vody/> RCM - Revitalizing Community Membership: Empowering Independence: July 2016

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Mom of Autism Spectrum Child Creates a Space for Birthday Parties for Special Needs Children

When a mother with a child on the autism spectrum had a hard time finding a birthday venue to celebrate her child's second birthday, she decided to create her own space for children with special needs.

Raquel Noriega said that to celebrate her 2-year-old daughter Ava's birthday, she wanted a venue that hosted only one birthday party at a time and that wasn't "too crowded."

"Most venues...had too much stimulation, music going, lights going. It was just chaos, and it's not really good for a child with sensory issues," Noriega, 40, told ABC News, adding that she didn't even celebrate Ava's first birthday because she couldn't find a place.

To read more on this story, click here: Mom of Autism Spectrum Child Creates a Space for Birthday Parties for Special Needs Children


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Robert Mendez, Born Without Arms and Legs, Has a Job that He Loves: Coaching Football

San Jose, California - Robert Mendez was born without arms and legs, but he refuses to be limited by his physical differences and lives life to the fullest, even coaching San Jose High’s Varsity football team.

"You can't look at someone and just completely judge them right away," said Mendez, who's the assistant coach for the Bulldogs, " I'm not a disabled coach.  I'm a different coach."

The 28-year-old said he has a job that he loves, coaching football.

He says he loves the energy of the game and the lessons learned from each practice.

"I've ran across so many people in the 10 years that I've coached," said Mendez who can turn physical disadvantages into advantages.

He uses his wheelchair to draw plays on the field.

To read more on this story, click here: Robert Mendez, Born Without Arms and Legs, Has a Job that He Loves: Coaching Football


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Reminder, We Will Be Moving Into Our New Admin Office at 64 New York Avenue, NE in Late August

RCM is under construction at The People's Building.  

Reminder, we will be moving into our new admin office to 64 New York Avenue, NE in late August. We are so excited to grow our office and were able to customize our space to best meet our needs as an organization. Be on the look out for an open house event. 

The new space is just a few blocks from where we currently are and is easily accessible by Metro (NOMA), bus, and car. This is an exciting time for RCM!

Please subscribe to our blog, RCM - Revitalizing Community Membership: Empowering Independence  to stay updated on events!


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Actors with Disabilities Are Ready, Willing and Able to Take More Roles

“Have you ever been hit?” a man named John asks his caregiver in “Cost of Living,” a new play by Martyna Majok. “That’s what it’s like,” he continues. “Like people hitting me from beneath my skin.”

John, a Ph.D. candidate in political science, has cerebral palsy. So does Gregg Mozgala, who portrays him in this Williamstown Theater Festival production running through July 10. Ani, another character, is played by Katy Sullivan, a professional actress who is a Paralympic medalist. Their casting — in a high-profile production that will end up at the Manhattan Theater Club — is a visible sign of change when it comes to performers with disabilities, who rarely appear onstage, even as stories of disability offer rich and, yes, prize-generating material for actors.

Ms. Sullivan, who was born without lower legs, doesn’t believe that able-bodied performers should be prevented from playing the disabled. She sees acting as “putting on someone else’s soul, putting on someone else’s life experiences and trying to be truthful about them, whether you’re disabled or not.” Still, she noted, “Using performers with disabilities brings a layer of authenticity that you don’t have to go searching for.”

The Deaf West Theater production of “Spring Awakening,” which earned enthusiastic reviews when it played on Broadway last season, may have excited new interest in casting actors with disabilities. The recently announced Broadway revival of “The Glass Menagerie” will co-star Madison Ferris, an actress who uses a wheelchair, as Laura Wingfield. “I Was Most Alive With You,” which just ran at the Huntington Theater Company in Boston, was written by Craig Lucas expressly for the deaf actor Russell Harvard.

This is not exactly business as usual. The past several Broadway seasons have included shows like “The Cripple of Inishmaan,” “Richard III,” “Of Mice and Men,” “The Elephant Man,” “Side Show” and “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.” In these plays and musicals, able-bodied actors played characters with physical or cognitive disabilities. Other recent “Glass Menagerie” revivals have cast actresses who can leave Laura’s limp at the stage door. (Representatives for the coming production declined to comment on its casting.)

To read more on this story, click here: Actors with Disabilities Are Ready, Willing and Able to Take More Roles


Saturday, July 9, 2016

Special Olympics D.C. Welcomes New CEO, Nicole Preston

Nicole Preston comes to Special Olympics, DC with nearly thirty years of experience in corporate and non-profit organizations both in the U.S. and abroad. As Managing Director of National Campaign Development with the American Diabetes Association, she led the growth of the Tour de Cure fundraising cycling events from 20,000 to more than 61,000 participants raising over $29 million. Prior to that, Nicole managed large-scale charity events for several charitable organizations including the AIDSRide cycling events and 3-Day Breast Cancer walks, and was instrumental in developing the structure and strategies that led to exponential growth. In the corporate arena, she began her career with Hewlett-Packard in San Jose, California, and then held several positions in management and finance in Fortune 100 corporations including the opening team of Euro Disney in Paris, France. She is a lifelong athlete who has competed in many sports, and continues to be an avid cyclist and tennis player.

New SODC President and CEO, Nicole Preston with SODC Board Chair, Jackie Duke


This Special Needs Girl Asked A Popular Boy to Prom. How He Responded Left Her in Tears

The prom is an exciting time for high school students, when they get to dress up and have a glamorous night out. For 17 year old Destiny McLemore, it was the night she had always dreamed of. With the help of her mom Angie, she asked her dream date Grant Kelley to her special needs prom.

Destiny is a junior at Anderson high school, and wanted to ask the popular boy named Grant to be her date. So she posted of Facebook a picture of herself holding a sign saying ‘Grant Kelley will you go to my special needs prom with me?’ Grant shared the post, and replied saying ‘I would love to go to prom with you Destiny’ and he added two heart emojis.

To read more on this story, click here: This Special Needs Girl Asked A Popular Boy To Prom. How He Responded Left Her In Tears


twitter twi