In our line of enterprise we hear a standard rejection when pursing potential employer shoppers – “individuals with disabilities can’t do our jobs.” No joke. Extra instances than I want to hear. Stigma is a related concern amongst employers seeking to discover one of the best expertise for his or her enterprise wants. On the heels of October, Nationwide Incapacity Employment Consciousness Month (NDEAM) I had the pleasure of sitting down with Casey Harris. He has been visually impaired since delivery, and I had the chance of watching him do his job because the keyboardist of the rock/pop band X Ambassadors.

Final yr I talked to Casey about his journey from a visually impaired childhood in Ithaca, NY to taking part in in entrance of sold-out arenas and collaborating with the likes of Eminem and Think about Dragons. A yr later, Casey has a new child child, a model new album with a tour and he gave me the chance to take a seat down with him throughout his work day.

For many, and particularly me (sorry, boss) being a rock star appears like the best job ever, so I requested Casey to inform me about his daily actions. “It is a dream job now. It positively wasn’t. You actually needed to adore it with a purpose to hold doing it. Now although, the daily, it is pretty routine. On tour we get a full evening’s sleep on the bus and get up in regardless of the subsequent metropolis that we’re in. We’ve about an hour or so to bathe and have espresso then seize a chunk to eat. Then it’s normally off to a radio station or two to do some interviews, and typically an acoustic efficiency. Meet some of us, all that good things. Then between 2 or 3 we’re on the venue for sound verify, which is normally fairly straightforward,” Casey explains. In fact each work day comes with some hurdles, “Individuals assume rock and roll is all simply ingesting and partying. It is quite a lot of work. After that I do any emailing or that type of factor – principally attempting to not get annoyed that one thing on my pc is just not working, or somebody despatched me an e mail that I do not actually wish to take care of. That is the time when, after the doorways are open, in any case of our preliminary obligations for the day are out of the way in which it is just about simply preparing for the present. Typically we discover out we’ve to carry out an acoustic tune the in the future and should be taught a completely new tune the subsequent. So there’s all the time moments, the occasional moments of stress. It’s going to be normally after we do the primary soundtrack, Sam and I’ll keep on stage, and we’ll work out the piano and vocal model of some new tune. We did that yesterday with a very lovely Chris Stapleton tune referred to as “Both Approach,” that we did at present as an acoustic. Then we play the present and that is all the time the spotlight of the evening. After the publish present it is bathe, grub, and normally… I’ve truthfully been attempting to go to mattress at affordable hour and but nonetheless find yourself in mattress by 1:30 or 2:00. It is simply the tour life. Once you mess around 10:00 every evening, by the point you are completed with all of the publish present routine, it is late. So it is late to mattress and late to rise however in any other case it is a fairly secure and a straightforward routine.”

On the highway it may be powerful to seek out downtime for your self very similar to the drive residence from work to unwind or hitting the sofa to binge watch some Netflix. “We have a bit of little bit of time to ourselves. I’ll Skype my spouse and my son and have dinner in there someplace, however then it’s again to work. “We do our VIP expertise, the place we meet everyone. That is all the time actually cool really. It is actually… one of many greatest rewards, truthfully, doing music and having individuals listening to your music is speaking to them and listening to how a lot it means to them, and listening to their varied tales and such.

Casey and his bandmates are amazingly optimistic, excessive spirited and total right down to earth guys, however there needs to be one thing that will get on their nerves. I’ve watched quite a lot of interviews with the band the place they requested generic questions, some even borderline inappropriate in the direction of Casey’s visible impairment. So what bothers Casey? “I clearly will not title any names, however there have been occasional interviews the place we get these guys, I suppose, I do not know if it is however they really feel they’re obligated to ask the laborious questions and whatnot. But it surely’s not even that they ask the powerful questions. Particularly these two guys I consider particularly. One requested us the way it felt to know that our band would all the time be recognized for “Renegades.” And that is a query that any particular person ought to understand that clearly implies that you will by no means do something larger than “Renegades”. Like we love “Renegades”, it was our first hit, however we’re nonetheless taking part in and making music. And it is true. That is the identical with “Renegades” and “Unsteady”, is these are what are enable us to maintain touring. However we do not wish to sit on our laurels and be like, oh okay, these have been our greatest songs, we will simply write just about something now and we’ll be wonderful. In January, we’re going again into the studio once more, hopefully to launch one thing subsequent yr. And we’re always attempting to write down a greater songs and higher songs, hopefully we’ll join with individuals and sometime, who is aware of, might need one other “Renegades” stage hit, fingers crossed.”

