One in every five Americans lives with a disability. Some 6 million school children have disabilities; as a group, too many never finish high school. Thirty-five percent of people with disabilities say they are unable to participate in their communities and only 32% of working. Age Americans with disabilities is employed. During the holiday season, it is a natural time to reflect on our blessings and think about ways to give. Back and make a difference. You may have a friend of family member who has a disability and needs to learn more about where to. Go for help and hope. Together, we can improve opportunities for people with disabilities—so that children and adults with disabilities can live, learn, work. And play like everyone else. ANGEL

ANGEL

Ways to earn your wings…..

LEARN MORE ABOUT EARLY CHILDHOOD INTERVENTION SERVICES

Hundreds of babies are born with disabilities; their futures are uncertain but with the right support–like physical therapy for a toddler learning to walk, or speech therapy for a child with a developmental delay–they will be able to learn, grow and succeed in life. All children learn and grow at their own pace, but some babies and toddlers need a little extra help. Our local Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) program is part of the statewide early childhood intervention services network providing quality services for children from birth up to the age of three. The ECI staff and therapists work with parents as a team in their own homes to show how to help their children develop within daily routines such as mealtime, playtime or bath time–parents are the best first teacher. ANGEL

MAKE THE FIRST FIVE COUNT

If you believe all kids deserve to start school ready and able to learn alongside their peers, go to MaketheFirstFiveCount.org and speak out today. When children at risk of developmental delays, disabilities or autism get the support they need, they can be school-ready and build a foundation for a lifetime of learning. And, if you are a parent, you can make sure that your child is reaching his or her developmental milestones. It’s easy to find out, go to MaketheFirstFiveCount.org and take the free online screening.

OPEN THE EMPLOYMENT DOOR FOR QUALIFIED APPLICANTS

If you have an employment opportunity, open your door and mind to hiring people with disabilities. Qualified applicants are available to enter the workforce and meet your employment needs.

HELP ENSURE A BETTER FUTURE FOR CHILDREN 

Donations make a difference for children in our community in order to have access to programs and services that provide early diagnosis and treatment. The demand for services grows every year so your support is critical to keep life-changing programs running. Best of all, your gift not only provides critical services for the people who need them most—it sends a message that every person with a disability deserves the chance to achieve his or her dreams. ANGEL

INVEST IN YOUR COMMUNITY THROUGH VOLUNTEERING

Donating your time and talent is a wise investment. Giving back through a special skill is a tremendous value. Building a new ramp or making a repair provides cost-savings to the organization and keeps funding going to direct services. Offering your time and personal skills are gifts that keep on giving.

SPECIAL NOTE:

Easter Seals is celebrating 60 years of service in the Rio Grande Valley and we are blessed by the generosity and support of our community. From our family to yours, we wish you a healthy and happy holiday season.

By Patricia Rosenlund

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