Derby Honoree Brian Evison of DAE Capital, second from left, with Patricia Mary, Sarah, and Matt Evison
What an impact The Derby had on IMPACT™, a new initiative from Northwest Center Kids. The silent and live auction held in April at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, with a goal of raising $100,000 to launch the new service, instead raised more than three times that amount with donations totaling $306,000.
Witness sports history at the 50th Annual 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle: sign up to volunteer with Northwest Center July 1-6.
Join us as a volunteer during the soccer competitions, where you can also cheer on a team with a special connection to Northwest Center. The Issaquah Spirit, coached by our VP of Business Development Mike Quinn, is representing the state in soccer as Team Washington.
Donate clothing and household goods to The Big Blue Truck™ or at Value Village™ to keep them out of landfills and to benefit Northwest Center. Here are a few tips to make sure your donation counts.
“Any program or event that we planned was done so with zero rejection. No one would be turned away for any reason.” – Janet Taggart, Northwest Center founder
Northwest Center was founded on a mission of inclusion in 1965, and each year we celebrate that mission with business partners, friends, employees and the greater community at the Golden Hearts Luncheon. Join the celebration on October 23 at the Sheraton Hotel, downtown Seattle, from noon-1 p.m.
This year’s keynote speaker is actress and advocate Lauren Potter, best known as Becky Jackson on the hit TV show Glee. Potter was the Ambassador for the Special Olympics World Games, served on President Obama’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities, and is on the International Board of Best Buddies, working in conjunction with Special Olympics on the “R Word: Spread the Word to End the Word” anti-bullying campaign.
Free Financial Workshop from MassMutual: Join Us for ‘10 Basic Financial Steps for Special Needs Caregivers’
An exclusive financial workshop from new Northwest Center partner MassMutual is being offered free of change to Northwest Center employees, families, and friends who are caregivers of special needs kids and adults. 10 Basic Financial Steps for Special Needs Caregivers focuses on preparing financially to ensure that care and quality of life is maintained for a loved one after the caregiver is gone.
The 10 steps workshop, developed by MassMutual through years of research, features critical issues such as applying for Social Security and Medicaid, creating a special needs trust, and the importance of a will.
Many thanks to MassMutual for this opportunity.
To sign up and receive dates and times, email your contact information to: email@example.com
Pacific Northwest Theatre Associates (PNTA) knows the value of inclusion. The theatrical supply store, located in West Seattle, contacted Northwest Center last year with the specific goal of employing people with disabilities in their shipping and receiving department. A manager had learned how productive it can be to employ people of all abilities, so PNTA decided to become inclusive, too.
Northwest Center welcomes Trevor Pacelli as a contributing writer and photographer. Trevor has drawn on his experiences as a person with autism and his creative talents since he was a child. At 15, he illustrated a children's book about autism awareness written by his sister Briana, “The Kindergarten Adventures of Amazing Grace.” At 19, he wrote a book in the "Six-Word Lessons" series to help families understand how a person with autism thinks and feels. He has also written for news outlets such as CNN and, drwing on his degree in film and media studies from Arizona State University, regularly writes about the cinema.
At the halfway point of 2018, I want to THANK YOU for supporting Northwest Center and share just one example of the great work YOU already made possible this year:
We raised over $306,000 at The Derby 2018, allowing us to launch IMPACT™ (Inclusion Mentorship Program for increasing Access in Childcare Team) on May 1! Learn more right here.
Excitement is building for the Special Olympics USA Games. Northwest Center athletes are competing, staff and board members are volunteering, and I want to personally invite you. Buy your tickets to the Opening Ceremony, July 1 in Husky Stadium, and you’ll be seated in a section dedicated to NWC and our supporters. Arrive early and stop by our tailgate party—hope to see you there!
We envision a world where individual talent meets unlimited opportunity. Thank you for your continued support in bringing us closer to a truly inclusive society.
Onward and Upward,
By Trevor Pacelli, Contributing Writer
Enjoy this first-person account of Trevor’s trip to the Washington State Capitol in Olympia, where he joined with other Northwest Center employees and friends as a self-advocate for inclusive employment.
