MILTON — Sean Canning is happy to do the heavy lifting at Home Depot in Pace.

Canning, a loader, helps people put bulky items in their cars. He also works as a store associate greeting people, keeping the vending machine stocked and helping the store stay tidy.

Since being employed at Home Depot, Canning has received an award for recognizing a safety hazard in the building, and he regularly receives praise from co-workers.

“Sean has a great attitude,” supervisor Lynda Mistrot said. “He likes to volunteer for extra jobs. Our customers like Sean because he is very attentive to their needs.”

Canning, who works in the evenings and on weekends, is enrolled in the PALS Program at Pensacola State College. PALS, a two-year post-secondary program for people with developmental disabilities, provides students the opportunity to go to college, learn new skills, explore careers, prepare for employment and ultimately gain more independence.

“Sean works hard,” Mistrot said. “He is always available to help cover a needed shift in the evening. He is friendly and helpful with our customers, which is what we want from our employees.”

For Canning, having a job is putting him on the road to self-sufficiency.

“I want to work so I can pay for my own stuff. It also shows that I can live on my own,” Canning said. He currently lives with his brother in Milton, but he is saving money for an apartment.

Canning receives assistance from the Agency for Persons with Disabilities. October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and APD is highlighting people with disabilities’ workplace achievements.

APD supports people with developmental disabilities so they can live, learn and work in their communities. The agency annually serves more than 50,000 Floridians with autism, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome, Phalen-McDermid syndrome and Prader-Willi syndrome.

For more information about the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, visit or call 1‑866‑APD‑CARES (1‑866‑273‑2273).