Congratulations 2014 SORI Hall Of Fame Inductees!
Posted by: Jason Carpenter on February 5, 2014
On February 13, 2014, Special Olympics Rhode Island will hold its 3rd annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence.
Since 2012 the Special Olympics Rhode Island Inaugural Hall of Fame has honored athletes, individuals families and community leaders whose exemplary support and efforts embody the spirit of the Special Olympics, and have significantly impacted the lives of the more than 2,700 athletes whom the organization serves.
Among the inductees this year, Joni Lonczak will become the third Special Olympics Rhode Island coach to receive the honorable distinction.
Joni started out as a Special Olympics coach in 1984. "Back then," she says, "my philosophy was geared towards winning."
But as the years progressed, she began to realize the importance and value of participation and involvement, and found a new perspective in encouraging athletes to perform to the best of their abilities.
"If they did, then they were always winners."
This philosophy is still with Joni today, as she continues to inspire Special Olympics athletes by encouraging them to achieve their best. Her teams have a long history of victories and trophies; and as a testament to their proud spirit of perseverance, they keep coming back year after year to play sports.
"I'm so fortunate to work with such a great group of athletes," she says. "I wouldn't give this up for the world."
Joni Lonczak has been, for many years, the Recreation and Activity Director at the Adeline LaPlante Memorial Center in Wakefield, RI, organizing and leading unified and traditional sports practice, competitions, exercise, leisure and special events.
In 2013 the Adeline LaPlante Memorial Center became a part of Perspectives Corporation, offering Day Services to adults with disabilities in Washington County.
Today, Perspectives is proud to have Joni on their team, and are thankful for her leadership and commitment to the agency and all for which it stands.
Congratulations, Joni, for making a difference in peoples' lives!
Tickets to the Speciali Olympics Rhode Island Hall of Fame induction ceremony and dinner are $60 per person and $30 for SORI athletes. Please RSVP by calling Gerri Walter at (401) 349-4900 February 6.
For more information about the event, please visit SpecialOlympicsRI.org
Transition to Integrated Employment: A 2014 Series of Trainings and Public Forums
Posted by: Jason Carpenter on February 4, 2014
Since as early as the 1960s service providers, advocates and policy makers have made great strides in improving our system of care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In fact, a decade ago this year Rhode Island became the first State in the Union to abolish state institutional care for people with developmental disabilities with the closing of the Dr. Joseph H. Ladd Center in Exeter.
Now a recently issued report from the U.S. Department of Justice
has brought to bear a unique opportunity to again implement real change by way of providing new and greater employment opportunities for people with developmental disabilities.
In January, 2014, the RI Department of Behavioral Health, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH) set the ambitious goal of closing all "sheltered workshops" within three years, and prioritizing Individual Integrated Employment, as a means of ensuring people with disabilities are fully integrated with the community and employed in a normal work setting.
On February 13 and 14 Rhode Island College and the Paul V. Sherlock Center on Disabilities will be hosting a series of public forums and workshops focused on promoting a comprehensive approach to this transition to integrated employment.
Leaders from organizations which have already transitioned their services from sheltered employment to community-based employment will share the lessons they've learned from this transition and share strategies that their support staff developed during the conversion process.
Participants are encouraged to use these forums to explore issues and concerns related to conversion and to identify actions to move their organization forward.
The event is open to the public, and there is no cost to attend. RSVP is requested by February 11.
For more information, please visit ric.edu/sherlockcenter
To register online, click here
Winter Latitudes, Tropical Attitudes: Newport Winterfest 2014
Posted by: Jason Carpenter on February 3, 2014
February 3, 2014New England's largest winter extravaganza is about to get underway!
The 26th Annual Newport Winter Festival, in Newport Rhode Island, takes place February 14 through February 23 throughout Newport and Newport County.
Over 150 events will offer a unique winter experience including a children's fair, chili cook-off, chicken wing cook-off, and a concert by The Cast of BeatleMania.
A portion of the proceeds from the events will benefit local charities and nonprofit organizations as well as local business and community programs.
This year, the theme is "Winter Latitudes, Tropical Attitudes," So come on down to Newport this winter and warm up with food, festivities, music and fun for all ages!
For more information on prices and events, visit newportevents.com/winterfest