National Siblings Day: Jack & Val

Guest Blogger Jack Pennoyer April 10th is National Siblings Day. In honor of Siblings Day, we're hosting Sibshops: a group for siblings of children with disabilities. If you fall into that category, you can learn more or sign up here. We wanted to gain a little insight into what it was like to have a sibling with a disability, so we sat down to cha...
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Marcfirst Celebrates Black History Month

As we celebrate Black History Month this February, we wanted to look at some famous African American individuals with disabilities. Black History Month was created to remember and celebrate important people and events that helped shape the United States. Not only have these individuals done just that, but they happen to live with a disability of so...
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Marcfirst Explores YWCA & Black History Month

February is Black History Month. While we make it a point to celebrate here at Marcfirst, we also noticed another organization already preparing to celebrate in McLean County: the YWCA. Throughout February, YWCA is hosting The Allyship Institute as a way to learn, share, celebrate, and become better allies to the Black community. We sat down with H...
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Holiday Baking with Kids

It’s the holiday season! These next few weeks are likely full of baking, gift wrapping, and holiday cheer. Here are a few easy ways baking cookies (or any holiday treat) with your little ones can be beneficial to their development. It could even be an easy way to include some therapy practices at home!  Cook...
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Family Holiday Activities

The holidays are here and that means spending time with those who are the closest to you. If you're not sure how to keep the kids entertained, hosting a gathering, or you want to give back this year here are a few ideas to get into the spirit and be entertained.   Making Gingerbread Check your area ...
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Encouraging Self-Advocacy

Sometimes representing or standing up for yourself can be difficult. Especially without proper resources or support. This difficulty can increase for individuals with disabilities. What is Self-Advocacy?    Equip for Equality states that “Self-advocacy is the ability to speak up for yourself about the things that are impor...
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The Moment Everything Changes: Hunter’s Story Part 1

Author: Krystle Able, Hunter's Mother The journey of parenting a child with autism begins differently for each family. Children receive diagnoses at varying times and under unique circumstances; and Autism Spectrum Disorder can look different for every child. However, parents of children on the spectrum all have one thing in common--experiencing th...
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My Hands are My Voice: Celebrating Deaf Awareness

“Deaf can do anything except hear” – Marlee Matlin   For many years the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community were thought to be less than because they were not able to hear. Deaf and Hard of Hearing people are no different than you and I. September is Deaf Aw...
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Direct Support Professional Recognition

Author: Ja Tavia Stoot, Intern, and student at Illinois State University This month we are celebrating our Direct Support Professionals (DSPs). DSPs are essential for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs). DSPs have major impacts on individuals with IDDs as they are one of the&nbs...
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Mental Health Tips with Taj

Author: Taj Artis, LCSW When I was a little girl, my mother taught me a short song that went like this: “The more we get together, together, together - The more we get together, the happier we’ll be. ‘Cause your friends are my friends and my friends are your friends. The more we get together, the happier we’ll be!” I r...
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