We Escaped!

Valued Friends in Action

escaped

Expert problem-solvers in action…
Dorinda Clark, Janell Barnes, and Jessica Morrow-Powderly escaped the room with time to spare!

September Spotlight

spotlight

ebony

 

Values into Action September Employee Spotlight:
Ebony A., Personal Assistant
Two facts about Ebony:
1. I’m a softball player.
2. I also teach an hip-hop dance class to kids.
Why Ebony enjoys working with Values into Action:
What I enjoy about working with VIA is that everyone is like a family. If I have any issues I know that they will get resolved. Also I enjoy the individuals I work with because they always bring a smile to my face. VIA has been one of the best jobs I ever had.

Employee Spotlight

August 2016 Employee Spotlight

Sianta Anderson

sianta
Two facts about Sianta:
1. I grew up in Maplewood, NJ with a family of 5 (my parents and two younger sisters).
2. I absolutely love roller coasters.  I make it a goal to go to an amusement park every summer.

What Sianta enjoys about VIA:
“I love being able to see each individual progress from when I first met them. I also love how supportive everyone is in VIA, it makes me feel like I’m valued in the company and makes me love doing my job to the best of my ability.”

Holly Simon Book Signing

This month we were delighted to welcome Holly Simon, author of I AM WHO I AM and advocate for children with disabilities.

Simon’s son, Nate, was born with Down Syndrome in 2003.  The doctors and nurses didn’t celebrate Holly’s new baby, yet apologized for his condition. Holly knew she must fight for the rights of children with disabilities, and started the “I Am Who I Am Foundation.” The organization works to change the way the world views special needs children by celebrating their unique gifts from the moment they are born. The non-profit welcomes special newborns with “heartfelt congratulations, the soft embrace of a baby blanket, and the assurance that we are here when they need us,” says Holly.

Holly brought her message right here to Media. Local Home+Gifts hosted Holly and the Values Into Action team during a book signing.

“We adore Holly! Her message is important, motivational, inspirational, and downright spectacular, just like her. Holly is a live-out-loud kinda woman and she brought her passion for disABILITY advocacy and her amazing son (rather well-known nationally as Nate The Great) with her from her hometown of Chicago as a surprise bonus,” says Values Into Action’s Christopher Salazar

“Holly spoke eloquently, and as usual, with great feeling about her life’s journey focusing on being a mom to her 5 fantabulous kids, a disABILITY advocate for all, a breast cancer thwarter, and what it means to own all of who you are — and she does it with style. The event was very well-attended and everyone left uplifted and inspired, signed books in hand. No less than we’d expect,” he adds.  ”Good on ya, Holly and Nate, and THANK YOU for being the fierce advocate you are.  We all benefit from YOU being YOU. Thanks also to Kathleen Keenan-Rode, owner of Local Home+Gifts  and her staff (who were fabulous hostesses) for opening her gorgeous shop to our event.”

Congrats to Dennis Ohl Celebrating 10 Years at His Job!

Values Into Action is so proud of our dear friend, Dennis Ohl, celebrating an employment milestone, plus friendships, a new apartment, and a very happy and meaningful life! Check out the article recently published in The Pike County Courier!


Dennis Ohl celebrates 10 years at Price Chopper Loves his job:

Dennis’ enduring enthusiasm delights customers and co-workers alike

Celebrating Dennis Ohl’s 10th anniversary at Price Chopper in Matamoras are (from left): Deborah Hete, Donna Ciancitto (job coach), Corinna Foster, Dennis Huculiak, Brandi Babcock, and store manger Paul Tinker

MILFORD — Dennis Ohl of Milford is celebrating his 10th year working in the deli department at the Matamoras Price Chopper. And he’s just as enthusiastic as he was on his first day, back in 2005.

This story would be quite ordinary if it weren’t for the challenges Dennis meets head-on every day. The 47-year-old was born with developmental disabilities and multiple physical challenges. He is legally blind, partially deaf, and has a speech impediment. Despite these significant challenges, it would be hard to find a more loyal, dedicated and competent employee.

His job coach, Donna Ciancitto, said Dennis is a joy to be around, and all the customers agree with this. He is loved and respected by his co-workers.

“It’s a pleasure to work with him,” said co-worker Corinna Foster.

Price Chopper’s manager, Paul Tinker, presented Dennis with his 10-Year Recognition Pin. He said Dennis is a valuable member of the store.

“We are very pleased to have Dennis as our employee,” Tinker said. “He is greatly missed on the days he is not working.”

Dennis is proud to be a Price Chopper employee and hopes to remain working there for many years to come.

