Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities

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Rachel Doeble is a living success story

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Written by James Vidrine, Special to the Democrat

 Rachel Doeble

NAPLES — Rachel Doeble is a determined young woman who pursues her personal and career goals and achieves them. Doeble has been working full-time since June 2011 at Regions Bank in North Naples. Her career in the banking industry began in 2004.

Doeble is married to her husband, John, and with his three children from a previous marriage and her young daughter, they created a large family with children ages 4, 6, 10 and 14. She truly has full days and even fuller nights.

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) is showcasing the workplace achievements of people with disabilities and celebrating the employers that hire them. Doeble receives services from APD in Naples.

Things have not always been this bright for Doeble. She entered this world as a three month premature infant. At her birth, she tipped the scale at less than 3 pounds. She spent the first six weeks of her life in the hospital, gaining weight and increasing her strength, so she could go home.

Doeble’s parents, however, soon noticed problems with her development. In her 15th month, her pediatrician broke the difficult news to her parents. Her delayed development was due to cerebral palsy. This news, although a shock, did not deter them whatsoever. Her parents worked with her at home to master the developmental skills that other toddlers and preschool children seemed to achieve without effort.

When Doeble entered kindergarten, the work she and her parents had engaged in for years paid off handsomely. Rachel was able to walk independently, with some difficulty at times, but without the need for a wheelchair. She was described by others at school as a very friendly and likeable youngster, with excellent cognitive and vocabulary skills. Her teachers also noted she could be stubborn at times.

Perhaps it was her stubbornness that contributed to her ongoing ability to engage the world with a positive attitude and determination to succeed. Doeble recalls, “As a child I had difficulty maneuvering around in school. I had to learn how to ask for help when I needed it, but also how to decline offers for assistance that I did not need or want.”

Doeble’s positive and caring attitude and her determination to succeed have not gone unnoticed by her supervisors at Regions Bank. Her direct supervisor, head teller Kathy Wessling, describes Rachel’s work as amazing and fabulous. She depends on Rachel as her right hand at work. Wessling said, “Rachel is a very inspiring person. For someone who has a disability, she does not hold back on what she needs to do or what she wants to do. She has no fear.” Bank Manager Todd Ruggeri adds, “Rachel has the best outlook on life. She never gets upset or discouraged.”

APD Human Services Counselor Jose Delvalle is Doeble’s support coordinator. Delvalle said, “When I first met Rachel, I saw a person who wants to achieve her goals. She is a capable and an independent person who can handle any situation with thoughtfulness.”

Truly, Doeble is a person who is living a success story. Not only does she work full-time as a bank teller, but she is also a wife, mother, step-mother and she manages to provide a loving home for her family. Doeble wants to encourage others that have a disability to be persistent and persevere through difficulties and roadblocks to reach their dreams. Doeble said, “Don’t let negative thoughts get in your way. Play to your own strengths and this will assist you. Never be afraid to ask for help, especially at your workplace.”

Doeble’s positive and caring attitude and her determination to succeed have not gone unnoticed by her supervisors at Regions Bank. Her direct supervisor, head teller Kathy Wessling, describes Rachel’s work as amazing and fabulous. She depends on Rachel as her right hand at work. Wessling said, “Rachel is a very inspiring person. For someone who has a disability, she does not hold back on what she needs to do or what she wants to do. She has no fear.” Bank Manager Todd Ruggeri adds, “Rachel has the best outlook on life. She never gets upset or discouraged.”

APD Human Services Counselor Jose Delvalle is Doeble’s support coordinator. Delvalle said, “When I first met Rachel, I saw a person who wants to achieve her goals. She is a capable and an independent person who can handle any situation with thoughtfulness.”

Truly, Doeble is a person who is living a success story. Not only does she work full-time as a bank teller, but she is also a wife, mother, step-mother and she manages to provide a loving home for her family. Doeble wants to encourage others that have a disability to be persistent and persevere through difficulties and roadblocks to reach their dreams. Doeble said, “Don’t let negative thoughts get in your way. Play to your own strengths and this will assist you. Never be afraid to ask for help, especially at your workplace.”

APD supports people with developmental disabilities to live, learn and work in their communities. The agency annually serves more than 50,000 Floridians with the developmental disabilities of autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, intellectual disabilities, spina bifida, and Prader-Willi syndrome. For more information on iBudget Florida, visit iBudgetFlorida.org. To learn more about the agency, call 1-866-APD-CARES (1-866-273-2273) or visit APDcares.org.

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