Since 32-year-old cerebral palsy sufferer Ryan Dyer was finding it difficult to get a job, he decided to go a different route. Today, Dyer runs his own business – Dyer’s Undercover Designs – creating custom computer skins for laptops and cellphones, as well as window clings for vehicles. But while he did receive some assistance from the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitative Services, he has still encountered various challenges. He originally wanted to test-drive wheelchairs, but when that didn’t work out, he started a business selling Amish blankets. That wasn’t the success he hoped for either. While he found a job printing labels, due to the recession, he was soon out of a job again. So it was back to the drawing board for Dyer who then launched Dyer’s Undercover Designs.
Despite the hurdles, Dyer finally made it, thanks in part to the assistance he received from Central Monogramming who taught him the appropriate software and how to print the skins. He communicated with Dan Cobb from Central Monogramming who said that Dyer caught on very fast. The only real issue – given Dyer’s cerebral palsy symptoms – was that it was sometimes difficult for others to understand him, due to the way in which he communicates. Thankfully, with the use of technology, Dyer is able to overcome this issue on many levels.
Today, Dyer has quite a few clients, such as Carl’s Auto Repair in Greenwich which asked him if he could make window clings. As the confident young businessman replied, “I will do whatever people want me to do. I like the challenge. But I want to make more money.”
It seems Dyer’s not the only cerebral palsy sufferer who has encountered difficulties in finding work and then ultimately started their own businesses. 38-year-old Ahmar Mukhtar
had a similar initial experience of – despite his abundant qualifications – being turned down various employment opportunities. Today, he owns and manages Southern Fried Chicken, he is the manager of Elmhurst Football Club and he is studying to become a professional referee. Like Dyer, he explained that having cerebral palsy put off so many potential employers that after a two-year search he started looking for potential business opportunities he could set up.
Ultimately, aside from this business success, Mukhtar hopes he becomes an inspiration to others with disabilities for them to set and achieve their goals. Between people like Dyer and Mukhtar and the new technological assistance increasingly available to help individuals suffering from cerebral palsy, there are many hurdles that can be overcome while living with this difficult condition.