Pepin’s Centre for Unique Abilities: Childcare, Auto Detailing, Pool Maintenance, Landscaping, and Custodial Maintenance

Pepin Academies Centre for Unique Abilities!

Our guests are representatives for Pepin Academies Centre for Unique Abilities. 
Dr. Jeff Skowronek – President of the Pepin Academies Foundation
Ann Bouchard – Director of the Pepin Academies Centre for Unique Abilities
Michael Laura – Director of Information Technologies at Pepin Academies

Pictured: Dr. Jeff Skowronk, Julie Ames – SNFH, Ann Bouchard and Michael Laura

Learn more about one of our Show Sponsors!
Pepin Academies and their  Transitional Job Training Program!

Pepin Transitional
A comprehensive individualized job training program of vocationally based training in conjunction with life and job readiness classes designed for individuals from age 18 to 22 with identified learning or learning-related disabilities.

Vocational Rehabilitation Program to help employers become more confident hiring individuals with Disabilities

The Business Center for Diversity & Inclusion!

This week we have representatives from The Business Center for Diversity & Inclusion (BCDI). We will be discussing their new three year Pilot Program to help employers in our community to become more comfortable and confident in hiring and managing individuals with disabilities. The Program covers Hernando, Pinellas, Pasco, and Hillsborough Counties. The focus of this pilot program are individuals with intellectual disabilities and persons with autism.

The Business Center for Diversity & Inclusion (BCDI) was established to help achieve the Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation’s (VR) goal of becoming a top resource to the business community. Funded by the Florida Department of Education Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Business Center intends to partner with and offer employers access to no-fee training presentations, consultations and referrals to better promote, prepare, and support their interest in, or commitment to, becoming more inclusive in their hiring practices.

Pictured: Rina Nathan – BCDI Business Developer, Julie Ames SNFH,
Steven Roberto – BCDI Project Management

TDI‘s mission is to promote diversity and inclusion in the workforce by connecting job seekers with disabilities that we have prepared for employment to businesses in the community that have a need for their unique skills, talents and abilities.

Follow TDI on Facebook

No More Chasing “Normal” with Author and Counselor Loresa Stansell

Loresa Stansell, Author of No More Chasing “Normal”!

Our guest this week is Author and Counselor Loresa Stansell. She is the author of the book No More Chasing “Normal” The Emotional Guide for Parents of Children with Autism, Down Syndrome & All Other Disabilities.

Our loss of normal and the unique emotional roller coaster we ride is summed up in the A-typical Cyclic Grief (ACG) model. ACG is explained and experienced in detail through the life of a woman named Lori. Each chapter in this first of its kind book, provides discussion by the author and challenge questions for parents or caregivers aimed at helping them work through their own emotional reactions.

Loresa Stansell, LPC, NCC

Loresa Stansell, LPC, NCC

Stansell Counseling & Consulting Services, LLC

Loresa is a licensed mental health counselor. She is the parent of a 25 year old young man with a developmental disability. In 2010 she copyrighted a new grief model called A-Typical Cyclic Grief (ACG) to describe the unique emotional waves encountered by parents that have children with special needs.

As Loresa says, It is time to break the shame barrier and silence of our grief experience!! This book is about what YOU experience and how to work through our emotional challenges as a parent of a child with special needsOUR CHILDREN ARE NOT OUR SOURCE OF GRIEF IT IS THE DAILY CHALLENGES OF TRYING TO MAKE THEM FIT INTO A SOCIETY BUILT ON NORMS THAT THEY DO NO MEET.”

This is an awesome book! My hope and prayer is that one day all educators, physicians, counselors, and families will understand the A-Typical Cyclic Grief model just as we all understand the stages of grief model.” – Julie Ames

This book provides an in-depth look at the emotional impacts faced by parents of children with special needs. This is the stuff your research doesn’t tell you.
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Special Olympics Florida & Special Olympics Florida Healthy Community Tampa Bay

Special Olympics FL & Special Olympics Healthy Community!!

This week we have representatives from Special Olympics Florida and Special Olympics Florida Healthy Community – Tampa Bay!

Special Olympics Florida is a program that provides year-round sports training and competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for people with intellectual disabilities who wish to participate, giving them opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in the sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community.

Special Olympics Florida, Healthy Community is a premier, health care delivery approach that focuses on the whole person with an intellectual or developmental disability and provides integrated health care coordination that includes primary health care.

Pictured left to right: Special Olympics FL Regional Director West Coast – Bankole Adebanjo, Special Olympics FL Area 8 Sports Director Polk and Hillsborough Counties – Shelly Henry, Healthy Community, Community Outreach Manager, Cydnee Dennison, Julie Ames, SNFH,

Special Olympics Florida Healty Community -Tampa Bay
Good health is necessary for persons with an intellectual or developmental disability to secure the freedom to work, learn, and engage in their families and communities.

We believe that sports can teach us all important lessons. When we train and strive for a goal, it teaches us to dream. When we struggle, it teaches us determination. When we win, we find joy. And if we lose, we can find the strength to try again.

F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Families Raising, Inspiring, Educating, and Networking for Down Syndrome

F.R.I.E.N.D.S. – Families Raising, Inspiring, Educating, & Networking for Down Syndrome!

Our guest is Belinda Romero of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Down Syndrome of West Florida.

