Disability Impact Story

Impact Story | Ramp Build – Juanita

By working with Home Repair Services and the Home Builders Association of Greater Grand Rapids, Disability Advocates was able to complete another ramp build for a low income senior who was not able to enter and exit her home safely or independently. This ramp build was part of the HBA’s 25th annual Community Repair Days.

Juanita received her new ramp and says, I feel safer now. My family won’t have to carry me down the steps in my wheelchair anymore when I go to my doctor appointments.

This is one more testament to the way our Adaptive Home Solutions program has helped those that have limited ability to enter and exit their homes. It’s a great feeling to contribute our time and energy while working alongside other local organizations to help a person with limited ability gain safe and independent access to their own home and community, says Renee Thompson, a Certified Aging in Place Specialist at Disability Advocates.

Over the last several years, our Adaptive Home Solutions program has helped many individuals remain safe in their homes by providing home assessments for wheelchair ramps, bathroom modifications, and adaptive equipment.

While it would be ideal to work with builders on new construction, the majority of the individuals and families that we work with have a strong desire to stay in their own home. The bulk of our work is modifying existing homes and providing tools that make everyday life easier and safer, thus we call our program Adaptive Home Solutions!

Disability Impact Story

Impact Story | Kelloggsville Work Group

The students of the Kelloggsville Employability Work Group on their certificate day.

Disability Impact Story

Impact Story | Theresa White

Theresa White attended the Employment Readiness Workshops where she mastered the tools necessary and gained the confidence needed to find and secure employment. During the time Theresa was involved with the workgroup, she was fully engaged, learned a ton, and has since landed a job working for Enterprise.

Each of our Employment Readiness Workshops consists of a group setting where individuals work together to increase their employability. The meetings focus on resume preparation, job hunting, interview skills, job site accommodations all of which help develop the confidence to succeed.

After completing the coursework, each student practices skills they learned by participating in mock interviews. The group also works together to submit online job applications which can be overwhelming to do on your own due to the level of detail required.

“When participants work together and learn from one another, it’s that moment when you see a higher level of confidence that makes every class rewarding. Theresa is a great example of the hundreds of people that we have helped” says Denise Borges, Employment Specialist at Disability Advocates of Kent County.

Note: Disability Advocates connected with Theresa through Michigan Rehabilitation Services.

Disability Impact Story

Impact Story | Quinn Shideler

We are thrilled to share the story of one of our consumers, Quinn!

Quinn has, “wowed,” us with his determination and perseverance and we are thankful that our Family Support Services Program had the opportunity to play a part in his story.

Our staff enjoyed working with Quinn to develop many skills related to Independent Living. Our work included guidance to Quinn and his family in obtaining the needed supports while seeking meaningful employment, tips for working with other organizations, as well as strengthening and improving socialization skills. Quinn and his family were able to connect with the right services and get those services in place. Recreation was incorporated as well — Quinn attended Indian Trails Camp (IKUS) for the first time and absolutely loved it!

We are excited for Quinn as he landed his first job at his local branch of the Kent District Library. We know he is going to be a great success! Quinn’s mom, Allison, summed it up beautifully, “Without people like you all, I probably would have given up by now. What you do matters. A lot.”