Monday, July 24, 2017

Speaking About My Job Search

The Space Coast Center for Independent Living (SCCIL) hosted the "Learn to Earn Summer Youth Program" for at least 30 young people with disabilities July 10-21 at the Holz Center in Melbourne (please refer to my July 3 post to learn more about the Holz Center). Last Friday, I had the pleasure of speaking about my job search experience to the "Learn to Earn" participants during the final hour of the program. Using PowerPoint to supplement my presentation, I described how I obtained my quality analyst job and talked about the roles of self-advocacy, self-determination, and personal support groups in one's job search. A point I emphasized in my speech is job seekers should never give up, even if it takes them years to get their dream job. I was pleased members of the audience were responsive to what I had to say, answering a few questions I asked.

Preparing for my speech made me reflect on the gratitude I have for my current job. The process I went through to become employed by J.Lodge three years ago wasn't easy. I wish for the "Learn to Earn" participants the best of luck in their job search. For more information about SCCIL, go to https://www.sccil.net/.

I with some "Learn to Earn" participants

Monday, July 17, 2017

Focusing on "Cape Abilities"

Cape Abilities is an agency that provides services to more than 400 people with various disabilities in the Cape Cod, Massachusetts, area. Founded in 1968, Cape Abilities follows its slogan "Creating Opportunity" by offering a variety of programs such as living skills/day habilitation, pre-employment transition services, vocational assessment and support, transportation, and residential services. The agency also runs enterprises for which some program participants work: Cape Abilities Farm, Cape Abilities Farm to Table Market & Gallery, Cape Abilities Thrift Shop, Cape Abilities Vending, and Cape Abilities Furniture Rescue & Restoration. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and SourceAmerica-AbilityOne have also created job opportunities for program participants.

Cape Abilities' excellence as a disability services agency is evident in its being awarded the highest accreditation possible from CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) International; it is also licensed and certified by the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services' (DDS) Office of Quality Enhancement. Cape Abilities and seven other non-profits will receive the proceeds from the inaugural Charter Cup fishing tournament to be held in Hyannis, Massachusetts, on Wednesday, July 19. Cape Abilities will also be raising money for its programs by participating in the seven-mile-long New Balance Falmouth Road Race on Sunday, August 20. Donations can be made all year round online. For more information about Cape Abilities, go to http://www.capeabilities.org/ and its social media platforms.
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Courtesy of cccls.com

Monday, July 10, 2017

Muscle Memory Dance Company

A part of Hometown Hope, the Muscle Memory Dance Company is a dance group that focuses on movement invention, interdisciplinary collaboration, multimedia, site-specific performances, and dance therapy. Muscle Memory has a dance education program for those who want to learn. Accepting donations, the Healing Arts Program provides dance therapy to students with special needs, people with Alzheimer's and dementia, and other groups in need. Muscle Memory will be teaching a mixed ability class for children and teenagers with special needs every Tuesday from August 15 to December 12. For information such as how to register, go to https://musclememorydance.org/.

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Monday, July 3, 2017

Holz Center to Host Ribbon-Cutting July 13

The Holz Center is a one-stop place in Melbourne where children with special needs and their parents have access to bilingual resources, training, and support. The recently opened center contains a lending library with books about various disabilities; it plans to host story time for children to learn about disabilities on the first and third Thursday of every month. The Holz Center will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony from 1:00 to 4:00 P.M. on Thursday, July 13. The Space Coast Center for Independent Living is hosting a career exploration program for people aged 15-22 with disabilities July 10-21 at the Holz Center. Yours truly will be a presenter during the afternoon of Friday, July 21. For information about the organization that established the Holz Center, go to https://www.holzfoundation.org/.
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Sunday, June 25, 2017

A Place to Worship

The Special Gathering is a ministry for people with mental handicaps. The ministry holds weekly chapel services at churches in Daytona, DeLand, Titusville, Cocoa, Melbourne, and Vero Beach, Florida, as well as Walterboro, South Carolina. They also offer instructional classes tailored to attendees' special needs, help them engage in advocacy, and encourage fellowship through Camp Agape in Vero Beach, field trips, and socials. The Special Gathering publishes a newsletter called Connecting Point. For more information such as times and locations of services, go to http://www.nbbd.com/npr/specialgathering/.

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Heavenly Home: Doing the "Wright" Thing

Based in Cocoa, Heavenly Home Health Aid is a faith-based agency that provides caregiving services to people with developmental disabilities and Medicaid HCBS waivers in Brevard County. The services help clients have a sense of independence and remain in their home. Megan McLaughlin Wright and her husband Jason cofounded Heavenly Home five years ago. Some caregivers are available for 24-hour service, and if needed, clients can reach Heavenly Home at the after-hours emergency line. Always looking for new caregivers, Heavenly Home was featured in an article in the June 16 issue of Hometown News. For more information, go to http://www.heavenlyhomehealthaid.com/.

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Courtesy of clipartpanda.com

Monday, June 12, 2017

Amputee Resource Guide

The Amputee Resource Guide is a new Facebook page that was created to share information for amputees. The page contains a link to a North Carolina travel guide for people with disabilities (https://amputeeresourceguide.com/access-north-carolina-travel-guide/). (I went to North Carolina for a few days in March; please refer to my March 8 post "My Time in Durham, North Carolina" for details.) More resources will be added to the Guide as time goes on. The Amputee Resource Guide Facebook page is located at https://www.facebook.com/AmpResGuide/.

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