Disability Connection is dedicated to the mission of:
“Creating a Connected Community to provide social support, ensure healthy futures, eliminate barriers, and foster cooperation and understanding for people with disabilities.”
Using a variety of interconnected programs, we are:
PROVIDING resource information to the community through an Internet Resource Center and The Gulf Coast Community Resource Guide.
CONNECTING organizations and resources through a database/search engine, Disability Network Meetings, and Community Forums.
SUPPLYING educational tools for professionals.
CREATING a Community Networking Website and Calendar.
HOSTING AND PARTICIPATING in local community outreaches, such as; health & resource fairs, sports clinics, art fairs, transition fairs, community presentations and other community events that promote activities for people disabilities.
FACILITATING client services for those with disabilities.
Estimated Yearly Results
- 15,000+ MS Gulf Coast residents are served by our Community Assist Program and our Events.
- 25,000+ individuals are served through DC’s Social Media.
- 50 individuals are provided employment assistance.
- 250+ volunteers assist programs, giving over 5,000 hours.
Community Events and Programs
- Community Assist Program– DC now has two offices, Harrison County and Jackson County, and each has Resource Specialists to assist individuals and families in crisis. Resource Staff, using DC’s own Gulf Coast Community Resource Guide, take an intake of each client. DC identifies what emergency services are needed as well as services for long-term stability. DC provides the services we can, and provides referrals to other agencies for services we cannot provide.
- Employment Connection– A program for seniors, Veterans, and people with disabilities to eliminate employment barriers for better outcomes through food and employment clothing, identifying skills, mentoring, resume and on-line application assistance, employment clothing and tools, and matching job seekers with employers.
- Heritage Tour Project –DC is developing universally designed tours that promote the Gulf Coast National Heritage Area to everyone, including individuals with disabilities. As part of this project DC and Walt Grayson, host of Mississippi Roads and Looking Around Mississippi, will host several VIP tours and produce a documentary and educational materials.
- Arbor Day 5K-1 Mile-1/4 Mile Run/Walk/Roll– Food, music, fun, and disability awareness designed to promote healthy lifestyles, encourage people with disabilities to experience the health benefits of running, and distribute information on resources for those with disabilities.(500+ participate).
- Art Ability Fair & Displays-A day of professional art classes for those with disabilities age 7-adult, and three one-year art displays. Pottery, music, photography, art, painting, professional make-up, dance, acting, singing, and performing with community partners such as Walter Anderson Museum, Lynn Meadows Discovery Center, Mary C O’Keefe Cultural Center, Ohr-O’Keefe Museum, and numerous artists, art teachers, and community volunteers. Participants include children from over 40 schools in 6 counties. (1,500 participate)
- “I Love My Playground Party”- DC hosts an Earth Day Party for over 200 individuals including numerous children with disabilities in cleaning up, planting bushes, music, art, and soccer- to celebrate our own Disability Connection Community Playground, Harrison County’s first totally accessible playground, Bruce Ladner Memorial Park, Hwy 53, Gulfport.
- DC’s MS Coast Community Resource Guide & Resource Assistance- DC developed a Gulf Coast Resource Guide to educate the community, and especially the unemployed and underemployed. It is downloadable at www.DisabilityConnection.org. Resource Specialists will assist with finding needed services. Critical needs of any type are considered for assistance.
- Website and Social Networking Platforms- DC hosts a social network that encourages self-advocacy for individuals with disabilities. The website features an Employment Connection Resource Center, blog, photo slideshows, a calendar of community events, and encouraging videos. The site has three applications for individuals seeking assistance to apply.
- Community Events & Presentations- DC partners with other agencies to provide inclusive transition fairs, health, recreational, social, and art events to engage those with disabilities into our community, and as well, an educational component that shares resources with the community at large. Staff regularly advocate for individuals with disabilities through community presentations.
- DC Annual Recognition Event- DC invites all sponsors, partners, donors, employers, volunteers, and others to our annual open house party. Party is held in order to recognize individuals who have supported DC and share accomplishments with those that made it possible to continue our mission.
In accordance with Federal civil rights law, Disability Connection and employees are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity. Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should call our office at 228-604-4020.