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Community Living Newsletter
MAY 2021
We believe people should have choice and control over where and how they live their lives. Our Community Living Programs help people achieve their goals for independent community living.
Image of Metroparks canoeing with wheelchairs in the space.
Toledo Metroparks Logo
"TRY IT" with
Metroparks Toledo

The Ability Center is offering “Try It” recreation opportunities
in partnership with Metroparks Toledo.

  • Birdwatching
  • Gardening
  • Treehouse Village Tour

Sessions will occur onsite at Wildwood, Botanical Gardens, and Oak Openings. Metroparks Toledo is committed to making programs accessible to folks with disabilities. Interested? Connect with Consumer Engagement Specialist, Priscilla Roman (419.885.5733).
What community activities are you looking for this summer?
Sports related (tennis, basketball, bowling, etc.)
Outside recreation (kayak, canoeing, nature walks)
Arts and leisure (art classes, yoga, play spaces)
Looking for something specific? Tell us here.
Image of health food like nuts, berries, avocado on gray background
OSU Extension
Healthy Choices
SNAP-Ed educators through OSU's Extension will provide useful information on making healthy food choices, meal planning and more. As we get older our nutrient needs change. Eating a variety of nutrient dense foods are important in maintaining good health. Informational sessions will be held via Zoom.

Cost for both series is free and space is limited. Consumers should connect with Consumer Engagement Specialist, Priscilla Roman (419.885.5733).
Image of Toledo skyline
The Ability Center is partnering with Engage Toledo to attend multiple Drop Off Refuse and Recycling Events this summer.

Durable medical equipment will be collected at the following events, sanitized and given to individuals who need them. View list of accepted items here.

Image of woman smiling with glasses on
Katelyn Merzke
Meet Katelyn, one of our consumer engagement specialists. Katelyn is a graduate of Owens Community College with degrees in psychology and Occupational Therapy Assisting. She comes to us with an extensive background in advocacy, working with different groups from military families to children with disabilities. She also currently serves on the Ohio Occupational Therapy Association state board. A native of northeast Ohio, she moved to Toledo 20 years ago after meeting her husband. They are raising two boys together and are always looking forward to their next trip to Disney World.

Katelyn’s current responsibilities include facilitating a grant program funded by the Ohio Statewide Independent Living Council (OSILC). Emergency and disaster resources are available for individuals living with paralysis through this grant opportunity. Resources increase safety, security, and emergency preparedness of individuals with paralysis in their homes and communities. Katelyn works with individuals on the development of a comprehensive Individualized Emergency Preparedness Plan along with receiving a Personal Emergency Kit. Participants will also have the opportunity to attend informational sessions.
Medical Equipment and Supplies Abroad Foundation, Inc (MESA) ships medical equipment to poverty-stricken communities around the world. MESA collects and distributes medical equipment from their warehouse in Fostoria, OH and gifts items to our lending program and in turn, we provide items that benefit their needs. We value this mutually beneficial partnership.
Image of 4 people standing in front of large bus that reads "MESA"
Assistive Technology Corner (AT)
Any item, piece of equipment, or product that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities is considered an assistive technology device. The Ability Center has a robust AT lending and gifting program that includes switch adapted toys, instruments, and leisure items; alternative input and output devices for computers; virtual devices (kindles, iPads, Chromebooks); and durable medical equipment. Equipment donated to our program is refurbished for lending and gifting to folks with disabilities.
Featured AT Item of
the Month:

Amazon’s Kindle Fire is a cost-effective way to access the internet and applications. Kindle Fire’s cost around $50 and have accessibility features including touch screen, voice activation, and screen magnification capabilities. The Kindle can be connected to the Internet for browsing, checking email, streaming shows, and engaging with friends and family. The Kindle Fire is available in the AT lending closet for our consumers to trial to increase independent living.
Image of Kindle Fire
Lakewood Flower Market
Prep your garden for spring or surprise your mom for Mother's Day! Purchase from Lakewood Flower Market this weekend and 20% of sales will be donated to The Ability Center's Youth and Transition Program.

Youth with disabilities create a customized plan to help gain independence in areas of recreation, employment, self-advocacy, and transition. Free classes teach young adults ages 13-24 with disabilities skills for independent living, competitive employment, or community-based living.

*You must mention The Ability Center to credit the sale.
Do you know someone who might be interested in receiving these services? Share this email and information with anyone who may be interested.
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