Hi Friends & Neighbors,

We are all in this together! It’s been a tough change in routine to be at home all the time for the past few weeks. It’s been really tough for ConnectAbility to have to postpone some of our upcoming programs. Even last year when our office burned, we didn’t cancel any of our programs.

But this is an unexpected and unprecedented time for the whole world. ConnectAbility’s mission is to connect people who would not ordinarily cross paths. Turns out that looks a lot different when we’re all at home. And technology is the key to staying connected when we can’t be together in person.

We are working daily to help combat the social isolation & loneliness that is experienced by so many families impacted by disabilities for many reasons. Right now, the entire globe is feeling the impacts of being isolated, separated and missing out on social interactions. It’s a time for us to stay connected virtually.

Our team met for a big brainstorm session a few weeks ago to reimagine how to connect without being together. We came up with lots of ideas and I’m going to share them all with you in one big post here. Please refer back to this post in the coming weeks as we’ll be adding new opportunities all the time. And if you have a suggestion of something you’d like for us to try, please reach out and let us know!

Family Art Night – special guest artist Michael P. White will be joining us LIVE on Facebook for our April event. Michael has illustrated many children’s books and I’ve seen his performances twice in person. He uses airbrush to color his works and all of his demonstrations are interactive. I LOVE his fun style and got in touch with him while we were making plans to go virtual. He’s ready to rock & roll in your living room. Get ready with some paper and a pencil. Join online now to stay posted with updates!

Kids Virtual Connections – every Wednesday at 11:15 we have a private Zoom call set up with a fun theme for kids of all ages to join in! Each week has a fun theme. Registration is required so that we can email you a link & password to get into the call. Get all the details & sign up links for each week here.

BAM – Books & Movies Club – Our BAM club is a great way to read some great books, talk with some friends about them and meet some new friends in the process. BAM has been around for a while and we’ve just made a few changes to meet our current needs. Here’s the process to get involved: email Connie@ConnectAbilityInc.org.

We are just getting started with Helen Keller’s biography The Story of my Life. The book is easy to find online for free. It’s also available as an audiobook on RB Digital if you have access to that app free through your library account.

We have a read aloud group set up on Zoom where people are taking turns reading out loud. We can also help get you set up on accessible books if you need that.
We’ll post discussion questions online and then invite you to join a Zoom chat to share our thoughts. We’re working on a solution to watch the movie together and we’ll let you know as plans develop.

Small Town Celebrity Story Time – we’ve invited some community members to become celebrities by sharing stories with us! We’ll be posting new stories on Mondays & Thursdays live on Facebook at 7pm. The stories will remain on our Facebook page and we’ll post on our website too. Sheriff Stacy Jarrard will be our first celebrity coming your way this Thursday, 4/16.

Tuesday Tunes – ConnectAbility’s Meet Your Neighbor Project is excited to partner with App Studios & local musicians to come to your home every Tuesday evening at 7pm. We’re supporting performers who are not able to get out and do shows right now and bringing a relaxing and fun way to connect with neighbors.
April 14 features local singer songwriter Betsy Franck.

Meet Your Neighbors Intro Video Clips – we will be posting short video clips of our neighbors introducing themselves and letting us know what they’ve been up to lately. Share your story! Email a 30-60 second clip to info@ConnectAbilityInc.org and we will share it.

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