Community Resource Network is a Medicaid and Med-Waiver provider that delivers an array of support services for children, adults and people with disabilities. We constantly advocate to medical and insurance companies, social workers and state officials and agencies on behalf of our individuals to ensure they are receiving the services they need and deserve. We have an unyielding commitment to the people we serve, and we regard their concerns as concerns of our own.

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7 Black Friday Deals for Adaptive Products

Black Friday deals started earlier than ever this year, and that means we’re here to share not just the best deals, but the best deals on products that help take the hardship out of cooking, cleaning and self-care while making life more accessible! Scroll down for 7 products to add to your cart! Mixing Bowl and Measuring Cup Set $29.97 now $10 at Walmart You need to add this measuring cup and mixing bowl set to your kitchen arsenal!  Color coded measuring cups and nesting bowls help to distinguish between measurements and sort ingredients, making cooking with a disability easier and more accessible!  Twanna Free Standing Bath Pillow $30.44 now $22.24 at Wayfair This bath pillow offers comfort and extra support in the bathroom. Ideal for people with limited mobility. Ninja Air Fryer $74.99 now 39.99 at Target Air fryers are becoming a fast favorite for many, especially for people with disabilities. They are great for people who might have difficulty lifting heavy pans on and off the stove or in and out of the oven. Air Fryers cook quickly decreases the amount of time one might need to stand to cook. They even help you make healthier choices by
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Celebrate World Kindness Day

Here at CRN, kindness day is every day. Our staff and individuals demonstrate compassion for others on a regular basis. It’s more than a trend; it’s a way of life for us. But with #WorldKindessDay approaching on November 13th, we thought it would be a great opportunity to highlight kindness and share some ways you can include kindness in your everyday life. Wave someone through traffic. Reach out to a relative you haven’t spoken to in a while. Pay it forward. Buy that coffee for the person behind you. Pick up trash you see on the ground. Be kind to yourself.Need more inspiration? Watch our World Kindness Video here!
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In The Know: Disability News October 2022

Scroll through as we take a look at the great and exciting news October brought our disability community. Netflix Renews Love on the Spectrum US Love on the Spectrum U.S.” won three Emmys in September, one for outstanding unstructured reality program as well as awards for outstanding picture editing for an unstructured reality program and outstanding casting for a reality program. Netflix said it has renewed the series “Love on the Spectrum U.S.” It is expected to have a release in mid-2023 or sometime in the summer of 2024. Watch the official trailer here! (source: Disability Scoop)   Inclusive Halloween 2022 Thanks to retailers like Disney and Target, this past Halloween got a whole lot more accessible! Back in August, Disney released costumes designed to be worn by children and teens with disabilities Costume adaptions include stretch fabric that opens in the back to make them easier to get on and off as well as longer inseams for wheelchair-friendly wear and flap openings on the front to allow for tube access. Wheelchair covers are designed to fit standard 24-inch wheels. 8 different varieties with a character to suit almost any Disney interest! (source: People)
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Staff Spotlight: Shining a light of LSP Instructor, Sean

Meet Sean! This summer, Sean celebrated 6 years as an Instructor in our Port Charlotte Life Skills Program. Sean is known by his team as compassionate and dedicated with a positive attitude! Over the years, we can count on Sean to create a fun atmosphere, with extra high fives, a round of basketball and being goofy, all to make each Individual feel special and valued. His amazing approach to teaching isn’t the only thing that makes him unique- Sean is an identical twin and they were born on January 1st! Sean has spent most of his career in this field, helping people with Intellectual and Developmental Delays, so it was no surprise to hear his simple yet genuine response to our favorite question, why CRN?: "To help people." Thank you, Sean for making a difference!  Join our mission and apply here! 
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Tips & Tricks for an Inclusive Halloween

If you’re new here, then let us let you in on a known fact about CRN… we love Halloween! (spooky proof below) As fun as Halloween can be, it can also be overwhelming or difficult for people with disabilities. Physical limitations, sensory processing struggles, or food allergies can make it more challenging, but we’re here with some tips (and tricks!) to make the holiday enjoyable for everyone! Use Inclusive Costumes Let the individual choose their costume with no judgement! Halloween is the perfect way for everyone to express their personality. If you need a costume to include adaptations for tube access or wheelchairs, check these out! Lastly, disability is NOT a costume. Do not choose a costume that pokes fun of people with disabilities. Remove Obstacles If you are handing out candy, sit at the end of your driveway and remove any debris or objects for easier access. Keep outdoor lights on and limit strobe light use for those with processing disorders. If you are trick-or-treating, try planning a route ahead of time to allow the individual to familiarize themselves with the neighborhood. Or take advantage of community-based activities like trunk-or-treating events or indoor fairs that might feel safer. Be
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Celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month

