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University Hiring More People with Disabilities

"I'm very pleased that Mount Saint Mary's will give me a job and make me feel like I'm worth something."

EMMITSBURG, Md. - Mount Saint Mary's University wants to give people with disabilities the same chances as everyone else.

"I'm very pleased that Mount Saint Mary's will give me a job and make me feel like I'm worth something," said Ed Little, who works at the Mount. 

Little has worked at the Mount for 18 years. The university is making an effort to hire more people with disabilities.

Little's never been able to walk, but he makes a world of difference in his job. 

"He's really a good person to have here in our office. He answers the phone for us. He monitors our calls," said Barbara Miller, Little's boss.

He also shreds paper and has made a big impression for his sense of humor and work ethic. 

"We find them to be extremely good workers. They're very loyal. They stay with us for a long time," said Thomas Powell, president of the Mount. 

Willy Shank has Down syndrome and works in the president's office, where he sports his Steelers gear each day.

"If we can have him in the president's office, why Willy and other people with disabilities can’t be working in every other office in every place in our society," Powell said. 

Those at the Mount say they don't think of Ed and Willy as having disabilities, and that's how the two men think of themselves. Ed has a different version of himself coming down the hall.

"I don't see myself as being disabled," Little said. "I see myself as walking like everybody else does."

Little hopes other people view him and other people with disabilities the way he does. He also volunteers with the local fire department.

"I hope that they'll give other handicapped people a change at life and a chance at a job," Little said.

A chance the two men appreciate so they can be seen for who they are inside.

Mount Saint Mary's University employs five people with severe disabilities.

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