The year after Becky Ludlow moved to Twin Falls, she began teaching swimming lessons at the YMCA-operated city pool.
Having had similar jobs in Washington and Boise, she enjoyed the work. But in 2015 and 2016, Ludlow had to quit working due to worsening muscular disease and lupus.
It was necessary, but a hard choice to live with.
“I felt multiple times I was starting to lose my identity,” she said.
With the help of Deseret Industries, Vocational Rehabilitation Service and a job coach at Magic Valley Rehabilitation Services, Ludlow began to prepare last September to find another job.
“I like to be able to feel like I am serving and helping to make a difference,” she said.
In June, Ludlow began working as an employment services specialist and therapy technician for MVRS. Her position includes teaching life skills and being a job coach for people with disabilities — providing on-site workplace supervision.
“The goal behind that is to help keep them at their jobs,” she said. “It’s helping to empower them and helping to keep them employed.”
Ludlow uses a wheelchair, and she has cochlear implants after losing her hearing in 2008. She receives federal disability benefits so the number of hours she works a week is limited.
She applied for three jobs but chose MVRS because it most closely fit her own goals.
“I really felt strongly about motivational speaking, but this kind of work is right up my alley,” she said. “I want to help them not be afraid.”
People who have disabilities often bring a hugely desirable trait to employers: They want to work.
“The joy that these people have is just amazing,” Ludlow said. “And they really do want to work hard.”