There is a very special organization in Orange County that offers advocacy for people with disabilities and for seniors. It's called the Dayle McIntosh Center. They originally opened in Garden Grove and now have an office is Laguna Hills. Their mission statement reads:
"To advance the empowerment, equality, integration, and full participation of people with disabilities in the community."
Here's a thumbnail sketch of the services this not-for-profit organization makes available to the community:
Advocacy - Assist people with disabilities with concerns that affect their ability to live independently.
Aging with Vision Loss - Assists individuals who are at least fifty-five years old and who are experiencing significant vision loss as part of the aging process
Assistive Technology - Provide services related to assistive technology (AT), which encompasses any equipment, devices, or structural modifications that enhance the ability of people with disabilities to live independently
Clients Assistance Program - CAP - A state mandated service, advocates work to resolve differences between the Department of Rehabilitation and people receiving services.
Core Independent Living Skills - Independent living skills training is offered to enhance the ability of people with disabilities to manage their everyday lives.
Housing - The housing program assists with the acquisition of housing that meets the client's specific needs
Information & Referral - Collection and dissemination of information regarding activities, products, and services that may be of particular benefit to persons with disabilities.
Peer Support - Support and expert advice for clients and their families as they address disability-related problems and issues.
Personal Assistant Registry - Serves as a link between consumers who want to hire a personal assistant and those seeking employment.
Transition Services - Aid to individuals who wish to relocate from nursing facilities back into the community.
Sign Language Interpreting - A registry of qualified sign language interpreters is maintained for referral in situations such as doctor's appointments, employment interviews, parent-teacher conferences, and on-the-job training.
Vocational Services - A staff of job developers is well-trained and experienced in not just job development, but in working with individuals with disabilities, assistive technology, employer incentives such as OJT, WOTC, welfare-to-work programs and much more.
One of the great rewards being the President of the Laguna Hills/Laguna Woods Chamber of Commerce is to assist with ribbon cuttings for businesses that join our chamber. On Friday afternoon, it was my pleasure to be a part of a ribbon cutting ceremony in the Dayle McIntosh Center's Laguna Hills office.
While enjoying the refreshments, Heather Sinclair, Client Assistance Program Advocate and I had an opportunity to talk about the work she does at the center. She is one of the center employs to help intercede with the state and federal agencies for people with disabilities to receive benefits, rehabilitation, housing, job skills etc. Heather is passionate about her work. She explained that until the 1960's, Americans with disabilities were pretty much an unrepresented portion of our population. And, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 laid the groundwork for the Department of Rehabilitation and the benefits they provide. Heather explained that the work she does is extremely rewarding. /she helps people who as the result of accident or health issues are no longer able to work at their previous employment or continue living in the same environment. She assists them in getting trained to be gainfully employed and find them suitable living situations. She says the key words in what she does are, "reasonable accommodation". She works with employers to help them understand the special needs of the individuals she represents.
All in all, it's a win win for everyone. The individual can get back into the workforce, in many cases live independently, and the employer gets a well-trained, enthusiastic employee.
For more information about the Dayle McIntosh Center, visit http://www.daylemc.org.
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Marlene Bridges, REALTOR®
Sherman Smith & Associates
Certified Residential Specialist®
Seniors Real Estate Specialist®
Serving South Orange County, CA