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Meet the Corpus Christi community helping those with disabilities thrive

At Choice Living Community, they celebrate disability as a part of human diversity

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Thirty-two years ago, former President George H.W. Bush signed the world's first comprehensive declaration of equality for people with disabilities. 

Today, necessary social changes have been made so those with disabilities are able to navigate through life easier.

As a way to commemorate the passing of the ADA, July is celebrated as disability pride month. The Americans with Disabilities Act is a civil rights law
that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life.

Choice Living Community is a local organization that is proof that inclusion should truly include everyone. They help adults with disabilities achieve their goals using vocational and social skills.

Melissa Duff is a parent of one of the organization's first clients. She remembers what life was like before the signing of the civil rights law in 1990.

"Before the ADA, things were very different," Duff said. "And I know people sometimes feel forced into making things accessible."

Duff has lived in Corpus Christi for a year and half. From her perspective the community seems inclusive of those who are disabled.

"It's rare that you run into some place that's not architecturally been modified for access for all people," Duff said.

She knows the impact of accessibility all too well, her husband uses a manual wheelchair.

"The beauty of accessibility is that everyone can patronize that store, they can access that program, they can receive that service," Duff said.

Accessibility may be taken for granted for some, but for Duff's daughter Jessica, she can find so much more at Choice Living Community. She's able to build on her vocational and social skills. 

"That in itself is priceless," Duff said. 

Executive Director and Founder, Jennifer Scott said the organization is always working towards inclusion.

"This facility, for sure wants to make sure that all of our individuals, clients with disabilities are all welcomed," Scott said.

Scott is chair of a committee for people with disabilities. She works with the city to make sure issues for the community are heard. Clients like Jennica Lozano feel a bond similar to a close-knit family.

"It actually brings a community of people that felt like they were all alone most of their life, because of, you know, their learning disabilities," Lozano said.

Although it’s been 32 years since former President George H.W. Bush signed the ADA. There are still improvements that can be made to make sure the city’s infrastructure makes everyone feel they can move through life independently.

"Always speak up because maybe that person can't speak up for themselves and they need someone to speak up for them," Scott said. "And that's what we kind of teach our clients too is if you see something, say something and that's important to be inclusive."

Choice Living Community is having a Summer Extravaganza - ADA Celebration this Saturday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. There will be food, games, and karaoke and they would love for the community to show their support. They strongly encourage kids, teenagers and adults who are a part of the disabled community to join them for this celebration.  

Choice Living Community: 3875 S. Staples St. Building #4

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