Newsletter - Disability In Action

Second Semi-annual Edition 2016
Volunteer of the Year
Joel Parks
Joel Parks (left) and Diana Mendoza, Volunteer Coordinator
Disability in Action was pleased to nominate Joel Parks
as our “Volunteer of 2016”. Joel is someone who has
overcome many barriers as a person with a disability.
He has been a positive force at the Center and never
fails to share his positive attitude by his example of
“positive words”.
It is our pleasure to know Joel and we appreciate all the
hard work that he does at Disability in Action.
Thank you Joel!
Achieving Success
Meet Lester Crenshaw
Mr. Lester Crenshaw has been a consumer at
Disability in Action since April 26, 2016. He was
born in Amarillo, Texas where he graduated
from Amarillo High school in 1977.
Lester has achieved his goal of getting food
stamps, has successfully passed the written test
for his drivers’ licenses and is scheduled to take
the driving part next month.
Mr. Crenshaw worked for 25 years at Texas
Panhandle Mental Health authority in several
departments, supportive employment, psych social rehab department and community rehab. He
relocated to Abilene, in 2013; he still has a sister
and brother in the Amarillo area.
Mr. Crenshaw is very active in participating in a
lot of the activities offered at the DIA. He attends
the arts and craft classes, movies, the Center
Advisory meetings.
He sought out DIA to get assistance in obtaining
food stamps and to regain his driver’s licenses.
Lester is a Christian man who has never been
married, waiting for his God sent wife. He enjoys
traveling, decorating his apartment and cooking
Achieving Success
Meet Corie Thompson
Corie Elizabeth Thompson, is 26 and living in Anson, Texas. She was born with a small amount of
vision until the age of six months when she lost her
sight to Bi-lateral blindness from congenital cataracts and detached retinas.
When Corie first came to Disability in Action, she
was seeking assistance with employment, volunteering and as she said, “something to do to keep
busy”. She is bright and outgoing and loves interacting with the staff here at DIA where she also volunteers as a receptionist, several hours a week. She
is happily employed at the West Texas Lighthouse
for the Blind. This young woman has been utilizing
the services of Disability in Action for the last three
She has a great personality and wonderful outlook
on life. Corie attends the Fountaingate Church
where she volunteers as a greeter and loves it.
A participant in the College and Career Life Group
at her church, Corie also attended Cisco College at
the Abilene campus where she studied Spanish and
math and also took some online classes: a music
appreciation class and a government class.
Corie has two brothers (Eric, Matthew) and three
sisters (Jessica, Hope, Emily). She lives with her
parents and is very close to all of her family
She has chosen to use the Double Mountain
Coach as her mode of transportation from Anson
to Abilene and back. She also has a volunteer
driver as needed, when Double Mountain Coach
cannot provide the transportation she needs to
get to work and to the Center.
She utilizes the Transportation Works Program
that is provided by Disability in Action. This program helps her to not only get the transportation
she needs, but it also helps her cover the cost.
In closing, Corie would like to say, “Thank God
for her family, friends and being part of the Disability in Action family”.
Do you have a story of success you’d like to
share? We would be glad to feature you in our
next edition.
Recognizing our Wonderful Volunteers
From Left to Right: Raymond Boley, Barbara Price, Sandra Reed, Joel Parks, Russell Rivers
and Carlos Gallegos. Below right: Robert Allred.
Not Pictured: Jeri Jergins, Jo Rogers, Corie Thompson, Lori Urey, Ann Danehower, Jo Ellen Rogers,
Stephanie Castleman, Zachary Willis, Donna King, Jim Ruff
During the American’s with Disabilities Act Celebration, we always recognize the people who make the
Center a well-oiled machine. Without them, we could not do the things we do to assist the consumers
who come to the Center. They dedicate their time and their talents everyday and for that, we are very
grateful. Many of our volunteers go on to find gainful employment; sharing their talents with the rest of
From Everyone at Disability in Action...A huge thanks for all that you do.
