A CLIENT WITH UNIQUE ABILITIES
When Corina Garay, OPARC’s Vice President for Day Programs, informed me that a uniquely talented client had recently started attending our Rancho Cucamonga Adult Development Center, I scheduled a visit the next day. Although I knew, intellectually, what to expect, what I actually witnessed shattered my expectations and left me literally teary-eyed.
Davinson P. Jr., 28, sat in a massive motorized wheelchair, his arms shooting up into the air at unusual angles. Two long tubes were attached to the chair. One looked fairly stationary, positioned near his mouth; I learned later that he breathes into this tube to control the movement of his wheelchair. The other tube was flexible, and he held the tip in his mouth. As he silently and almost unnoticeably puffed into the mouthpiece, the cursor on the laptop computer in front of him moved precisely. “I’m pretty proficient with it,” Davinson commented nonchalantly.
Indeed he was. He proceeded to bring up on screen two of the several poems he has written: “Tomorrow” and “Now That You Are Gone.” I thought they were pretty good (not that I’m a qualified poetry critic). Then he proceeded to show me a website he had designed. As I write this, several days later, I have in my in-box the perfectly worded and spelled e-mail he sent in response to the message I initiated upon my return to the office. (While I visited Davinson, he received three or four e-mails from friends. He says he helps them with their computers.)
Davinson was born with cerebral palsy. He was also born with a high level of intelligence, a ready smile, and the desire to work. (“It is my dream and desire to work,” he says in his e-mail, confirming what he told me in person.) I promised to have OPARC’s job developer contact him.
Davinson is one of 700 unique clients benefiting from OPARC programs. He is one of the 700 reasons I like my job.
NEW FACILITY TO OPEN SOON!
Building on its success in offering a behavior management program in Upland, OPARC responded to a request from Inland Regional Center to begin a similar operation in the City of San Bernardino. As this is written, tenant improvements are being made to a 2,713 square foot site on East Carnegie Drive, just east of Waterman and north of the I-10 freeway, and an October opening is anticipated. As many as 20 clients (and several staff members) will transfer initially from the Upland location, because they live a lot closer to San Bernardino. Watch your mail (and your e-mail) for information about the Grand Opening!