Community Prevails During Physical Distancing
“They use the term social distancing to describe what we’re all supposed to be doing right now, they should really be calling it physical distancing because this group is still social, and our community is still strong. We’re just doing things virtually now.”Member of Access Living’s Cross-Disability Support Group
Cross-Disability Support Group Members Continue to Support One Another
As we progress through the pandemic and all of the new challenges that accompany it, some groups are finding consistency and a sense of routine to be extremely helpful during these challenging times.
Access Living facilitates a cross-disability support group year-round. Typically, the group meets bi-weekly, but according to the group facilitator and Access Living staffer Carleda Johnson, the group has transitioned into weekly conference calls in light of COVID-19.
“This group hasn’t changed much in light of COVID.” Carleda said. “We’re meeting more frequently and we’re all checking in with each other, but the group still serves the same purpose – to support and celebrate its members.”
The group covers a wide variety of topics related to living life with a disability, but as of late, the focus has been on finding connection during a time of physical isolation. Some of the group’s members are familiar with being alone and can share their experiences with members that might not be as familiar.
Similarly, members are learning new things from each other and guests about a variety of preplanned topic areas covered throughout the year. In the past, the group has covered everything from goal setting in the New Year and relationship building, to transportation options as a person with a disability.
“We give space for people to be themselves.” Carleda said. “We all come to the table and try to be as transparent as possible; we bring our struggles and our victories and we support and celebrate each other.”
The group is open to new members. Those interested in connecting should send an email to Carleda Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org to get more information.
Interested in connecting during physical distancing?
All of Access Living’s peer support, youth, and organizing groups are meeting remotely multiple times a week. To join one of the groups listed below, email the group’s organizer.
- Cross-Disability Support Group
- Carleda Johnson, email@example.com
- Step Ahead
- Tim Pagani, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mary Lee Ahern, email@example.com
- Candace Coleman, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cathleen O’Brien, email@example.com
- Cambiando Vidas
- Michelle Garcia, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Power to the People
- Cris Johnson, email@example.com
- Independent Voices and Taskforce for Attendant Services
- Ryan McGraw, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Programs for Youth with Disabilities
- Emily Garmager, email@example.com or Chinette Gilmore, firstname.lastname@example.org