The Mission of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Down Syndrome West Florida is to provide all encompassing educational and support services to families who have been impacted by Down Syndrome; while promoting complete community integration of those impacted by Down Syndrome. Serving families in Hillsborough, Pinellas, & Pasco Counties.

Pictured: Belinda Romero and Julie Ames, SNFH

The goals are to:

  • Provide broad reaching educational services for families impacted by Down Syndrome.
  • Provide financial and social service support for families impacted by Down Syndrome.
  • Provide outreach to the Tampa Bay Area community in education and community integration for families impacted by Down Syndrome.

Like on Facebook: Friends Down Syndrome West Florida

Grace Anna Sings – True Story of hope from a little girl whose song inspires the world

Grace Anna Sings!

Our guests this week are Angela Ray Rodgers. the author of Grace Anna Sings and her seven-year old daughter Grace Anna!

Grace Anna Sings, is an incredible true story of hope from a little girl whose song inspires the world. Grace Anna has Conradi-Hunermann Syndrome. She has had multiple surgeries. Through it all she has been an inspiration to those who know her. She started singing when before she could talk. What a lovely voice of hope and grace.

Visit Grace Anna Sings on Facebook

Tampa Update – Autism Friendly Tampa Initiative and Public/Private Partnerships for Housing Those with IDDD

Tampa Update – Autism Friendly Tampa Initiative and Public/Private Partnerships for Housing Those with IDDD (Intellectual Disabilities & Developmental Disabilities)

Hillsborough County Public Schools!!

This week’s show features “Working with Your Local School to Get the Help Your Child Needs” by Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS),  Exceptional Student Education (Special Education)Staffing Supervisor,  Suzette Sample.

Suzette will answer many questions that parents may have, such as:
I think my child may need help in school. What should I do?
What is special education?
Who is eligible for special education?
How does the school evaluate my child?
If my child is found eligible for special education. What next?

Pictured: HCPS, Special Education, Staffing Supervisor, Suzette Sample and Julie Ames, SNFH

Hillsborough County Public Schools
HCPS serves all of Hillsborough County, Florida. It is the third largest school district in Florida and the 8th largest district in the United States.

The ESE Department
Supporting the Needs of Students with Disabilities
HCPS serves over 29,000 students with disabilities, ages birth through 21, in over 250 schools.

Special Needs Ministry – Emily Colson, author of Dancing with Max, & Sally DePalma with One Roof Initiative

Emily Colson and Sally DePalma!

Emily Colson author of Dancing with Max and Sally DePalmaThe One Roof Initiative Executive Director discuss the upcoming September 30th, “Disability and Your Church Symposium”

Emily speaks in churches and organizations nationwide, and has appeared on numerous media outlets including Focus on the Family. In her book Dancing with Max Emily and her father, Chuck Colson, shared the struggle and beauty of life with Max, Emily’s 23 year-old son with autism. The book has  been awarded “Book of the Year” by the Autism Society.

As the “Disability and Your Church” Keynote Speaker, Emily will capture your heart with tenderness and encouragement gained through her own experience raising a son with autism and struggling to find their place within the church.

Pictured: Emily Colson and Max, Sally DePalma, The One Roof Initiative and Julie Ames, SNFH

Disability and Your Church – A Training and Equipping Event!
Date:  Saturday, September 30, 2017
Time: 8:30 am to 3:00 pm
Location: Idlewild Baptist Church, 18333 Exciting Idlewild Blvd., Lutz, FL 33548
Cost: $30 (lunch is included).  Register at:
Press Release


Disability and Your Church Symposium – September 30, 2017!

Disability and Your Church – A Training and Equipping Event!

The One Roof Initiative is proud to partner with Idlewild Baptist Church to host the 3rd Annual “Disability and Your Church” Symposium on Saturday, September 30th! The event will be held 8:30am-3:00pm at Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz, Florida, and will feature experts and those active in front line adaptive ministry. A variety of workshop presentations will be offered, addressing the topics of communication, behavior, ministry to adults with disabilities, and more! Cost: $30, lunch is included! Register Online Here:

This year, Senior Pastors and church leaderships are particularly encouraged to attend. Idlewild’s Senior Pastor, Ken Whitten, will be spearheading a host of speakers who will be part of our two session Pastor Track.  We are excited to present this year’s keynote speaker, Emily Colson, author of the award-winning book, “Dancing with Max”.

Read the Full Disability and Your Church Press Release


Tahni Cullen, Author of Josiah’s Fire and The Good Gift Giver – 21 Days of Unexpected Blessings

Tahni Cullen, Author of “Josiah’s Fire”!

Our guest this week is Tahni Cullen. She is the author along with Cheryl Ricker of the book Josiah’s Fire. Josiah’s Fire was recently a #1 Bestseller for Special Needs Parenting on AmazonThey along with Josiah Cullen have a new devotional The Good Gift Giver – 21 Days of Unexpected Blessings.

Tahni and her husband Joe were thrust into a nightmare when their two-year-old-son, Josiah, a typical toddler, suddenly lost his ability to speak, play, and socialize. The diagnosis was Autism Spectrum Disorder. Five years later, Josiah, who had not been formally taught to read or write, suddenly began to type on his iPad profound sentences about God, science, history, business, music, strangers, and his heavenly encounters.

Tahni Cullen