistance of his TMI Associate Division Manager Anna Frichtel. His position upon hire was for a dishwasher, but he took it upon himself to do much more! Juan and Anna taught the employees he works with how to effectively communicate with him using gestures, how to visually show him items and some ASL that applies to their needs.

Juan showing the before and after of the storage room.
Juan showing the before and after of the storage room.

After becoming familiar with his tasks of processing the various cookware, dining room dishware, and various additional supplies needed for the vast amount of events held at the living facility, Juan on occasion would be asked to retrieve an item from the storage room. Seeing that the storage room was disorganized, Juan asked if he could organize the room. Upon approval, Juan got busy organizing! After just a month and a half of working at Lantern Crest, Juan turned the before picture into the after picture! Juan continues to make suggestions about improving the work environment and is thriving at his new job. He has even organized another storage room!

“Juan is well respected and is again being recognized for the work he accomplished in the second storage area,” said Anna. “It makes me incredibly happy to see all that he has and will accomplish!”

Juan's Employee of the Department Certificate

Way to go, Juan!

TMI has been providing services to children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1981 and in 2000 launched services for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. TMI’s Supported Employment and Evolution to Independence (ETI) programs assist individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing throughout San Diego and Riverside Counties. ETI services include working with our own staff with the same challenges and/or are fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) who are ready to assist clients through the job-seeking process.

ETI is also committed to providing educational support programs and services to the business community to assist them in enhancing their commitment to Equal Opportunity and Fair Employment. Employers can utilize the ASL Interpreting and Educational services provided by ETI to enable them to tap into this under-utilized workforce. ETI offers a sophisticated level of business training to local businesses, communication training to current employees, as well as deaf and hard of hearing applicants.


Toward Maximum Independence (TMI) has been transforming the lives of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1981 and the deaf and hard of hearing since 2000. TMI strives to help our clients to realize their hopes and dreams by providing Employment Solutions, Community Living and Family Support Services throughout San Diego, Riverside and Imperial Counties. To stay connected with us follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Together we can share acceptance and awareness, ultimately contributing to further inclusion.


bottom of page