This month is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). NDEAM is held each October to commemorate the extensive contributions of people with disabilities to America’s workplaces and economy. CRN is celebrating by highlighting a few individuals’ important roles and recognizing organizations that support and create inclusive workspaces for people with individuals. Meet Wade! Wade works for a grocery store as a bagger. Wade works hard to ensure all customers receive their groceries and escorts them to their cars. Wade enjoys working because he likes to feel independent, help people and socialize with his coworkers. He is also very proud of his uniform and name tag. Meet Karla! Karla works for a fast casual restaurant. She has many responsibilities, including bussing tables, cleaning high traffic areas, and food stocking. Her favorite part of her job is holding the door and greeting people! She feels very accomplished at the end of each shift, especially when she gets her tips! Meet John! John is retired from a grocery store. He was a dedicated employee for 20 years. Throughout those year, he remained in his favorite position as a bagger. He was able to help as many customers as possible and did so at
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3 Activities to Celebrate Fall for People with Disabilities

Calling all Fall Lovers!! Fall is officially here, and we have the inspiration you need to celebrate! We rounded up some of our favorite fall activities we love to do with our Life Skills Program attendees. You won’t be-leaf how fun they are and easily adaptable for all abilities! Scroll down to see for yourself!  1.Nature Walk Nothing is better than going outside for some movement. Scratch that- nothing is better than going outside DURING FALL for some movement! Not only does a nature walk allow Individuals to engage in some exercise, but it’s a great way to enjoy the crisp air and to observe how their surroundings might be changing during the new season. Allow Individuals to collect some leaves, pinecones, or branches and turn them into an art project! Individuals used branches and paint to create a fall landscape. 2.Caramel Apples Apples are synonymous with Fall. Back to school apples, apple orchids, apple picking, apple cider and our favorite, caramel apples. Cooking is an essential skill for Individuals with disabilities to learn. Teach a lesson on cooking caramel and allow individuals to decorate their apples and of course, enjoy! Too sticky? You can also test your baking skills
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Disability Voting Rights Week!

This week is Disability Voting Rights Week- a week to encourage all citizens to support the disability community and to share resources to help grow the number of registered people with disabilities. According to The American Association of People with Disabilities, in 2020, an estimated 38 million people with disabilities were eligible to vote. This year, the disability community and voting rights advocates are determined to continue to amplify the disability voice and civic participation across the country. CRN is a proud partner for Disability Voting Rights Week. With the help of the AAPD and our Florida’s Chapter of REV UP, Access The Vote, we’ve rounded up what you need to know about registering and accessible voting. Registering To Vote People with disabilities can use registration assistance to vote. Staff at your local Supervisor of Elections Office can explain the requirements for correctly filling out a voter registration application and can even help you complete the form itself. You may also choose to receive assistance from your spouse, parent, or child. You can also enlist the help from a variety of organizations like the Florida League of Women Voters and Rock the Vote. Know Your Rights Every poll site in the state is required to
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Payroll 101: 4 Things To Know About Payroll

This week is National Payroll Week. Every year after Labor Day, the American Payroll Association (APA) hosts National Payroll Week to help celebrate and thank our payroll professionals. Because payroll professionals play a behind the scenes role, they can often be overlooked. However, this team is responsible for most of employee satisfaction. They are responsible for maintaining accurate records, correcting mistakes, and ensuring timely pay. CRN would like to thank our entire payroll team for all their hard work to roll out compensation each pay period! Additionally, this week provides an opportunity for payroll education for our workforce. We asked payroll team member, Aaron, for some of the top things to know, as an employee, about payroll. Always make sure that your personal information is up to date. Review all your deductions for benefits and taxes. If you see any discrepancies make sure to report them to the HR or Payroll team. You can make changes to your W4 at any time. For example, if you need to update your tax withholdings. Make sure if your banking info changes for direct deposit that you get it updated ASAP to ensure your next paycheck is paid to the correct account.Click here to learn
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Staff Spotlight: Shining a light on CMS Coordinator, Jessica

Meet Jessica! Jessica is our Consumable Medical Supplies Coordinator. In the 6 months Jessica has been at CRN, she has done an amazing job expanding our CMS reach to better serve our community! Senior Operations Manager, Rosalynd, says she is always getting the Individuals the supplies they need, verifying inventory and ensuring things arrive on time! When asked why CRN? Jessica responded:  “I love the heart of CRN. Each person is working so hard to make the lives of others better.”  It’s a great day for Jess when she’s able to visit Individuals in our Life Skills Programs or when they visit in the office for Speech. Thank you, Jess for making sure nobody goes without!   Learn more about our Consumable Medical Supplies program here! 
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In The Know: August 2022 Disability News

