There are numerous ways to support KyADAPT--here are some of them. For more information about any of these items, call or text 859-619-1364.
To establish and maintain a model independent living program for Deaf and hard of hearing adults who have additional disabilities and need some assistance with daily living and work skills. All aspects of programs and services will create safe environments where participants have their functional and communication needs met and are encouraged to do as much for themselves as possible so as to live full and enriched lives.
KyADAPT, a 501(c)3 organization, in Danville, was incorporated in 2002. We provide independent living supports to Deaf and hard of hearing adults with additional disabilities. KyADAPT is the only organization in the state which exists to serve this unique but greatly underserved population.
1. a large increase in our number of volunteers (especially volunteers willing to assist with fundraising and to provide transportation and other relatively simple services to our clients) and an effective training system and program for those volunteers.
Statement from Laura Sparrow, Board of Directors chairperson:
KyADAPT is currently accepting client applications from throughout the state of Kentucky. We have a strong family involvement component and like to know the clients have relatively nearby family/outside support. Our program is based in Danville, KY, and clients live in apartments rented from the Danville Housing Authority.
Deaf people very often struggle to get equal education and vocational opportunities due to the communication barrier with non-ASL users. Deaf adults with other disabilities (physical, intellectual, emotional, vision, etc)… Deaf-Plus, have even greater challenges. KyADAPT is slowly striving to develop a continuum of services through which each client is encouraged and supported in the process of reaching their own potential.
KyADAPT’s aim is to start filling a void in services to Kentucky’s Deaf-Plus community. There are no Independent Living programs which provide an ASL-rich environment for deaf clients. Most of this small population lives in institutions/homes where they cannot communicate with anyone using ASL. They are simply being fed and housed with little or no expectations for learning or improving their lives. They are very isolated and very lonely.
We know that many CAN learn, CAN work and CAN make decisions for themselves when provided with appropriate supports. In order to do this, they need:
- to live and interact with people who use ASL day-in and day-out. That way, clients can more readily learn socially acceptable behaviors, how to take care of their own basic needs, how to make decisions for themselves, etc.
- work skills taught in ASL with which they can more likely find volunteer and/or paid positions in the local community.
Over the coming 3-5 years, KyADAPT has to expand our financial resources. Resources which would allow us to hire trained staff who can communicate with clients and build a variety of services (housing, vocational, social). We have learned that building such a program involves a large variety of components, not only direct services to our clients... fundraising, office management, public relations and marketing, collaborating with other agencies, staff training, developing evaluation tools for staff and agency, receipting volunteers recruiting clients and processing admissions, ...... All of this requires people. We need funds to pay the people.
I recently retired from working with the KY Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) for 25 years serving individuals who are deaf or deafblind. During this time, a federal study was set up to determine criteria that would identify individuals experiencing significant deficits in independent functioning which affect their ability to live and work in the community without additional support. These individuals may or may not have cognitive deficits, but are more likely to face additional barriers/ challenges due to educational and/or environmental issues. Another frequent cause is the presence of a secondary disability.
In 2001, I was given the charge by OVR to develop a service delivery system for these individuals for whom we used the term “deaf-at-risk”. It quickly became clear that there was a severe lack of appropriate services delivery options for this population. I became aware of the KyADAPT program in its early stages and became involved as a member and have served on one of the sub-committees for a number of years. With my recent retirement from OVR, I have become more available to work more closely with the program and to lend my time and expertise to help the program continue to develop.
The three individuals in the program at this time have benefited tremendously and I wish that others could become aware of the improvement in the quality of their lives as a result of KyADAPT. Our goal is to grow and develop the program so that other individuals can also experience this significant change for the better in their lives. As mentioned previously, our primary goal at this time involves increasing our funding to enable us to hire a full-time Executive Director who can give his/her full-time attention to KyADAPT and its clients and services. I know from experience that there are large numbers of deaf-at-risk individuals in the state who could benefit from these services. I have worked with a number of these individuals and experienced their frustrations and those of their families that the supports are not available to give them just that little extra help that would enable them to live and work in the community. I have also experienced these individuals’ frustrations due to the fact that they may be isolated and live with families or others who do not communicate with them. Communication in the individual’s preferred mode of communication is one of the primary focuses of KyADAPT. This lessens the individual’s isolation and increases his/her feeling of self-worth.
At this time, KyADAPT is the only program in the state that is focused on improving the lives of “deaf-at-risk” individuals. The support and continuation of this program is vital to those who benefit from its services and who could benefit in the future.
The KyADAPT Client Services Program is a collaborative effort between Board members, staff, clients, caregivers, members, volunteers, service providers, and other supporters. We operate a residential program but serve nonresidential clients as well. Our team works with each client, his/her caregivers, and a variety of state/local agencies to meet the client's unique needs. We strive to provide a stimulating and educational environment which fosters independence and personal growth. The Client Services Program currently operates primarily on funding from Heart of Kentucky United Way. The Housing Authority of Danville (HAD) provides our residential clients with low-cost housing. In recent months have received funds from the Kentucky Division of Behavioral Health, the City of Danville, the Hudson-Ellis Foundation, and the Kathleen Torok Memorial Fund. The First Christian Church of Danville and HAD have provided us with free office space.
John Haas’ Growth and Improvement
(by John’s mother, Dahlia Haas)
In 2008, with help and encouragement from Kentucky ADAPT members, John took the big step of moving from his parents’ home in Lexington to his own apartment in Danville. Kentucky ADAPT assisted John in furnishing his apartment and invited members of the Danville Deaf community to attend a housewarming event at which John received additional items for the apartment as housewarming gifts. The fact that John has been able to continue to maintain his own home is largely due to the encouragement, advice and assistance he has received from Kentucky ADAPT coordinators and other Kentucky ADAPT members who drop by regularly to ensure that all is well with him, identify any needs or problems he has, and help him take any actions necessary to ensure his safety and happiness.
John has also benefited greatly from the monthly group activities and outings that Kentucky ADAPT sponsors for its clients (as a culturally Deaf adult, he values opportunities to socialize with other adults who value and use American Sign Language). Since John has a mild form of autism (Asperger’s Syndrome) which negatively impacts his language and social skills, expressive language communications and demonstrating socially appropriate behaviors have posed challenges for him for most of his life. I have seen a significant improvement in John’s expressive language and social skills as a result of the opportunities Kentucky ADAPT has provided for him to interact with others. He initiates more conversations, talks about a wider variety of topics, and has become much more aware of (and responsive to) other people and their feelings and needs. The sense of community belonging that Kentucky ADAPT has given John is now inspiring him to “give back to” his community through such activities as doing volunteer work at Bluegrass Community and Technical College and participating in Heart of Kentucky United Way Day of Action community improvement projects. Since my husband and I were told by psychologists when John was 5 years old that he would never be “educable” and might possibly be “trainable,” we are truly amazed at the person John is today, and grateful beyond words to Kentucky ADAPT for the key role this group has played in John’s progress.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
After a year of intentionally tapping into our reserve funds in order to take our agency to the next level, KyADAPT Board has voted to only use this year's income to pay for this year's expenses.
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499 East High Street, Lexington, KY 40507