“Why should I be an advocate?”
That’s a question many of us ask when we learn how few people with developmental disorders have a good full-time job. Earlier this year, many of us from Washington state traveled to the state capitol to find an answer to that question.
We met up at the United Churches, a block from the Legislative Building, to talk about our plan for the day. Outside, the air was nippy, with snow barely glazing the lawn. Inside, the pews were packed as the sun beamed a carnation violet through stained glass windows. Together, we heard the hope among the good and bad news.
Northwest Center is pleased to welcome Trevor Pacelli as a contributing writer. Trevor has drawn on his experiences as a person with autism and his creative talents since he was a child. At 15, he illustrated a children's book about autism awareness written by his sister Briana, “The Kindergarten Adventures of Amazing Grace.” At 19, he wrote a book in the "Six-Word Lessons" series to help families understand how a person with autism thinks and feels. He has also written for news outlets such as CNN and, drawing on his degree in film and media studies from Arizona State University, regularly writes about the cinema.
By Trevor Pacelli, contributing writer
Happy Star Wars Day (May the 4th be with you)! In honor of the legendary saga, I would like to discuss how the beloved characters can encourage us to keep pressing ahead despite physical challenges, as well as address questionable depictions of physical differences.
Warning: spoilers ahead!
Electronetics, a division of Northwest Center, Showcases Custom Magnetic Solutions at APEC 2018 (Applied Power Electronics Conference and Exposition)
Our team had a productive week attending APEC 2018 – The Applied Power Electronics Conference and Exposition – on March 4-8 in San Antonio, TX. As first-time exhibitors, we were immediately engaged by the variety of activities and professional training sessions made available to attendees.
On the exposition floor, we had a wonderful time meeting with customers, strengthening partnerships, showing off our capabilities, and checking out the competition. Our booth, which was strategically located next to the food and beverage area, was fully decked out with new signage, a variety of sample parts, fun giveaways, and, of course, free candy bars.
For the team at Argus Janitorial, a division of Northwest Center in Spokane, it was especially meaningful to receive the “Outstanding Support” award at the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery’s (VBCN) Heart of Gold awards. The janitorial services the team provides to VBCN, says Argus General Manager Jackie Fountain, are very much a labor of love.
Vital need sparked a new approach to inclusive early learning
Katrina Caron, Director of Early Learning at Northwest Center’s Chinook location, gets the calls all the time.
“Parents will have a child with a special need and they can’t find care anywhere. Or their child is going to be kicked out of their preschool. Or the current school is not meeting their child’s needs. I have to say, ‘I’m really sorry, but I have to put you on our waitlist’ when we can’t take more children.”
“One, two, three, edge-to-edge, edge-to-edge. One, two, three, edge-to-edge, edge-to-edge.” Glenda’s table wiping process is precise—each table cleaned with unparalleled focus and care.
Glenda works at Red Robin in Renton, where she gets the restaurant ready for the day before opening—a job that she, her managers, and her job coaches agree is a perfect fit. Glenda has been at the job for a little over seven months, gaining confidence by proactively adding new responsibilities and even taking on another shift on Saturdays.
Benefit to raise $100,000 to launch pioneering Inclusion Team
Derby fashions, a fast-paced live auction, and the opportunity to raise much-needed funds to benefit Northwest Center Kids’ mission of inclusive education all come together at The Derby, Saturday, April 28 from 6-10 p.m. This premier fundraiser for Northwest Center takes place this year at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, 411 University Street, downtown Seattle.
The hotel’s elegant Spanish Ballroom is the setting for an evening of Kentucky Derby-inspired fun and frivolity for a cause. Every dollar raised will help Northwest Center Kids launch a brand new, pioneering program that will bring inclusive early learning to kids throughout the region.
Erika’s first few shifts at Amazon Prime Now warehouse had their challenges. The pace was hectic, she was negotiating a scanning system, and she was navigating a dizzying assortment of quadrants and aisle numbers. Several times, Northwest Center job coaches found her wandering an aisle, saying she was lost.
