HDC’s ‘life lines’ shirts highlight workers with disabilities

Carol Foster hopes the shirts help eliminate any stigma of people with disabilities in the workplace.
Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 6:57 PM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - The Handicapped Development Center (HDC) is an advocate for people with disabilities. Each year, the center serves more than 350 people. The HDC recently started making a unique set of t-shirts inspired by the people they’re serving, and the shirts are meant to help end a workplace stigma.

“Our real focus is to try to employ people with disabilities, and to give them an opportunity to work,” said Carol Foster, HDC’s chief administration officer. “We wanted to look at a way we could possibly grow the business so we could provide more opportunities for folks.”

The new t-shirts are called ‘life lines’ and have unique quotes.

“They are things we hear in the hallways of HDC every single day, and we wanted to share some of that fun stuff that we hear and experience,” Foster said.

Currently, there are six different designs. The HDC makes between 300 and 500 shirts each day.

“The great thing about the shirt is, not only do you get a really nice shirt with a fun saying and a fun graphic, but you also get a story,” Foster said. “There is a story behind each shirt, and that goes along with the shirt, so you can read about a person that we are serving.”

Foster hopes the ‘life lines’ t-shirts help eliminate any stigma of people with disabilities in the workplace.

“We are always in the process of educating the community about the abilities of people who have disabilities,” Foster said. “We want to make sure that we provide opportunities for people so that they can show, ‘Hey, they have a lot of abilities and they make contributions to the community, and they want to be a part of the community, they want to make a contribution.’”

Lisa Bahus helps put the ‘life lines’ t-shirts together and said there isn’t a better job.

“I used to screen print a long time ago. I love just making t-shirts. It just makes me happy,” Bahus said.

“They are really amazing and it’s great to have other people kind of get to experience what we experience on a daily basis,” said David Balluff, HDC’s graphic designer.

The money earned goes to HDC Enterprises, which allows the HDC to employ more people with disabilities.

Foster said they’ve gotten orders from all over the country. To learn how you can order a t-shirt, click or tap here.

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