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Give & Take: Honoring National Disability Independence Day

Catherine Adams,  Anna Valenza,  Emma McMillen

National Disability Independence Day was held on Monday, July 26. The day commemorates the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which provides protection from employment discrimination as well as better access to goods, services and communications for people with disabilities.

This year, Prosek Partners encouraged employees to volunteer or donate to drive inclusion and provide support for those living with disabilities in honor of the day. At Prosek, employees are permitted four hours per month (that do not count against PTO time), to volunteer for an organization or activity of their choice. 

To further our commitment as an organization, Prosek raffled off two prize packages of Collettey's Cookies! Collettey’s is a business started by Collette Divitto, a young woman with Down Syndrome who decided that her company would be not just a means of earning a living, but it would have a greater mission – to create jobs for other people with disabilities. Collette sold over 400,000 cookies to date and Collettey’s Cookies now employs 15 people, several with disabilities. Collette travels around the country to share her inspiring story, and constantly encourages people to focus on their abilities rather than what they can’t do.

Follow Collette on Instagram @colletteyscookies

Here are several organizations that Prosekians volunteered for and made donations to support individuals living with disabilities, in addition to participating in blood drives:

  • Organization: 29 Acres

Description: The 29 Acres housing development is a safe and dynamic supported living community where adults with autism (ASD) and other neuro-diversities will live and be supported enabling them to build relationships, feel value, success and happiness in their lives.

Additional Information: Support 29 Acres here

  • Organization: Extra Special People

Description: Extra Special People, Inc. (ESP) exists to create transformative experiences for people with disabilities and their families, changing communities for the better.

Additional Information: Support Extra Special People here

  • Organization:EPIC Players. 

Description: EPIC Players is a nonprofit theatre company that opens the stage to all types of artists and seeks to shine a light on neuro-diverse talent. Epic players strives to provide a platform to share the stories of the disabled community with the world in a devised play that intertwines our hopes, our success, our challenges, and our humanity.

Additional Information: Support EPIC here 

  • Organization: The Thomas E Smith Foundation

Description: The Thomas E. Smith Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to better the lives of those affected by and living with paralysis through financial and emotional support, as well as supporting preventive innovations that decrease the risk of spinal cord injuries.

Additional Information: Support The Thomas E Smith Foundation here

  • Organization: God’s Love We Deliver

Description: God’s Love We Deliver cooks and home-delivers nutritious, medically tailored meals for people too sick to shop or cook for themselves. To support the health of their clients, God’s Love We Deliver also provides ongoing nutrition assessment, education, and counseling. God’s Love is a non-sectarian organization serving people in need and their children and caregivers. All of our services are provided free to clients and full of love.

Additional Information: Support God’s Love We Deliver here

  • Organization: Disability In  

Description: Disability:IN is the leading nonprofit resource for business disability inclusion worldwide. Their network of over 270 corporations expands opportunities for people with disabilities across enterprises and they strive to collaborate with purpose to promote the full inclusion of people with disabilities, to inspire accessible innovation for all, and to foster cultures of inclusion.

Additional Information: Support DisabilityIn here

  • Organization: Prosepector Theater

Description: The Prosepector Theater is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit dedicated to providing competitive and integrated employment to people with disabilities through the operation of a premium, first-run movie theater in Ridgefield, CT. Through the use of education, engagement and entertainment, the Prospects show their incredible talents and employability through a variety of different job positions.

Additional Information: Support Prosepector Theaters here

  • Organization: AHRC New York City

Description: AHRC NYC is a family governed organization committed to finding ways for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities to build full lives as defined by each person and supported by dedicated families, staff and community partners.

Additional Information: Support AHRC here

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