Skip Navigation
Image of people smiling in a recording studio.

Case Studies

Long Beach Leaders Gather to Expand Jobs for People with Disabilities

Disability Employment Toolkit Released

Long Beach, CA, March 28 – Dozens of leaders from across Long Beach gathered to discuss national lessons and local opportunities and to collaborate, to enable more residents with disabilities to get jobs. Meeting for nearly three hours at the Long Beach office of the College Internship Program (CIP), over 30 local providers, self-advocates, and community professionals met to talk strategies, brain storm ideas and make serious commitments to improving outcomes. At the community gathering, staff from RespectAbility revealed the brand-new Tools to Drive Employment resource. This new toolkit summarizes key steps the Long Beach community can take to expand job opportunities for residents with disabilities. This report represents the culmination of months of work made possible by a Knight Foundation grant and the past support of the Long Beach Community Foundation.

Event attendees had the opportunity to learn about one another’s resources, build new professional connections, discuss common challenges and commit to closer cooperation in the future. The gathering included a  wide range of community organizations such as AbilityFirst; CA Charter Schools Association; CIP of Long Beach; California State University of Long Beach; Easterseals Work First; Fiesta Educativa; Goodwill SOLAC; Harbor Regional Center; Hillside Enterprises; ICAN: California Abilities Network; Jewish Federation of Greater LA; Khmer Parent Association; Long Beach City College; Long Beach Unified School District; Social Vocational Services; and RespectAbility. The event was generously hosted by the College Internship Program (CIP) of Long Beach. CIP offers a wide range of supports, services and job training for young adults on the Autism spectrum and students with learning and other disabilities.

Back Row (Left to Right): Rick Travis and Claudia Villegas-Avalos from Harbor Regional Center, Angela Rodriguez from Social Vocational Services and Regina Todd from LBUSD. Scott Elliott, Blake Van Steenburg, Mike Karle, Andrew Talley, Jasmine Stidd and Andrew Beisel from ICAN: California Abilities Network. Delbert Whetter, Board Member, RespectAbility. Raoul Munoz and Armida Ochoa from Fiesta Educativa. Vivain Hsa from CCSA. Lori Fleischman from the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. Adam Young and Jacquelyn Jaime, Hillside Enterprises. Sandra McElwee, RespectAbility and Julie Givens, LBUSD. Front Row (Left to Right): Stephenie Kelley ICAN: California Abilities Network, Sharon Lazo-Nakamoto from LBUSD, Kayla Crow from AbilityFirst, Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi and Debbie Fink from RespectAbility. Chan Hopson, Khmer Parent Association.

Back Row (Left to Right): Rick Travis and Claudia Villegas-Avalos from Harbor Regional Center, Angela Rodriguez from Social Vocational Services and Regina Todd from LBUSD. Scott Elliott, Blake Van Steenburg, Mike Karle, Andrew Talley, Jasmine Stidd and Andrew Beisel from ICAN: California Abilities Network. Delbert Whetter, Board Member, RespectAbility. Raoul Munoz and Armida Ochoa from Fiesta Educativa. Vivian Hsa from CCSA. Lori Fleischman from the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. Adam Young and Jacquelyn Jaime, Hillside Enterprises. Sandra McElwee, RespectAbility and Julie Givens, LBUSD. Front Row (Left to Right): Stephenie Kelley ICAN: California Abilities Network, Sharon Lazo-Nakamoto from LBUSD, Kayla Crow from AbilityFirst, Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi and Debbie Fink from RespectAbility. Chan Hopson, Khmer Parent Association.

[continue reading…]

Long Beach Employer and Provider Gathering

Date: Thursday, March 22, 2018
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (Lunch provided)
Location: CIP Long Beach 4510 E. Pacific Coast Highway, Suite 100 Long Beach, CA 90804
Contact: Philip Kahn-Pauli, philipp@respectability.org

RespectAbility, in partnership with the Harbor Regional Center, was proud to offer a unique learning opportunity for local businesses and community providers on Thursday, March 22. This gathering happened thanks to the continuing commitment of the Long Beach Community Foundation to expand opportunities for youth with disabilities.

Finding talented employees can be one of the biggest challenges that any business faces. Likewise, for community service providers, placing job seekers with disabilities into meaningful, competitive employment in the community can take time, money and precious resources. Very often, there can be a significant gap between the world of businesses and the world of nonprofit providers. However, tremendous opportunities and new successes can be found if we bridge that gap.

[continue reading…]

RespectAbility Submits Comments to New York State Boards of Regent to Promote the Success of Students with Disabilities

Public Comments on Proposed Amendment to Section 100.5 of the Commissioner’s Regulations Relating to the Superintendent Determination Option

Download the testimony’s companion PowerPoint (PPT).