Thanks to Caden Duhaime (Center) for his help during our celebration...and to his family for loaning him
American’s with Disabilities Act Celebration
July 21, 2016
Achieving Success
Meet Augustine Gutierrez
Augustine Gutierrez is a 41-year-old Hispanic male
who came into our services on June 2016. He was
seeking assistance with finding a job.
In a matter of weeks, Augustine was picking out a
new pair of eyeglasses and feels more confident
now to begin his job search in earnest.
Unfortunately, his vision was affected by a head injury
he sustained in 2012. Augustine informed his DIA
case manager that he had a prescription for eyeglasses, but did not have the means to pay for them. His
case manager contacted a local Lions Club chapter in
Abilene, and they said they would be happy to assist
He is registered with the Texas Workforce Center
and his DIA case manager assisted him with updating his resume’. Currently, Augustine is following up on several job leads.
Augustine said he is grateful for the encouragement and support he receives through DIA.
Looking for something fun to do? We’ve got it!
Call us at 325-672-5460 for more information
Changes at the State Level
“The more you know, the more you grow.”
Starting September 1, 2016 there will be some
changes to the state agencies that serve people
with disabilities.
The Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative
Services (DARS) will be dissolved. Those who are
receiving services from DARS will continue to receive those services, but under another agency.
That agency is The Texas Workforce Commission
(TWC). Employees of DARS will simply become
the employees of TWC. Vocational services such
as job training, employment services and educational services will remain with the same case managers and the same location on Industrial Blvd. in
Abilene. Case managers will continue to conduct
business from this location until August of 2017.
For those consumers who are 55 years of age and
older and have blindness, you will be assisted by
TWC. Consumers can also contact Disability in Action to help find the information and resources that
are needed or assistance in finding the right person
to help at TWC.
For those individuals who are not planning on going to work, but need a service or a device to help
them live more independently, Disability in Action
will now be administering what is called the
“Outsourced Independent Living Program”. This
program helps those who qualify to get things
they need to complete their activities of daily living. Some examples are: hearing aids, diabetic
counseling, home modifications, wheelchair
ramps and computer training for those who are
legally blind. Consumers must qualify for this program using two factors: Financial need and the
significance of the disability.
Anyone interested in the new “Outsourced Independent Living Program” can call Disability in Action and ask for JoAnne Fluke at 325-672-5460,
extension 31.
Centers for Independent Living will now fall under
the umbrella of The Health and Human Services
Commission (HHSC) instead of DARS. Our location will remain the same and our programs will
also stay the same.
Feel free to call Disability in Action if you have
any questions about the changes. We will be
happy to get you to the right person who can help
The address for TWC in Abilene is:
500 Chestnut #1100 Abilene, TX. 79602
Phone number: 325-795.4200
Don’t Forget…..
The Transportation Works Program
Is not just for employment Anymore
Our program is now open to anyone who has a transportation need if:
 You are a person with a disability
 You are elderly and have disabilities
If paying for your tickets is a struggle or if you cannot get transportation to where
you are going, our program can help.
Call the Center at 325-672-5460 for more information.
317 N. Willis St.
Abilene, Texas 79603
This publication is supported by funding
through DARS. Opinions expressed in this
Find us on Facebook!
newsletter do not necessarily represent
Disability– in- Action-Inc
Disability in
Check out our website
Disability in Action Staff
Leah Beltran
Tim Evans
Diana Mendoza
Wyester Sincere
Michele Nall
Casey Hertel
Kendal Johnston
Ricky Harris
Jim Wise
Katherine Ballard
Michael Gilmer
Joe Slack
JoAnn Fluke
Rene Serna
Contact Us!
325-672-5460 Phone/TTY
325-672-2903 Fax
888-672-5460 Toll Free
Executive Director
Director of Programs
Mobility Manager
Independent Living Specialist I
Hours of Operation
Community Integration Specialist
8:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Community Integration Specialist
Relocation Specialist - Abilene
Monday through Thursday
Relocation Specialist - Wichita Falls
Deafness Resource Specialist –Abilene
Hearing Loss Resource Specialist –Wichita Falls
Advocacy Specialist
Driver for Disability in Action
STAP specialist
Independent Living Specialist II Abilene/Wichita Falls
Independent Living Specialist I