Byron's Success

The Department of Human Services Division of Rehabilitation (DHS-DRS) assists individuals with disabilities achieve their employment goals. Byron Harden is one of those successful individuals:

Byron Harden: My name is Byron Harden. I am a music producer and engineer for On the Moon Recording Studio.

We can record anything from a demo to any finished product, scoring for film, transfers, which means you can bring in video tapes and or audio cassette tapes and get those transferred to a digital format... mastering also happens here, as well.

Mastering is basically going to "pretty up" your mix from your high to your low end. It's going to make it sound acceptable for radio and for the consumer.

My disability is visual. At seven years old, I had Stevens-Johnsons, which was an allergic reaction to penicillin. It was contracted that way, while having Chicken Pox and the Measles simultaneously.

Misty Bell, DRS Rehabilitation Counselor: We sat here for about 40 minutes dialoging about him becoming a security guard. I was just really impressed with his accomplishments, and so I wanted to learn more about Byron as a person - what were some of the things that he was driven by? I learned of his family and that he was a father. But also, I learned that he scored music and he scored movies and he did live performances. And I was just like, "Oh, wow!"

He encouraged me to take a tour with him, and he said, "Now see, Mrs. Bell, this is what I do on the side. This is my passion." And his total mood and mannerism and demeanor changed. He got so excited when he began talking about his passion, and his passion for music production and live performances and movie scoring.

Byron: She was walking through and she's like "Oh my gosh!" She was totally impressed.

And I'm like, "You like this, really?"

And she's like, "Yeah!"

She said, "DRS has a program. It's a self-employment program and I think we can help you with it."

She said, "I'm not promising you anything, but I think we can help."

And I'm like, "Whatever help I can receive, I will take."

And that's when we kicked off and it was an amazing process from there.

Misty: I challenged Byron to complete a self-employment questionnaire and I was thinking to myself that it may take him a little while to do it, but Byron surprised me. He had it done it two days. What I saw was that Byron was motivated from a different force now. So now that he was actually putting in hard work for his own business, his turnaround time was much faster.

Byron: They were really interested in what I was doing and that really made me feel amazed.

If you're going to seek help from DRS, know what you want to do. And don't be scared to say what you need help with because, like I said, I didn't think it was possible that they could help me... I just didn't think it was possible.

My success can totally be your success.