Overall, only 64 percent of students with disabilities graduate high school compared to 83 percent of students without disabilities

Overall, only 64 percent of students with disabilities graduate high school compared to 83 percent of students without disabilities

Rockville, Md., Jan. 19 – RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for people with disabilities, submitted public comments relating to the pubic education system in New York City. Please read the full testimony below:

The P-12 Education Committee’s goal of increasing graduation rates for students with disabilities in New York is commendable. Yes, New York’s high school graduation rate for students with disabilities is significantly below the national average. Clearly efforts are needed to ensure that all New York students show equal advancements through school. However, RespectAbility believes that lowering the bar and reducing requirements is not the best way to support the dreams and aspirations of students with disabilities or society overall which needs the talents that people with disabilities can bring to us all. We invite the Board of Regents to sustain its commitment to improving the quality of education provided to New Yorkers with disabilities and we offer our help to reach that goal. We encourage you to use best practices that other states have successfully adopted to improve outcomes. We are excited to share our ideas and to find ways to collaborate.

RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for and with people with disabilities. We are a national organization but believe fundamentally in the positive impact that state leaders can have on disability issues. We work with a broad coalition of partners across government, the private sector and public organizations to help solve problems. As such, we are submitting the following comments to the New York P-12 Education Committee regarding the proposed amendment to Section 100.5 of the Commissioners regulations relating to the Superintendent Determination Option for certain students with disabilities to graduate with a local diploma.

[continue reading…]

The Harbor Regional Center: Serving People with Developmental Disabilities Throughout Life

A sign outside the Harbor Regional Center with the center's logoLong Beach, Calif., Dec. 19 – Directly in the hub of Los Angeles, California sits the Harbor Regional Center (HRC), an organization local to California that strives to make every resident, family and neighbor feel welcome, wanted and productive. And this doesn’t just end in Los Angeles.

HRC is a state-funded organization that provides services to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families within the southeast areas of California. It is just one of 21 other facilities that can be found across California. The services that each center provides begin with a person’s conception and last a lifetime, ranging from providing pregnant mothers with care to assisting students with disabilities find employment to providing services to elderly individuals with disabilities.

“Sometimes people may have a troubled pregnancy and we follow them until age three, at which time the child can be tested for autism or other disabilities,” says Rick Travis, the manager of the health, service and employment team.

[continue reading…]

Southern California Resource Services for Independent Living Paves a Pathway for Youth with Disabilities in Long Beach

The logo for Southern California Resource Services for Independent LivingLong Beach, Calif., Dec. 12 – California Resource Services for Independent Living (SCRS-IL) is making sure that people with disabilities are able to live healthy, independent and productive lives.

“As a person with a disability, I think it is very important to know how to navigate our systems. Sometimes these systems are there to help us,” said Jose Gonzalez, who serves as the Youth Transition Specialist at SCRS-IL.

SCRS-IL was founded in 1979 by individuals with disabilities.

“It was a belief in the prophesy that everyone had a future, which gave birth to SCRS understanding that people with disabilities are the forefront of empowering other people with disabilities,” said Gonzalez.

[continue reading…]

First-Ever Community Resource Guide for Residents of Long Beach with Disabilities Released

Long Beach Resource Guide Cover

Download PDF of Guide in English or Spanish

Long Beach, Nov. 16 – More than 20 community leaders gathered for dinner at disability-owned 4th and Olive Wednesday night to celebrate the release of the first-ever comprehensive catalog of resources for residents of Long Beach living with disabilities. The guide was made possible by the Long Beach Community Foundation and a grant from the Knight Foundation.

The community resource list guide, which is available in both English and Spanish, is part of a larger project to increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities in Long Beach. Long Beach is home to more than 46,000 working-age people with disabilities, while local schools teach more than 9,000 students with disabilities. Currently, only 21 percent of Long Beach residents with disabilities have jobs in the community compared to the national average of 34 percent.

[continue reading…]

The Stramski Children’s Development Center Offers a Variety of Programs for Children with Neurodevelopmental, Genetic, Craniofacial and Psychological Disabilities

A smiling toddler holding a flower. The caption says "We help Children's Health Blossom".Long Beach, Calif., Nov. 7 – For children with disabilities, early intervention provides a stronger foundation on which motor, social and academic skills can be strengthened. The Stramski Children’s Development Center offers therapy and support to assist children with disabilities, helping them get a head start and keep up with their peers as they grow older, increasing their opportunities and competencies.

