Disability Connection


Introducing “The Ability Club”

There are a plethora of online job-search sites available today.

Now there is a job-search site specifically for people with disabilities.

“Online applications are so complicated that they form a barrier to the job market for people with developmental disabilities.  When I saw that the McDonald’s application included psychological testing, I knew there was a problem,” says Wade Ogletree, IDD Director, Jackson County.

“Ability.Club is a system “where employers can post jobs for free and prospective employees and their service providers can search for free.”


Ability.Club Website Screenshot


This is an excellent new resource for the disability community.

Introducing “We Connect Now”

Check out this awesome organization!

Letter from the creator of “We Connect Now”


we-connect-now-logoI would like to share with you the link to the We Connect Now website. http://weconnectnow.wordpress.com/ The website was created while I was a college student with a grant to create a website to serve college students with disabilities. I developed the website to connect and integrate college students with disabilities as a virtual community with a voice on important issues with particular emphasis on college students and access to higher education and employment. The We Connect Now website has been up and serving college students with disabilities since April of 2008.

I wanted to share the We Connect Now website with you so that you may post it as a resource on your website or otherwise share it with any students that you serve. The website has been used as a resource by institutions of higher learning and has been linked to by colleges and universities and groups serving people with disabilities in all states and at least 10 foreign countries.

I thank you for any and all help that you may give me in promoting this project as a service to all college students with disabilities.

We are also on Facebook.



Gabriela McCall Delgado


Hero, Local Veteran Gives Back

Dave Flowers is a local hero making a huge difference.

Dave FlowersThe Dave Flowers Foundation was established for the purpose of providing critical support to veterans underserved by current public and private veteran support programs.

The Dave Flowers Foundation is focused primarily on veterans of WWII, the Korean Conflict, and the Vietnam Conflict. The service area of the foundation will be the three coastal counties of Mississippi.

“Although great emphasis has been placed on post service care for those detached from military service since Desert Storm there is a large and woeful gap between the services provided to veterans exiting military service today and the services provided to veterans of less recent wars and conflicts. Compounding the services gap is the reluctance of older veterans to ask for help; even when desperately needed. This unwillingness stems from pride, perception, and past poor experiences with veterans support organizations.The Dave Flowers foundation will help veterans overcome both real and perceived obstacles and will deliver services where gaps exist. The Dave Flowers Foundation will identify veterans of historical conflicts and war, assess their needs, and work to fulfill those needs. Services provided will include financial support for critical needs, assistance with identifying available resources, helping veterans in utilizing existing resources, and providing a helping hand with critical projects. This country owes these veterans a great debt.

The Dave Flowers Foundation mission is to ensure all veterans within our region of influence receive the care and respect they deserve.”


To read more about Dave’s story and about this wonderful organization, visit www.DaveFlowersFoundation.org

The Father’s Heart Widows Conference 2014

Logo for Fatherless and Widows

Fatherless and Widows is a non-profit ministry to help bring community awareness regarding the needs of the fatherless and widows in our community and abroad. We desire to listen to needs and respond with practical help that comes from a place in the heart. Please consider referring fatherless and widows to us so we might be of help to them. Your volunteer efforts &/or financial assistance is appreciated….

The Fatherless and Widows ministry would like to announce its opening on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The Fatherless and Widows ministry is dedicated to helping and bringing awareness to the needs of the fatherless and widows in our community.

The origins of the ministry are founded on a Bible verse that states “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction…” James 1:27. This Bible verse has its own roots digging deep into the pages of scripture showing G-d’s special encouragements and warnings pertaining to the manner in which we treat fatherless and widows.”

 Janie O’Keefe, Director of Disability Connection presents at the The Father’s Heart Widows Conference in Pass Christian
Janie O’Keefe, Director of Disability Connection, presenting at The Father’s Heart Widows Conference in Pass Christian.


For more information about his awesome organization: http://bit.ly/1nQzW5D

2014 Art Ability Fair Success

The 2014 Art Ability Fair was a great success thanks to partners, volunteers, schools, and sponsors, like you.  Over 600 individuals participated including over 425 kids and adults with disabilities from 33 schools in 6 counties. Everyone enjoyed a free day of professional art instruction including: acting, costuming, make-up, photography, sponge painting, sand art, stencils and motif painting, hand-thrown pottery, wheel thrown pottery, and dance.


    • Made a Western Box to take home their Pottery-MS Department of Rehabilitation
    • Decorated a Photo Mat (refrigerator magnet) using western stickers and motifs-Walter Anderson Museum of Art
    • Created Sand Art with George Ohr’s Pottery-Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art
    • Had fun with Sponge Painting– Lynn Meadows Discovery Center
    • Learned Western Line-Dancing-Island School of Performing Arts
    • Selected a Costume for a Photo Session: Cowboy/Cowgirl or Indian Warrior/Indian Maiden
    • Got their Professional Makeup for their photo session                                -Mary C O’Keefe Cultural Center
    • Acted in character while their Photo was made by Professional photographers – Greg Wilson & George Guthrie
    • Participated in a Video Production & Learned about horse safety                   – Horses Giving Hope
    • Created Hand-build Pottery to take home-Studio G
    • Learned about Wheel-thrown Pottery O’Keefe Studio
    • Participated in

Music (Singing), Instruments & Indian Storytelling

    -Chazmania Productions


  • Teachers Corner:
    • Teachers picked up their Art & Photos and left some art for the Art Ability Fair art show
    • Picked up Goodie Bags, one for each student and one for their school

This event is in its fifth year and is founded, organized, and hosted by Disability Connection, a 501 (c) (3) Nonprofit Corporation. The Art Ability Fair Art Shows will be hosted following the event by Lynn Meadows Discovery Center & the Knight Nonprofit Center. Additional donations were provided by Biloxi & Ocean Springs Walmart, Winn Dixie Orange Grove, ABC Rental, Rouse’s Ocean Springs, Starbucks, Negrotto’s Art Gallery, Kentwood Water, Gulf Coast Produce, Rex Distributing,Art with Heart, and Building Bridges International.

