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October Named Americans with Disabilities Month

The City of Coral Gables proclaims October as Americans with Disabilities Month. “The City of Coral Gables is committed to creating an inclusive community that values and respects all residents and visitors,” said Raquel Elejabarrieta, director of Labor Relations. “It’s been an exciting year as we welcomed seven Miami-Dade County Public School System (MDCPS) Project VICTORY (Vocational Instruction and Community Training Opportunities for Youth) students to work in the city.”

Project VICTORY is an MDCPS program for students with mild to moderate cognitive disabilities whose post-secondary goal is employment. The seven students are performing clerical and customer-facing tasks.

“We are always looking for opportunities to prepare our students for financial, personal and social independence through work-related experiences that cultivate employability skills essential for success in the workplace,” said Angie Torres, administrative director, Department of Exceptional Student Education - MDCPS. “It’s great to continue to grow opportunities for our students in partnership with Coral Gables.”

Last year the city unveiled G.U.I.D.E., a unique program that provides first responders with important information when answering emergency calls enabling them to handle the situation appropriately. Understanding an enrolled individual's disability or complex medical needs prior to responding allows police and fire personnel to interact more effectively and can be crucial in emergency situations. Each year, the city hosts Adventure Day. This year’s event will take place on Saturday, Oct. 22 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Salvadore Park, home to an all-inclusive playground.

The city offers a variety of disability-specific programming throughout the year including a social club for adults and a Winter WILD camp for teens, among others.

My Squad, a social group created for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and autism holds monthly programs. Additionally, this year, the city premieres Teen Scene, a program for teens with intellectual disabilities and autism. The first event will be held on Thursday, Oct. 27 at Ruth Bryan Owen Waterway Park.