This past month went by so quickly! It was like you blinked and poof, it was over! If that was the case for you, do not worry! We’ve rounded up everything you might have missed in August! Study Identifies Genes Strongly Linked to Autism and Neurodevelopment Disorders A new study of genes underlying neurodevelopmental differences has uncovered more than 70 that are very strongly associated with autism and more than 250 with strong links to the condition. The analysis is the largest of its kind to date and includes more than 150,000 participants, 20,000 of whom have been diagnosed with autism. The results offer the most comprehensive look yet at diverse forms of genetic variation in autism and in more broadly defined neurodevelopmental conditions. The insights shed light on the molecular roots of brain development and neurodiversity and provide new avenues for future research on the biology of autism. (source: Disability Scoop) Lyric Changes spark Ableism Conversations This summer, both Beyonce and Lizzo made lyric changes to their songs-removing the word Spaz. Spaz is an ableist slur derived from the “spastic” movements of an Individual with Cerebral Palsy. Both musicians quickly made the changes, but it sparked overdue conversations about

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CRN Community Events: Planning Events for the Disability Community

  At CRN, our goal is to enhance the quality of life for our Individuals, at home and in the community. Hosting dances or parties are great opportunities for Individuals to feel included and engaged while increasing their self-esteem, confidence, and social skills. After events were reduced due to COVID, Michelle, our Director of Life Skills Programs, was recently able to put on two great events for our Port Charlotte and Fort Myers locations. Read on to learn how Michelle executed these events and the impacts of events on our Individuals and the community. Q: Did postponing events have an effect on the Individuals? Michelle: “Yes, it was a lost opportunity for social time. They thrive off social skills and the opportunity to apply the skills we teach. Some Individuals have friends that don’t attend our program or live in a different group home. Without these events, it didn’t afford them the opportunity to get together.”   Q: How does it feel to throw a party Post COVID? Michelle: “It’s a great feeling! The last party we were planning was March of 2020. We had all the décor and all the food ordered and I can just remember having to
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3 Ways to Support a Nonprofit Organization

#NationalNonProfitDay is a day designated to recognizing the impact of the social sector, highlighting the importance of charitable organizations and to thank all the organizations, their staff and volunteers that dedicate their time and efforts to improving communities.  Here are 3 ways to support nonprofits today and every day. 1. Raise Awareness Nonprofit organizations are most success when they have a larger audience. Help raise awareness and visibilities for your favorite nonprofits by spreading the word and educating peers and family about their mission, values and the community they support.  You can also raise awareness by attending or planning a fundraiser. 2. Donate Financial donations are always helpful and is what comes to mind first, but donations can come in multiple forms. You can donate: Your time by volunteering Goods, supplies, materials that benefit their cause. Always ask what donations are needed. Monetary donations or sponsorships. You don’t always have to donate large amounts. Any amount makes a huge difference Using giveback programs like Amazon Smile. 3. Follow & Share on Social Media Platforms Help increase their visibility. Following and sharing on social media platforms helps promote awareness, build communities and inspire action. You can share upcoming events, impacts and

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Staff Spotlight: Shining a light on Transportation Driver, LaShanne

Meet LaShanne! LaShanne has been providing amazing transportation services for CRN for the last 4 years! Transportation Coordinator, Fio, says LaShanne brightens the day of each Individual. Greeting them every morning with a ‘Good Morning!’ and her big, contagious smile and ending the day asking how their day went and putting on good music! When asked why CRN? LaShanne responded: “The Individuals. It always comes down to them. I’ve been supporting Individuals with disabilities for a long time. It’s my passion. I love enriching their lives in any way I can. It’s fun and it’s a part of who I am!” LaShanne’s favorite CRN activity is attending our community dances! She loves to see their smiling faces as their favorite songs are played! LaShanne’s compassion doesn’t end at CRN. In her spare time, she donates her time to her church’s youth group and is a part of the greeters ministry. Thank you, LaShanne for your fun and outgoing personality- it’s a huge asset to our CRN Family! Join the CRN family! Click here to apply!

