October was Disability Awareness Month and the Greenbrier Valley Disability Awareness Committee held an event at the Gwen Clingman Center for Community Engagement on October 17. Over 25 people attended ”Building Wellness and Inclusion in the Community”. They had the opportunity to enjoy chair massages, guided meditation, and moving easy exercises provided by local therapists and an opportunity to mingle in a relaxed social setting. Snacks and drinks were also provided. Students from WVSOM had an opportunity to listen to attendees’ personal stories and concerns about the difficulties they encountered in healthcare. Other members of the community included business owners, members of the Alliance Ambassador Program as well as the Mayor of Lewisburg, Beverly White. They too gained an outlook that they normally might not have had. The event was made possible by a grant from the Greenbrier County Health Alliance. Carolyn Rudley from Gateway Industries and Cindy Tucker from LifeWorks, a community rehabilitation program through Open Doors, Inc. are Ambassadors with the Greenbrier County Health Alliance representing the GVDAC. The committee hopes to offer this event again next year and hope to have many more attend.
The Greenbrier Valley Disability Awareness Committee meets every other month on the fourth Wednesday at noon at the Division of Rehabilitation Services, Lewisburg office for a potluck lunch and to discuss issues relevant to individuals with disabilities, and raise awareness in the community. Anyone is welcome to attend. If you are interested please contact Jamie Lafferty at the Division of Rehabilitation Services, 304.647.7515.
Nine students from Greenbrier West, Greenbrier East, and James Monroe High Schools participated in a 4-day Summer Youth Program called Career Exploration Opportunities.
It was held July 22-25, 2019 at the Gwen Clingman Center. The event was held by LifeWorks, a community rehabilitation program, and sponsored by the Division of Rehabilitation Services.
Topics covered included job exploration, post-secondary education opportunities, workplace readiness, and self-advocacy. Students participated in mock job interviews, completing online employment applications. How a bill becomes a law, social media and internet safety as well as many other activities related to obtaining and maintaining employment were covered.
Guests who presented to the students included Debbie White with Greenbrier County Board of Education, Roger Griffith with New River Community and Technical College, Tatiana Mynuk with Open Doors, Inc., Senator Stephen Baldwin, and Sarah Riley with High Rocks and The Hub. The students actively participated and had fun while learning.
LifeWorks would like to recognize Mountain Lumber Flooring for their exemplary contribution to helping folks with disabilities find employment. In 2017, they have allowed four LifeWorks participants to complete a Community Based Assessment there to help them try out this work to see if they liked it. Of these four, two have ended up being offered full-time employment! Stuart Smith, Plant Manager, is committed to partnering with the community, and has been a champion in advancing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Thank you Mountain Lumber, and Mr. Smith.
Pictured: From left, Amber Hinkle, Julius McMillan, Dr. Beverly Ford, Demon Gary, Eli Barnette, Liz Pitzer and Cindy Tucker.
Lifeworks, a CRP (community rehabilitation program) which is a division of Open Doors, Inc. held a workshop titled “Steps for Success” on May 2nd. It was held at the Gus R. Douglass Building at the State Fairgrounds.
The keynote speaker was Dr. Beverly Ford from Durham, NC. Dr. Ford holds a PhD in counseling psychology, and does a variety of trainings geared toward human service professionals, and youth.
This workshop was attended by juniors and seniors from Greenbrier East and Greenbrier West High Schools, a total of 90 students. Dr. Ford’s presentation was very interactive, discussing change, as these students prepare to leave high school to enter the world of work, or to go on to high education.
They also discussed their success stories, learned tips on interviewing, and ways to use their network of acquaintances, such as friends, neighbors, church, grocery store, and so on to learn about job openings that may be filled before they are ever advertised. The students had lunch, and several door prizes were given away.
This workshop was made possible through a grant from the West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services.