The importance of community
The Office of Developmental Disabilities of Pennsylvania produced a video-documentary about Dennis’s Journey and life, told through the eyes of his mother Mary Ohl. Mary has always been a true fan and staunch advocate for her son. She knows that for Dennis to have a life like everyone else, he has to be part of his community, by living and working here. The people in Dennis’s life have always focused on his abilities instead of his disabilities and have been surprised of what he can impart to them.
New apartment, more independence
It has been quite an exciting year for Dennis. He recently began living in his own home with support staff, and he’s thriving. He enjoys his increased independence and the responsibility and pride of living in his own home. Dennis is also a member of the Knights of Columbus Council #13935 of Milford and Matamoras and enjoys the friendships he finds there. In addition to their other civic work, the Knights donate money to the Pike County Developmental Center, which Dennis attended before working at Price Chopper.

Values into Action (VIA) offers services and support for people with disabilities, their families, and communities.

“This is where everyone belongs, in their own communities, to live, work and be productive and valued members,” said Marion Frattarola-Saulino, founder and executive director of VIA.

For information about Values into Action visit valuesintoaction.org, call 610-565-5177, or email marians@viapa.org.

See the published story here.

24th Annual Brighter Future Awards

24th Annual Brighter Future Awards

March 18 @ 9:00 am - 2:00 pm

The Philadelphia Intellectual disAbility Services Public Awareness Committee will host the
24th Annual My City, My Place Brighter Future Awards
Friday, March 18, 2016 at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel.

The Values Into Action team is excited to participate at the event
to showcase our unique, customized services.
We’ll focus on how our services are done differently than the rest, which makes us the best!

The event is open to everyone, so sign up and come visit us there!

For more information, including a schedule of events, check out the event flyer.

 

MLK Day of Service

Values Into Action was once again thrilled to partner with Media Elementary School (MES) to create special “quick-deploy emergency paracord bracelets” for American service personnel.

Each Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Remembrance and Service, Values Into Action’s staff and individuals accepting support host MES students at our Media office to complete a service project. We make the bracelets and write letters for America’s servicemen and women. Completed bracelets and letters are sent to Operation Gratitude for distribution.

It’s More Than A Simple Piece of Rope
From the Operation Gratitude Web Site
Many people don’t understand how important a paracord bracelet is, and it’s not just about how they are used in an emergency. Most commanders allow our troops to wear our bracelets with their uniforms, and that’s a rare exception to the uniform code. Troops tell us that every time they look at their bracelets they have a feeling of home. They smile a bit longer, breathe a bit easier, and they know in that moment, that they are not forgotten It’s hard to imagine that a simple piece of rope can be that important, but it truly can. It isn’t just a simple piece of rope. It’s a piece of the person who made it, the group that decided to send them in, and a reminder that we are here for them. It seems so simple, and yet, it means so much. As you make your bracelets, picture a Marine, a Soldier, a Sailor, or an Airman standing in front of you. Think of the smile you just created, and the pride with which it will be worn. Believe that the time you spend making each bracelet is far beyond what you had intended, and for that, know that you have their thanks and the thanks of those at Operation Gratitude.

Learn more about Operation Gratitude here.

Save the Date: Participant-Directed Services & Supports Brokering Workshop

Participant-Directed Services and Supports Brokering Workshop
Hosted by The Arc of Luzerne County


✔Do you want more control over your services?

✔Do you want to direct your own services?

✔Are you directing your own services but need more support with managing your paid staff?

✔Are you interested in finding more creative ways to arrange your paid and unpaid supports?

✔If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, this session is for you!

Session Times: 10:00am and 5:30pm
67-69 Public Square, Suite 1020, Wilkes-Barre
Tuesday January 26 2016
The Arc of Luzerne County

Reservations are required

Email pzotynia@thearcofluzernecounty.org or call 570-970-7739 to
provide your full name, telephone number, and email address.

Participant-Directed Services, also called “Self-Directed Services,” are a way for a waiver

participant to have more control over who provides services and how services are provided.

In this session you will learn:

 Who can use Participant-Directed Services

 What services can be self-directed

 Financial Management Services (Vendor/Fiscal Employer Agent and Agency With Choice)

 Rights and responsibilities

We will also discuss Supports Brokers. A Supports Broker can:

 assist you with directing your own services and supports

 help you in hiring and managing your workers

 help you understand and manage your budget for the supports you direct

 help you build natural and community supports

Presenters:

Kristin Ahrens, Policy Director, Institute on Disabilities at Temple University

Marian Frattarola-Saulino, CEO, Values Into Action – PA

This project is supported by a grant from the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council.