In terms of questions on Casey’s visible impairment he explains that it’s not one thing that went away or received simpler with success and under no circumstances is he searching for charity. “I get the sense quite a bit when individuals are asking me about my visible impairment that they wish to hear a narrative of, “oh, how laborious it was” and “oh, however I overcame” and I would say a tragic story, however it isn’t unhappy. The nice actuality of it was, I had plenty of nice individuals round me rising up. There have been positively troubles, particularly throughout my early maturity after shifting to New York Metropolis. I had quite a lot of tough instances. However total it is I haven’t got a ravishing Disney story arc of like, “Oh, , I used to be struggling as a visually impaired child, however then I discovered the band and out of the blue every little thing was okay.” It is simply being visually impaired it is by no means like there’s one large problem it’s a must to overcome. It’s one million tiny little daily challenges that do not make it an excellent story. However interviewers all the time need that type of rags to riches sob story, about how laborious it’s to be visually impaired and that type of factor. There’s quite a lot of laborious issues about it, but it surely’s not the toughest factor I’ve handled in my life, .”

Casey shares the stage every evening with a proficient, soulful and passionate singer, who can also be his brother Sam. For those who’ve seen their music movies or watched them earlier than you’ll see their love and connection for each other. Sam acts as Casey’s right-hand man if wanted and could be very protecting. With most co-workers typically you disagree with an strategy or undertaking. I needed to ask what they argue about. “Oh, every little thing. Every little thing. It is music clearly and we’re in a band collectively and bands argue on a regular basis. It’s going to be simply easy issues like order of set listing, or how lengthy we must always wait earlier than happening for encore, that type of factor. Truthfully we have not had any actual arguments about, one thing actually life altering shortly. I believe we discovered, clearly, we each know tips on how to push one another’s buttons and tips on how to actually get beneath one another’s pores and skin. So we have discovered a solution to keep away from for probably the most half, doing that and to dwell, pretty conveniently with one another. I nonetheless do not know how we have managed to do this. However by some means we have managed to discover a type of piece within the equilibrium that, many of the arguments we’ve are nearly, little particulars and , irrespective of, which of us wins the argument, it is nothing to the place you’ll be able to’t simply brush your shoulders off afterward. You retain on, going. You already know?”

Whether or not on the highway, in a warehouse or in an workplace, work is figure and it’s good to be employed. “Some cities are simpler than others, and a few reveals are higher than others, clearly, however for probably the most half, it’s predictable in quite a lot of methods. The truth that I type of know the ins and outs of what is concerned and what’s wanted actually makes it greater than anything, it makes it quite a bit simpler to do that job than what it was. If we had to return to that once more, I would nonetheless hold taking part in music.”

Though Casey has discovered success in music I requested if he was nonetheless pursuing his dream job as an astronaut. “Aww man, as a result of I did not understand that I may! I may really strive in class and get good grades. I used to be so targeted on being a insurgent again after I was a teen. My profession was the furthest factor from my thoughts again in my late highschool days. Science has all the time been a fascination to me and house particularly as all the time been, I would say my greatest interest, is studying abo. I did not even contemplate a profession. I remorse this. I am attempting to not push my very own son into something particularly, he could be and do no matter he needs to be and do. He does have a bit of stuffed house shuttle that he chews on on a regular basis, so I am attempting to out of the blue drop the hints there, ? My house interest has all the time been type of personal and out of the blue this yr it is just like the world out of the blue discovered. I have been inducted into the House Camp Corridor of Fame, toured the Kennedy House Heart, I now personally know a couple of individuals from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Chief Astronaut Teacher at Virgin Galactic. It is actually loopy. I all the time say I like my household and I like music and I like house. This yr has been for the third…to out of the blue come and hit me full within the face. It has been, it has been a wild journey, man. It has been superb.”

No, not all individuals with disabilities might be able to do your jobs, however the appropriate particular person with a incapacity can do your jobs as a result of disabilities cross race, shade, intercourse, sexual orientation, gender id, faith, nationwide origin, incapacity, or standing as a protected veteran. The correct particular person with a incapacity is likely to be contemporary out of highschool or a child boomer with years of expertise and a number of levels, who’s aged right into a incapacity to each human in between. You could not even know an individual with a incapacity has a incapacity and you probably have somebody working for you proper now. As I stood at the back of Terminal 5 in New York Metropolis wrapping up a month the place we assist rejoice the employment of expertise with disabilities I used to be entrance row rockin out to a profitable band with a keyboardist who’s visually impaired. The group was swaying forwards and backwards with their palms up merely having fun with a proficient particular person doing his job.


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