Finding Opportunities for Inclusion in the Community
Employment, social activities, and life management in the Lake Houston area:
Employment Advantage, the employment services division of Village Learning & Achievement Center, assists individuals with disabilities in working toward their goal of obtaining meaningful, competitive employment. Services include personalized assessment of skills and talents, resume development, interview preparation, and a committment to help you find employment that matches your preferences.
Recreation & Social
Individuals with disabilities often choose activities and friendships with their disabled peers as well as with others in their general community.
Sailing Angels Foundation – Sailing out of the Portofino Harbour in Kemah, Captain Dave McCabe arranges two-hour sailing adventures for individuals with disabilities and their families. It is a wonderful non-profit organization dedicated to providing a great experience on the water.
The Arc of Greater Houston – Camp Champions serves individuals with developmental disabilities for one week each summer up to age 30. Counselors include those with and without disabilities. The Arc also offers weekend respite programs and recreational trips for adults with disabilities, such as cruises. The Arc also sponsors self-advocacy programs, Special Education 101 for parents and more.
Best Buddies – Many high school and college campuses have chapters of Best Buddies, a national organization that partners students with disabilities with typical peers. The link will take you to the Best Buddies Texas page. The University of Houston, Rice and Houston Baptist University have Best Buddies Chapters.
Special Olympics Texas – Special Olympics Texas offers athletic training and competition for individuals with intellectual disabilities ages 8 and up. The local Kingwood/Humble/Atascocita team is the Lake Houston Hurricanes. Sports are seasonal and include swimming, cycling, bowling, basketball, equestrian, ping pong, tennis and others.
“Involving Youth with Disabilities in Community Service Activities“ is a helpful article that appeared in the Impact Newsletter published by The University of Minnesota’s Institute on Community Integration. They publish excellent single-subject, magazine-type newsletters available online. This article comes from Issue 192, their Impact: Feature Issue on Parenting Teens and Young Adults with Disabilities. Other issues focus on topics involving integration of people with disabilities in the community, including transportation, social integration, etc.
Some resources for learning and practicing advocacy skills:
1. Texas Advocates – Texas Advocates provides training to its members on self advocacy, self determination, person-directed planning, and self advocacy organizations. To contact the local Houston Chapter, Lone Star Advocates, email email@example.com.
2. Imagine Enterprises’ Self-Determination for Texas project promotes the principles of self-determination for people with disabilities and those who support them. Local agencies and the national Center for Self-Determination have coordinated to host trainings in eight Texas regions with more to come.
3. TALAC – A project of the Center on Disability and Development at Texas A&M University with funding provided by the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities, the Texas Advanced Leadership and Advocacy Conferen involves individuals 18 and older with disabilities and their family members in meaningful self-advocacy experiences.
Visit Advocacy U for a list of additional resources in Houston and beyond.