vody/> RCM - Revitalizing Community Membership: Empowering Independence: September 2018

Sunday, September 30, 2018

How My Son With a Disability Encouraged a Stranger in the Waiting Room

Arriving to work this morning, I took the time to turn my face towards the sky, the rain falling lightly on my face as I approached the entrance. There’s just something about walking in a light rain shower that transports me away from the stress and strain of this life. It calms me and usually leads to a reflective moment or two. Glancing at my phone, I got a notification that my Facebook memories were available to view, so I took a quick peek. The first memory took me back three years ago to the day I met H. The vivid colors and emotions of that encounter in a doctor’s office waiting room that day back in 2015 came back to me fully. I can see now through the lens of perspective and time that my life’s cares at that moment were more “light rain shower,” but H’s were a full torrent of fresh pain, her life having been ripped apart 10 days before we met. If I may be so blunt, not only was there a deluge, but a massive landslide of sorts had crashed upon her, the rain had been so heavy for her.

Related:​ To the OBGYN Who Delivered My Child's Prenatal Down Syndrome Diagnosis

Recalling this memory of H, and me sitting across from her that day with my son, Allan, in his wheelchair… all I could do was tear up at the powerful moment we shared.

She sat there across from the two of us, her eyes watery, but her smile prominent. It occurred to my heart to ask, have I ever been so incredibly wounded in this life, but still found the steel in my spine to defy that pain and smile anyway? That was H that day. Having a discerning spirit, I immediately locked in on her and noticed how she observed my son in his wheelchair, making happy babbles, not minding the rest of us nor worried about whether he was too loud or not. As is usual in my life of Down syndrome and autism, Allan, for no reason I can quite understand, began to smack his head (self-injurious behavior). I tried to calm him, but he continued to cry, so I did what I’ve done so many times before. I began to clap my hands rhythmically as a little song and hand clapping brings Allan back to a calm state.

To read more on this story, click here: How My Son With a Disability Encouraged a Stranger in the Waiting Room


Thursday, September 27, 2018

What Every Voter Should Know

If you aren't registered to vote do it today! Your voice matters!

Voter Assistance
DCBOE provides numerous voting options for senior citizens and people with disabilities. On Election Day, senior citizens and people with disabilities can vote in-person at their assigned polling place, where Voter Assistance Clerks will be present to help. In addition to in-person voting, DCBOE offers. 

For more information, click here: Voter Assistance


Are You Planning To Vote?

Are you planning to vote? Take a look at the video below.


Body Found In NC Believed To Be Missing Boy With Autism

(CNN) — A body believed to be that of an autistic 6-year-old boy who went missing after his father lost sight of him in a North Carolina park has been found, the FBI in Charlotte tweeted Thursday.

“With heavy hearts we announce a body believed to be 6-year-old Maddox Ritch was found at approximately 1 p.m. off of Marietta Street/Old Dallas Highway in Gastonia. Maddox’s parents have been notified of the discovery.”

Maddox took off running during a walk around the lake, a police spokeswoman said.

Maddox’s father, Ian Ritch, said he and a friend were walking with Maddox in the park when his son ran ahead, likely triggered by a passing jogger. Maddox was about 25 to 30 feet away when he broke into a sprint, Ritch said.

To read more on this story, click here: Body Found In NC Believed To Be Missing Boy With Autism


Monday, September 24, 2018

Thank You, Steve Powe, For An Excellent Presentation!

A big thanks to Steven Powe for an excellent presentation about your experience participating on Human Rights Committees and why it's an important opportunity for people with disabilities to consider!

Self-advocate Steven Powe presenting on rights/responsibilities and why it’s so important for people with disabilities to be a part of and participate in Human Rights Committees!


Disabled Americans Deserve The Benefits Of Self-Driving Cars

 Mobility is freedom for many, Thank you Barbara Merrill with ANCOR for the reminder!

For the millions of Americans living with a disability, navigating the world can often be a challenge. At the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR), a national, nonprofit trade association representing more than 1,400 private community providers of services to people with disabilities, our mission is to advance the ability of our members in supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to fully participate in their communities. We are always interested in supporting the development of technologies that make getting around easier for people living with disabilities. That’s why we are particularly excited about the potential of self-driving cars. However, the benefits of this technology can’t be experienced until Congress passes the AV START Act. We believe the time to pass this legislation is now. 

We have supported the AV START Act since 2016 because increased availability of automated vehicles can address the significant transportation challenges faced by the individuals our members support.

To read more on this story, click here: Disabled Americans Deserve The Benefits Of Self-Driving Cars


Chance The Service Dog Kept Boy With Autism Safe, Until Dog Suspiciously Disappeared.

Chance is more than just a beloved family pet. He’s a specially trained service dog for nine-year-old Ashton, who has autism. Ashton has a tendency to run away from a situation when he’s feeling overwhelmed, which puts him at risk of getting lost. But 100-pound Chance has been trained to stop Ashton from running and keep him safe.

But Chance can’t do his job if he’s the one who’s gone missing.

Chance went missing on September 11, and Ashton’s mother, Debi Zamora, is desperate for anyone with any information to come forward—no questions asked. The family was in the process of moving to new neighborhood in Clarksville, Tennessee, and someone left the fence open at their new home.

To read more on this story, click here: Chance The Service Dog Kept Boy With Autism Safe, Until Dog Suspiciously Disappeared.


Reminder: Becoming a Better Citizen (Civic Engagement) - September 26 (12 PM - 1 PM)

Join us for our 'Lunch & Learn' focusing on civic engagement and your role and duties as a citizen. Learn simple ways you can exercise your rights to better your community! Presented by Amy Brooks, CEO of RCM of Washington & Robert Kennedy, self-advocate. DSP's and RCM managers will receive Phase 4 continuing education credit for attending. Pizza will be served.

Event: Becoming a Better Citizen (Civic Engagement)

Date: Wednesday, September 26 

Time:  12 PM - 1 PM

RCM of Washington Inc
64 New York Avenue, 
Washington, District of Columbia 20002


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

You're Invited to the 3rd Annual Deaf Celebration Day: September 22nd

September marks National Deaf Awareness Month. Deaf Awareness Month was created to increase awareness of Deaf Culture, language and heritage.

In recognition of September being Deaf Awareness Month, please join us by celebrating our 3rd Annual Deaf Celebration Day in partnership with the DCRelay, Gallaudet University, the National Association of the Deaf, DC Commission on Persons with Disabilities, Anthem, the DC Developmental Disabilities Council, the DC Department on Disability Services, the National Association of the Deaf, Deaf-Reach, and Age Friendly DC.

What: 3rd Annual Deaf Celebration Day
Date: Saturday, September 22, 2018
Time: 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Gallaudet University (Chapel Hall)
800 Florida Avenue Northeast
Washington, DC 20002

To learn more about this event, click here: 3rd Annual Deaf Celebration Day

Please Share!


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

We Are Hiring!

We are hiring! Come see us today on the campus of UDC. We will be here until 4:00 pm.


More Pictures from the DSP Conference on September 13th

More pictures the DSP Conference. A great day of learning and fun!

DC Coalition of Disability Service Providers: 
What a Super day at our 2018 Direct Support Professionals Conference, recognizing the critical role that our Superhero DSPs play in the lives of citizens within the District. More to come as “The Engagers” album is developed from today’s action-packed event during DSP Week.


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