The Stramski Center is headed by its Director, Dr. Gary Feldman. It was founded in 1975 by Dr. Geraldine A. Stramski, first called the Children’s Memorial Hospital Auxiliary before being renamed in 1991. Since then, the center has expanded its programs into many disciplines. They serve the children of the Long Beach area with any neurodevelopmental, genetic, craniofacial or psychological issues as well as those with sleep disorders. Stramski also supports families looking to adopt internationally.

[continue reading…]

The Tichenor Clinic: A Pillar of the Long Beach Community Focusing on Children with Disabilities From Birth

Tichenor Clinic for Children's Logo. It includes the name of the organization, and the slogan "Keeping Adelaide's Vision".Long Beach, Calif., Oct. 19 – When talking about outcomes for children with disabilities, the conversation generally is bleak. It is no secret that many times success in life is heavily tied to one’s education. For the people of Long Beach, California, it is no different. Why so? Long Beach is a city where 19 percent of the population is in poverty, the medium household income is lower than the national average; 29.2 percent of the population has a bachelor’s degree or higher. This means that people without education in Long Beach are some of the poorest in the city.

As for the youth, students with disabilities in Long Beach lag behind their counterparts in high school graduation, as well as higher achievement attainment. With a higher student to teacher ratio and lower than average test scores, the Long Beach community is worse off educationally than the state of California, as well as schools across the nation. However, having a disability is not a self-fulfilling prophecy. With early intervention, children with disabilities can, and do, succeed.

[continue reading…]

The Khmer Parent Association: Serving Cambodian Americans with Disabilities in Long Beach, California

A group of people holding a banner reading "Khmer Parent Association - please help to support our youth for the future."

Khmer Parent Association

Long Beach, Calif. – The Khmer Parent Association (KPA) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, which serves the community of Long Beach, California. The mission is to “produce tomorrow’s leaders of today’s Khmer youth through education.” The organization serves approximately 1,000 people a year including youths, adults and the elderly. KPA has a prominent role in the community because of its commitment to support children with education services and residents with cultural awareness and health education.

History of KPA

After throwing a small party to celebrate high school graduates in the Long Beach community, Chad Hopson founded the KPA in 1995. In 1994, when Hopson’s oldest son graduated with high honors in high school, Hopson and her family attended the graduation ceremony to showcase their happiness and support for her son. However, Hopson “felt so bad” when she recognized graduates she knew, and did not see their parents in the audience. Therefore, she decided to throw a party for all of the graduates to celebrate their success.

After the positive response to the party, which encouraged graduates to continue to strive for their goals and success, a guidance counselor who worked closely with the school district pulled Hopson aside. The guidance counselor wanted to work with Hopson, because she believed Hopson could reach students. The guidance counselor explained that there was a high rate of high school drop outs at the time, and parents did not “know what to do to help their children the way you do, so you need to do something.”

[continue reading…]

How and Why Did Cambodians Settle in Long Beach, California

The unveiling of "Cambodia Town" official street sign in Long Beach, California

The unveiling of “Cambodia Town” official street sign in Long Beach, California

Long Beach, Calif., Sept. 20 – Today, there are about 320,000 Cambodian Americans in the United States. California has the highest population of Cambodian Americans with an estimate of 118,000 people. Long Beach, California has the largest and oldest Cambodian community in the nation with at least 20,000 people.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Cambodia and the United States created a program for Cambodian students to attend California colleges and universities. The students learned about agriculture, industrial arts and engineering. After students completed their degrees, they returned to Cambodia. When Cambodia ended diplomatic relations with the United States in the mid-1960s, the program ended as well. However, several students decided to remain in the United States permanently. When the first wave of Cambodian refugees came to the United States at Camp Pendleton, California, which was 70 miles south of Long Beach, the former students visited the refugees. The former students brought them meals and supplies; they ended up sponsoring refugees to earn their citizenship and to help them adjust to life in a foreign country. This student support system resulted in the formation of the Cambodian Association of America, which attracted subsequent refugees who came to Long Beach after the Cambodian genocide because of the Association’s ability to help the refugees adapt to life in the United States.

[continue reading…]

1 2
Respect Ability - Fighting Stigmas. Advancing Opportunities.

CONTACT US

RespectAbility
11333 Woodglen Drive, #102
Rockville, MD 20852
Office Number: 202-517-6272
info@respectability.org

GUIDESTAR PLATINUM

RespectAbility and TheRespectAbilityReport.org is a GuideStar Platinum Participant. GuideStar Platinum Participant Logo
© 1999-2017 RESPECTABILITY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SITE DESIGN BY COOL GRAY SEVEN   |   SITE DEVELOPMENT BY WEB SYMPHONIES   |   PRIVACY   |   TERMS OF SERVICE   |   SITEMAP
Translate »