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Happy New Year to all!

Even though 2020 brought unimaginable difficulty and tragedy, I would like to look back on it as the year that presented us with new opportunities to connect with the community and to provide enhanced advocacy for people with disabilities.

The disability population was affected by COVID-19 far more than any other part of the population. Despite this, even in the darkest times of 2020, we saw people with disabilities find ways to maintain their safety and independence at home, we saw them move out of nursing homes while the virus surged, and we saw the determined spirit of caregivers as they continued to provide service through the pandemic.

The year 2020 also allowed us to share our role as advocates as we joined together in support of Black Lives Matter and the LGBTQ+ community. Disability knows no boundaries, and we pledged to be part of the change needed to create a community that is not only accessible, but inclusive of everyone and devoid of discrimination of any kind.

The power of the disability community has grown stronger and will continue to rise in response to whatever 2021 may bring. I am beyond grateful for everyone that has shown support to our organization and inspired by the acts of kindness witnessed in our local community. I look forward to the future and all that can be learned from the past year.

Thank you for being a part of Abilities in Motion’s mission. We couldn’t do it without you.

Here’s to brighter days ahead!

-Stephanie Quigley, Executive Director

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Portrait of Cynthia Mills-Brown smiling in orange circle frame. Text says, Abilities in Motion Ralph Trainer Employee Advocacy Award. Cynthia Mills-Brown, NHT Coordinator.

Congratulations to Nursing Home Transition Coordinator Cynthia Mills-Brown!

The Ralph Trainer Employee Advocacy Award honors an AIM employee that has shown significant and exemplary advocacy to the disability population throughout the year. Since 2020 brought significant challenges to us all, the winner of this award had to be someone that could meet those challenges with advocacy by bringing light, positivity, dedication, resilience and kindness to the work they do.

“Cynthia, thank you for everything you have done to tirelessly advocate for consumers and their families to move out of nursing facilities,” said Executive Director Stephanie Quigley. “Your courageous efforts in the midst of a pandemic truly show us what AIM spirit and advocacy are.”

Check out some of the great things Cynthia’s colleagues had to say about her in their nominations.

“This year has brought unimaginable challenges for the Nursing Home Transition Team. Cynthia's perseverance and shining personality have helped us push through these challenges together. Cynthia went through difficult struggles this year, including losing some of her NHT participants to COVID-19. Despite these heartbreaking moments, Cynthia was able to look forward and find moments of joy. She has worked hard to help participants move out of nursing homes, ultimately saving lives. Cynthia went above and beyond to reunite a mother with her daughter through the NHT program . This beautiful story is just one example of how Cynthia not only empowers her participant s but also empowers others. Cynthia has lifted up the NHT team during our virtual meetings with her positive attitude and much needed jokes (we can all use a laugh during these difficult times). Cynthia thinks outside the box and will do everything in her power to support her participants and co-workers. I truly look up to her and feel she represents the best of AIM.”

“I believe the strong desire to help those in need shines through in her work. Over the past year she has continued to build lasting relationships with housing providers, which has assisted with not only identifying housing for our consumers, but shaped the property managers' willingness to go out of their way too to help us when it comes to picking up essentials/deliveries and also flexibility in regards to lease signings or when payments are received. Cynthia has also gone above and beyond with some consumers and their needs. One consumer in particular had a 17-18 year old child living in shelters while our consumer was in a nursing home. Cynthia was able to help our consumer's fears for the daughter by assisting the daughter with reaching out to family and friends that may be a strong support for her. Cynthia's dedication to the consumers has always been visible but has been even more bright through COVID.”

Thanks for being a shining example of advocacy in action!

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Updated: Nov 6, 2020

Picture of Tanya Mack

I remember a time when I felt as if no one understood me at all. In fact, I did not really understand why I even did the things I would do…feeling alone…feeling different…feeling hopeless.

Because of the stigma regarding mental health and substance abuse, it took years before I would be able to find the courage to reach out for help. It was then when I realized the supportive, therapeutic value of someone who had shared experiences like I did could be so valuable. Peer Support was just what I needed to begin to my journey of being my best self.

Shortly afterwards, as Peer Support was in its grassroots infancy, I decided to change career paths to become a Certified Peer Specialist. I wanted to encourage and empower others on their own journey of wellness by role modeling hope, personal responsibility, education, self-advocacy, and support, while understanding that each person is unique and there is no cookie cutter process to wellness. 

We address holistic wellness through promoting personal growth and developing action plans for barriers such as activities for daily living, education, employment, housing, budgeting, and building social goals, with additional links to community resources.

Looking back, this type of support was not always available, and I know there were quite a few roadblocks I could have avoided (hopelessness, substance abuse, citations, arrests, incarcerations, probation, unemployment, homelessness, low self-esteem) if I were introduced to an evidence-based program like this one because Peer Support does make a difference.

We are all stars with our own stories and there is no limit to the possibilities to shine as bright as we want to independently shine. You are not alone, and we understand.

How can we support you?

For more information about Peer Support contact:

Tanya Mack, Certified Peer Support Specialist


Cell: 484-808-4756 Office: 610-376-0010

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