Publicity provided by WLOX, Sun Herald, Clear Channel Radio, Biloxi Bay Press, Ocean Springs Record, and others.

Volunteers assisted from Job Corps, Kohl’s, RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteers), VA Veteran Warriors, & LIFE of MS

This event is free to individuals with developmental disabilities 8years old through adult. To participate or volunteer for the 2015 event contact Disability Connection, 700 Pass Rd, Gulfport, MS 39501; www.DisabilityConnection.org; Office@DisabilityConnection.org; 228-604-4020



  Thank you for all that you do in helping us create a connected community!


2014 Playground Party Success

Thank You for supporting an Earth Day event in support of our friends in South Mississippi with disabilities. The “I Love My Playground Party” was the opportunity for our community to celebrate the one year anniversary of building the Disability Connection Community Playground in Harrison County. Over 200 individuals participated in the Picnic including about 140 kids and adults with disabilities.

Playground Party Happy faces 2014

This event was made possible by the support of Harrison County Parks & Recreation, Kaboom, and Kohls with help from additional volunteer friends such as the VA Veteran Warriors, Job Corps, Disney, and the MS Department of Rehabilitation. The participants planted bushes, freshened mulch, raked and bagged leaves, and other tasks that beautified their playground. Following the work, everyone had a picnic lunch, enjoyed music and an art project, and, of course, enjoyed playing on the playground.

Your support assists us in ensuring that people with disabilities in South Mississippi have access to social, recreational, and educational opportunities that improve the quality of life for both individuals and families. In addition, DC currently assists with eliminating barriers to employment and home repair for some individuals in need with priority to seniors, veterans, homeless, and people with disabilities.

The Disability Connection staff, volunteers, and friends appreciate your support of our programs. Your support allows us to continue doing important work in our community, and we are proud of our partnership. Other well-attended Disability Connection inclusive events include the Arbor Day 5 K-1 Mile Run/Walk/Roll & ¼ Mile Challenge, the Mayor’s Disability Awareness Health Fair, and the Art Ability Fair. As a Disability Connection Donor you will be helping DC to reaching over 4,500 community members each year.

Thank you for your donation. O’Keefe Educational Media, dba Disability Connection is a 501 c 3 Corporation, and your donations are tax-deductible; no goods or services were received for this donation.


Most Sincerely,

Janie O’Keefe

Local PRAM Chapter Supports DC

From the PRAM’s monthly newsletter:

Community Service Project
Disability Connection

“Dear PRAM members,

For our next service project, we will be partnering with Disability Connection who helps seniors and veterans as well as people with disabilities to gain employment. For the months of April, May and June, we will be collecting new or gently worn work attire. Most of their clients are looking for entry level positions, and we can accept any and all sizes and styles. Feel free to donate nice jeans, polos, suits, dresses, ties, scrubs, etc. They will also accept letter or letter-like (imitation) portfolios/folders for their clients who are out interviewing. These portfolio/folders look professional for interviews and some of us have ones we don’t use. Thank you for supporting this service project through your donations. I challenge you to go through you closets now. You can deliver those directly to Disability Connection, located at 700 Pass Rd in Gulfport in the Gulfport School Annex down the hall from maintenance. Call first to (228) 604-4020  to coordinate drop-off or bring these items to the next PRAM meetings. Feel free to visit www.DisabilityConnection.org or email Office@DisabilityConnection.org for more information.”

Thank you,

Jessica Breazeale, Community Service Chair

View The Employment Connection Page

Visit PRAM Mississippi Beach on FB

2014 Operation Prop “Let’s Go Flying!”

Via the “Operation Prop” Website

Come out and Join Operation Prop!

Saturday, May 17, 2014
10 AM – 2 PM

Stennis International Airport, 7250 Stennis Airport Drive, Kiln, MS  39556

Via: Operation Prop



To empower people with disabilities and Wounded Warriors to achieve outrageous potential.



To improve the lives of people with disabilities and Wounded Warriors by eliminating both real and perceived barriers that prevent them from achieving goals and living lives to the fullest.



R – Respect for the dignity and potential of people.

I – Innovation in thinking and doing.

S – Service to others.

K- Kindness in all things.




“Let’s Go Flying!”

Flying in an airplane can be life-changing and bring new adventures.  It builds confidence and instills self-esteem to take on the challenges living with special needs can bring.  Flying high above the ground puts things in a new perspective for many and opens new horizons that were not seen before.

Operation PROP is a gathering of pilots with a special purpose – to offer people of all ages with disabilities the opportunity to break the bonds of earth and experience the joy of flight.

PROP stands for People Reaching Outrageous Potential, and that is exactly what happens at a “Let’s Go Flying” event!