Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Brevard Achievement Center

I met the marketing and development director of Brevard Achievement Center (BAC) at a community event at the Melbourne Square Mall in October. Based in Rockledge with offices in Melbourne and Titusville, BAC has been helping people with disabilities gain job skills and obtain employment since 1968. This is made possible with support from several community partners. BAC is one example of a disability organization to which you can donate on this Giving Tuesday (and any other day). To find out how you can give, go to http://www.bacbrevard.com/give. This organization was mentioned in a recent Florida Today article about employment transition programs written by BAC's president and CEO Amar Patel (http://www.floridatoday.com/story/money/2016/11/27/helping-disabled-find-future-job-sector/94517166/).

Friday, November 25, 2016

Toy Drives for Children with Disabilities

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, it's time to think about the December holiday season. The Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology (FAAST) is holding its inaugural virtual 5K to raise money for the purchase of adapted toys for children with disabilities. Adapted toys are more expensive and aren't included often in holiday toy drives. FAAST is asking participants for a $25 donation. At least 30 children with special needs will be served by this fundraiser. To make a donation, go to http://www.racesforawareness.com/shop/virtual-races/faast-5k/.

Located at 1591 W. Eau Gallie Blvd. in Melbourne, the Azan Shrine Center will hold its annual Poker Toy Run on Saturday, November 26, with breakfast beginning at 9:00 A.M and registration an hour later. Attendees are asked to bring unwrapped toy donations or $10. Participants will receive their first poker card at the start of the run and then collect four more cards at different locations, ending at the Azan Shrine Center. People with the best poker hands will be given prizes. The Azan Shrine Center specializes in helping children with orthopedic issues, burns, and spinal cord injuries. The donations from the toy run will be split between their children's hospital in Tampa and other children in need at Christmas. For more details, go to http://www.azanshrine.org/azan-toy-run-and-ride.html.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Deaf Poets Society

The Deaf Poets Society is a new online literary journal that contains poetry, prose, book reviews, interviews, and art/photography by people with disabilities. This gives writers and artists with handicaps an opportunity to showcase their talent. Payment for accepted submissions varies depending on the amount of donations received. The journal plans to publish an issue every other month with the next issue being published on December 1. To learn more about The Deaf Poets Society and read its two issues, go to http://www.deafpoetssociety.com/.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Virtual Career Fair for People with Disabilities

Celebrating 20 years of disability employment solutions, Bender Consulting Services, Inc. (in partnership with careereco) is hosting a virtual career fair for job seekers with disabilities on Tuesday, November 15. This event is open to American college students and alumni of various majors. Virtual career fair attendees, who must create a free careereco account before the event, will have the opportunity to interact with participating employers in chat rooms throughout the day. To create your careereco account and see which employers are hiring before November 15, go to https://www.careereco.com/Fair/EventDetails?fairId=89e465a4-6d60-4a04-b0a3-a5f601037518; the website is sponsored by TwentyEighty (a business training company) and First Commonwealth Bank. Good luck!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Final Thoughts on Election Day

Whether or not they voted during the primary election in August, Americans with disabilities have an opportunity on Tuesday, November 8, to choose the president for the next four years. Since the United States is a democracy, it's up to us, the people (with and without disabilities), to decide who our next leader will be. This is also the time for voters to select candidates for other positions and to accept or reject proposed amendments. To read an article about issues that voters with disabilities need to consider, go to https://psmag.com/disability-heads-to-the-polls-what-you-need-to-know-for-election-day-f391bbf95016#.5z5078w22. Hopefully, the outcome of the election will be beneficial for the disability community and the nation as a whole.

Friday, November 4, 2016

A Day of Local Fundraisers

Tomorrow (Saturday, November 5) is a busy day for fundraisers for people with disabilities. The Families Exploring Down Syndrome (FEDS) of Brevard will hold its 14th annual Buddy Walk. At the walk will be fun activities for children and exhibitors who provide services to individuals with Down syndrome. There is a registration fee of $25, which gives each participant a T-shirt and access to the activities. Beginning at 10:00 A.M. with check-in at 8:00 A.M., the walk will take place at Riverfront Park at 401 Riveredge Blvd. in Cocoa. For more information, go to www.active.com/cocoa-fl/walking/feds-of-brevard-buddy-walk-2016?int=.

Later in the day, the Brevard Association for the Advancement of the Blind will have its sixth annual Sprint for Sight 5K run/walk. There will be medals for the first three people in each age group along with Tech Race shirts, food, prizes, and live music by Outtasight. This event begins at 4:00 P.M. at Gleason Park at 1233 Yacht Club Blvd. in Indian Harbour Beach. For more information, go to http://www.runningzone.com/events/sprint-sight-5k/.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Gleason: A Film about a Former NFL Player with ALS

Gleason is a documentary about the former professional football player Steve Gleason, who was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) at age 34 in 2011. A few months later, his wife Michel gave birth to their son Rivers. Gleason is known as the New Orleans Saints defensive back who blocked a punt during the first 2006 home game since Hurricane Katrina; the Saints ended up winning that game on the way to a successful season. The documentary shows the progression of ALS in Gleason, who was told upon diagnosis he would live two to five more years, so he has attempted to live life to the fullest. Premiering on July 29, 2016, Gleason is now available on DVD. For more information, go to https://gleasonmovie.com/.

Steve Gleason