by Nick Randell, Program Officer
Kennedy Donovan Center's (KDC) Access Cape Cod initiative is
well underway. KDC, the primary supplier
of supports for families of children with intellectual and developmental
disabilities on the Cape, received a three-year grant from The Tower Foundation
to improve recreational and social opportunities in the region. Back in 2013, KDC conducted a needs
assessment to see what families felt were needed in the Cape.
The response suggested that the community could do better in several ways:
Access Cape Cod was launched, in part, in response to this clearly articulated need. The program will develop family networks and supported social events, establish a Family Advisory Council to promote accessible recreation, work with area businesses to promote inclusion, develop and train a volunteer corps to staff events and provide parent respite, and host dynamic events at businesses/attractions that value access and welcome individuals with a range of disabilities.
Cape area resident Daniel Small joined the initiative this spring as Project Manager. Dan and Project Access just conducted their first big event - a whale-watching excursion with Hyannis Whale Watch cruises. The event was a big success, with 150 people attending, including groups from seven local agencies serving the disability community. And, yes, they did see whales. Not only were whales spotted, two whales actually used the bottom of the boat as a back-scratcher!
Here is a link to a photo gallery of the whale excursion on The Cape Cod Times website. [Photos by Ron Schloerb of The Cape Cod Times]
Photo attribution: Kennedy-Donovan Center - Facebook Photo Gallery