But if you asked Erika how the shift went, she was all smiles. “It was a good day today,” she would say. “I learned a lot!”
That unwavering optimism gave Northwest Center and Prime Now management confidence that Erika would get the hang of things. And it didn’t take long for their faith to be rewarded.
We’re well into 2018, and the momentum continues to build here at Northwest Center. There isn’t enough space to mention all our successes, so I’ll highlight just a few.
Our Early Intervention and Early Learning teams served a record number of kids in 2017 (770!) and are well on their way to surpass that number this year. We’ll soon launch an Inclusion Team to train other preschools to provide inclusive early learning education and support, while our new autism program (EPIC: expanding play, interaction, and communication) will complement the services we already provide.
Ruby and Trevin put their aisles together so well that their job coach hates to see a product leave their “work of art aisles.”
Recently Job Developers in the Omak office adopted a new team motto. Developers are out to achieve the “Triple Win” where job seekers, employers, and the job developer all hit the tape at the end of the race at the same time.
Ruby and Trevin both were hired in June to do similar jobs, but typical of the area covered by Northwest Center in Omak, these jobs are both quite a distance from the Omak Office. They, and their job developer, and two different employers are celebrating “Triple Wins.”
A growing number of individuals, organizations, and for-profit companies are recognizing the many benefits of a diverse workforce. Studies show that inclusion benefits the entire workplace with better morale, efficiency, and consumer reviews; and we know from over fifty years of first-hand experience that employing people with disabilities is good for business. The strategies outlined below are designed to enhance inclusion in the workplace for employees of all ages and all skill levels.
Charles has spent this year showing his team at Puget Sound Laundry Services he has what it takes to get the job done, and then some! A longtime Northwest Center Employment Services participant, Charles has previously worked in document shredding at American Data Guard, on a supported work team at the Bank of America Building, and in Northwest Center’s Assembly & Packaging division.
While to some, top performer may seem like a minor achievement, for many people with disabilities their whole lives have passed without ever being recognized for their contribution.
When a new shift begins, associates clock in and head to “Stand Up,” an area of the warehouse where managers go over daily announcements and celebrate top performers in front of their coworkers. For Mihret, who has worked for just over six months, Stand Up became a goal from day one.
Mihret, born in Ethiopia, is deaf yet does not know American or Universal Sign Language. English is her second language and this makes communication and connection difficult for her. Yet in June 2017, Mihret came into work and saw her name, written in big green letters. Mihret was awarded top performer. Two days later, Mihret achieved her goal yet again. In fact, that day, three out of the four top performer awards were given to associates placed by Northwest Center, all with diagnosed disabilities.
An outing with a young child can be a challenge for any parent. And that challenge can be even more daunting for families that have a child with a developmental delay or disability. Fortunately, the number of destinations in the Puget Sound region that accommodate children of all abilities is growing every year. We have compiled a modest list of local activities and destinations that are definitely worth checking out.
Coach Mike Quinn is Northwest Center VP of Business Development
Northwest Center is proud to announce that the Issaquah Spirit, a Special Olympics soccer team coached by Northwest Center VP of Business Development Mike Quinn, has been selected to represent Washington State at the summer 2018 Special Olympics USA Games, July 1-6, 2018 in Seattle.
Anthony and his mom Sara
Anthony looks at the world a little differently—and often beautifully.
“When Anthony goes up a hill, he says it’s heavy because it makes his body feel heavy,” says his mom Sara. “What a unique way to describe that feeling.”
Still, Sara and her husband Jason struggled to find a preschool that would nurture Anthony’s potential the same as any other child.
By Richard Solomon, Lead Employment Support Coordinator
Conlan holds up a finger and furrows his brow, focused on the screen in front of him. He’s working as a Problem Solver at Amazon’s Prime Now warehouse (UWA1) in Kirkland, a job he found through Northwest Center Employment Services. The warehouse is a hub for Pacific Northwest fulfillment, with a torrent of inventory that gives him plenty to do.
We're passionate about equal rights and full inclusion for people with disabilities. Please share and subscribe!