The Clark County Association for Handicapped Citizens, Inc. was organized in 1965 by parents and concerned citizens to develop programs and promote the general welfare of children with mental retardation and physical handicaps and to provide information and support to their families. The first program started in 1966 as a day training program for school age children, who did not have a place in public education because of their handicaps. Laws changed, mandating public education for all handicapped children from six until they graduated or reached their twenty-second birthday. The Association through the years has adapted its programs to serve preschool children and adults who did not have the benefit of mandated services.
Offer additional therapy scholarships – Many of the children
we see need multiple modes of therapy and in some cases more than once a week
for each discipline. Unfortunately the
with budget crunches at the state and federal level, many families are left to
choose which therapy they deem more important. We feel that if the participant’s doctor deems that all the therapy
prescribed is what will give the child the best chance at a better quality of
life, then they should access to them all. We offer scholarships to those families who cannot afford the additional
cost for their child’s therapy. Last year we gave out almost $16,000 in free therapy.
Our main goal is that our activities will enhance the quality of life for our participants. We help them develop independent living skills so that no matter their living situation, they will have the most opportunities available to them. We work on money math skills, cooking, laundry, hygiene, healthier eating, & physical fitness. We also focus on community involvement and socialization skills, to prepare them to use the resources around them, rather than live in isolation.We strive to help teach financial stability. We help meet the participants’ basic needs. At our day program, they get a nutritious lunch that is prepared using the guidelines of the Federal Food Program. For our low income folks, this may be the only balanced meal they have all day. We work on budgeting and money math so that they can work on paying their bills. We have one participant who was getting eviction notices because she couldn’t budget enough money to pay the rent. She now has better spending habits so that she can keep her apartment. We meet the critical needs of those we serve & their families. Through services offered and referrals to other agencies, we are improving their lives at
We want to improve their education skills. Our participants develop skills they can use in employment. We have a cash register to work on making change and their service skills. We created “STRIDE Store” to work on ringing up items, giving correct change, and bagging groceries. Skills they would use at Kroger & Wal-Mart. We also purchased trays and liners so that they could practice clearing off the tables and cleaning them - skills used at any local fast food restaurant in town.
We run a community-based program for kids & adults with disabilities. We provide therapetuic reacreational programming that focuses on developing social, physical, congnitive, and self help skills. We offer a day training program for the adults that operates Monday through Friday, from 11:00-3:00. We offer one on one skills training, called community living supports (CLS). We provide occupational, speech, & physical therapy for kids & adults both at our Center and in their homes.
Through participation in Special Olympics, cooking classes, hygiene classes, and many overnight and weekend trips, we work to enhance the quality of life for the particpant. We offer programming at least five days a week and our programs average at least six hours. The participants are challenged to develop new skills and cultivate friendships through their participation. Over 60% of the participants require financial assistance. We provide the programming to anyone who qualifies regardless of their financial situtation.
One of our clients, we'll call him "Ted", joined our program this past summer. He lives in a group home setting in Winchester but social and recreational opportunities were lacking in his lfe. Ted joined our Special Olympics bowling team in the Fall and became a regular at our daily outings. He seemed to truly enjoy making new friends and being a part
of a group tailored to meet his needs.
Unfortunately, Ted also suffers from depression. Sadly, he had attempted suicide a few times before. While he was enjoying the comraddeire witht he other participants, he still battled his depression. We were in the middle of Special Olympics basketball season this past January and Ted tried to kill himself again. His staff felt it was more of a cry for help than a genuine attempt to end his life, but nevertheless we were all concerned.
Typically int he past, he would make suicide attempts one right after the other and this was cause for great concern by all involved. This time, however, his staff was able to use a resource that they did not have in the past - our program. They talked to Ted, as did our staff, about his importance to the team. We discussed with him how valuable he was and that his friends in the program would miss him being involved. I am proud to report that Ted was able to be pulled out of his bout and turned his attention to the positive experiences he was having with our program.
Now please do not misunderstand this story. I am not claiming that our program cures depression. However, I do feel like our program can play a huge role in the lives of adults with disabilities and in the case provided Ted with a new opportunity in his life, one of which he could feel a sense of belonging. Our program is an outlet for change for these
special adults and their families.
This was an excellent year for our program. Our day program continues to grow and has become a vital resources for the families it serves. On a daily basis these individuals have a place they can go and develop new skills. They continue to increase their abilities that can serve them in seeking employment. In our CLS program, one of our participants was able to gain employment at McDonalds. He now works 3 days a week and it has given him a purpose and also shown other businesses that this is a population that can be of real value to a business. This breakthrough was possible because he was paired with an individual who worked with him for months prior to his being hired on several skills, including hygiene, appropriate social skills, and following 3 step directions. This job has been a life changer for him in terms of his confidence and has purpose. He now gets up and gets ready the same as you or I do for work. It has made such a difference in his life.Lastly, our Champions League. For years Stride has participated in Special Olympics. It has been a great resource for us. Special Olympics does have a few drawbacks however. Many of our "lower skilled" athletes were not able to compete in Special Olympics because they did not have the ability to participate within the rules of the game. What they needed was more one on one instruction and assistance. Also, many of our younger athletes didn't participate because the majority of Special Olympics athletes in other programs were just adults and therefore they just couldn't safely compete on the field. Champions League was started to give these individuals a chance to thrive through sports. We have a Buddy team that pairs the athlete with a non-disabled peer/coach who is on the field/court with them, teaching them the sports and encouraging their progress. This fall we had 6 soccer teams and had 7 basketball teams this winter. We have seen such gains in these athletes ability in soccer and basketball. This summer we will try softball. This league ensures that whether through traditional Special Olympics or as a part of our Champions League teams, that EVERY athlete in our community can shine!We continue to see such growth in our programs. This summer, we will have over 60 participants attend the Special Olympics State Games. Our previous high was 41. On a daily basis we are making a difference in the lives of these amazing individuals and their families. We have gone from becoming a good resource to being an integral part of their life.
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.
Copyright © 2014 Blue Grass Community Foundation
499 East High Street, Lexington, KY 40507