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Book Lovers’ Day: Resources for Reading Accessibility

Today is Book Lovers’ Day- a day to celebrate and honor the crucial role in preserving cultures, educating the masses, and storytelling. Reading can provide you with knowledge, a chance to escape, and opportunities to develop ideas and possibilities! But how can you read if you can’t see the text or turn a page? Whether you read to escape or to learn, there are resources, tools, and books to help make reading accessible to everyone! Check out the list below & let yourself get lost in a good book! If you find it hard to read standard print… The term “print impairment” refers to any disability that makes it hard to read standard print. The most common is visual impairments. Here is a list of adaptations and tools to help people who are visually impaired gain access to reading. Magnify print materials Scan print materials and convert to e-text Manipulate e-text using adaptive software Listen to an audio version Read by touch (braille, tactile images) Watch video with an audio description of on-screen action Daisy Readers TTS (text to speech application for mobile devices) Magnifier Physical disabilities may also make it hard for a person to read standard print. Here are

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2022 Team Building Event

At the beginning of the year, CRN made it a priority to show our community and ourselves just how strong and dedicated we are, making 2022’s theme Stronger Together. With that in mind, the entire CRN team got together for this year’s Team Building Event. WHY DO WE HOST TEAM BUILDING EVENTS? Team building events are not only fun and motivating but allow us to enhance our communication and problems-solving skills; connect across departments; and overall, become better providers to the Individuals we serve. This year’s event focused on exploring our communication. Teams had the opportunity to determine their communication style and identify ways to best communicate with their style and others in mind. Teams also participated in games designed to foster team spirit, motivation, and of course, getting those bragging rights! Most importantly, CRN was able to show our appreciation for this amazing team with raffle prizes and surprise gelato truck! We ended the event with our staple send off- one phrase close. Each employee is given the floor to share one word or phrase about how they’re feeling regarding the event. Here are some of our favorites! “I am feeling grateful to work for an organization that really

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In The Know: July 2022 Disability News

If you’ve been keeping up with our blog, then you know that July was Disability Pride Month and our industry really showed up! So many exciting new projects, programs, and investments into our community. Read on for a look at some of those July highlights! For more information, check out the resources below: Become a DSP-If you are interested in supporting and improving the lives of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, join our team here!   Learn more about DSP rate increase at APD of Florida Sign up here to receive Florida Purple Alerts today through email or text messages. Need more info? Disability Rights of Florida shares more on their site! See what changes have been made to a park or beach near you here- Florida State Parks Foundation Keep up to date with more news to come in August on all our social media platforms and weekly blog updates!

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Welcome to Community Resource Network: 5 Facts About CRN

Hello CRN Family and welcome to our first blog post! Since 2009, Community Resource Network has been serving the needs of people with developmental disabilities and now, we are excited to provide even more support and resources! Here we will be sharing community resources for caregivers, families and the entire disability community; up to date announcements and news; and a look inside what makes CRN so special. Starting with 5 Facts about CRN! 1. CRN has the best team We are a company full of dependable, fun, and compassionate employees with a passion for enhancing the quality of life for people with disabilities. (Be sure to follow along as we introduce you to this amazing team!) We began providing compassionate care and services in 2009 and in 2017, we expanded our services to better serve the community. Now, with more than 275 direct support providers and two life skill programs, we are helping approximately 500 people of all ages and abilities thrive at home and in the community all throughout Florida. 2. CRN offers a variety of services  Community Resource Network is a Medicaid and Med-Waiver provider that delivers an array of support services for children, adults, and people with

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Happy Disability Pride Month

July is Disability Pride Month. We celebrate Disability Pride in July in recognition of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the ADA, on July 26th, 1990. The act prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. Following the legislation, Boston held the first Disability Pride Day event in July 1990. The month differs from Disability Awareness Month by celebrating and embracing an individual’s disabilities, reclaiming visibility and rejecting internalized ableism. Rather than only raising awareness, it is a time to “accept and honor each person’s uniqueness and seeing it as natural and beautiful part of human diversity.” At CRN, we are celebrating by amplifying our Individuals voices. We asked a few of the Individuals from our Life Skills Program questions about what Disability Pride means to them.             What are you proud of? What makes you special? Fernando: “I’m proud that I make new friends and I won medals.” Thomas: “My goals: I have a girlfriend, I have a family and I’m looking for a job.” Kayla: “I do what I can. Yes, we all mess up, but guess what? I learn. I’m not giving up.” What do you love about yourself? Isis: “I’m caring

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Staff Spotlight: Shining a light on Assistant Program Manager, Alicia

Compassionate care is at the heart of who we are, and we couldn’t deliver that without our incredible team. Our team actively lives out CRN core values (read about our core values here) while embodying our mission. We are so proud of each member and are excited to highlight each one of them, starting this month with Alicia! Meet our Assistant Program Manager, Alicia! Alicia has been bringing fun and compassion to CRN & FM Life Skills Program since December of 2019. Alicia’s favorite hobby is bowling. She participates in both a fall and summer bowling league in Cape Coral. Alicia has been described as “living our core values every day. She’s always smiling, helping and doing her part to make everyone’s day a little brighter.” Thank you for all you do, Alicia! Want to join the Fort Myers LSP team, click here to apply!