Housing for the Special Needs Community

Director Bonnie Schmidt was asked to speak at the David Posnack JCC in Davie FL. She discusses her new organization the IDDEAL Foundation and its focus on housing for the special needs community.

Hiring Employees with IDD

ScentsAbility Director Bonnie Schmidt talks about hiring employees with IDD during her NCA keynote speech. She discusses the value of organizations like Vocational Rehab and Best Buddies, and also reviews the tax breaks that companies can receive for hiring individuals with IDD.

Party Starters

Party Starters

One thing about Team ScentsAbility is that they all know how to have FUN! At the end of every NCA Convention there is a fabulous closing receipt; this year sponsored by AAK USA, Inc.  Leave it to our group to get the party started! A Caribbean band played songs, and where there is music and a dance floor – you will always find ScentsAbility! They somehow manage to get everyone up to dance and make sure that all the NCA Membes had a blast! The food was absolutely scrumptious and a wonderful time was had by all. The NCA’s first Conga Line was the highlight of the night! Check out the highlights at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8D8D3e7EOFY

Teachable Moments

Teachable Moments

The majority of the NCA Members are accustomed to traveling for business, eating on the road and staying in hotels. For the young adults of ScentsAbility this is a new experience; and one that takes training and practice. Change is very difficult for many of our Team Members, and eating in restaurants, sleeping in strange beds, being away from home can present many challenges. While the main purpose of the trip was business, we were able to take advantage of many teachable moments. Close attention had to be paid to everyone to make sure that they were handling all of the changes well, and to check to make sure they had proper clothing, healthy food choices and excellent hygiene. All of these experiences and lessons will help prepare our young adults for either independent or supported living in the future. 

This is the hardest part of being a parent or guardian of someone with IDD – figuring out where and how they will live after you are gone. It is a national crisis and the numbers of young adults with IDD that are in need of proper housing is staggering. We are so grateful to all the members of the NCA that support our membership and sponsor our team to attend the annual conventions as we strive to provide not only employment; but a life for our young adults. 

ScentsAbility Demonstration

ScentsAbility Demonstration

This year at the NCA, ScentsAbility was also given the opportunity to demonstrate how tasks are modified to match both the cognitive and physical abilities of employees with IDD. Operations Director, Michael Mack, led our amazing Artisans while they demonstrated how they prepare the wicks, clean the glass, wick the glass, secure the wick and pour the candles. ScentsAbility has developed tools and procedures that allow ALL of our Artisans to participate and succeed in the production, labeling, packaging and shipping of our beautiful candles. To learn more about our demo ….click here

Lexica

In Part One of her keynote speech, Director Bonnie Schmidt spoke about the trials of Jessica and Lexy and the life changing independence they’re searching for. She talks about their health issues, their bond, and how they became Lexica. She also invites them to make a small speech of their own.

Thank you to the National Candle Association for their amazing support of ScentsAbility candles. We are eternally grateful for having been given this opportunity to speak on such an important and pressing topic in today’s society.

National Candle Association Expo 2019

Team ScentsAbility had an amazing week at the Grand Beach Resort in Naples Florida. They met vendors and suppliers from all segments of the candle industry, from wicks and wax, to jars and fragrances. They were able to test out a new candle pouring machine, and they gave their first demo on candle making at an NCA expo!

Director Bonnie Schmidt was the keynote speaker, and spoke about job creation for the special needs community, as well as the struggles that ScentsAbility goes through every day. She also gave out awards to all of the companies and individuals in the candle industry that have helped ScentsAbility grow over the past three years.

Power of Art

Power of Art

Another amazing opportunity for our Team Members to be participating members of our community! On April 9th ScentsAbility Team Members were invited to meet the Ladd Brothers at the Coral Springs Museum of Art during the Artist Meet & Greet as part of the Power of Art events in Coral Springs and Parkland  https://coralspringsmuseum.org/events/powerofart/

Housing options

Housing options

Housing Options for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are limited. The majority of this population live with family or in Group Homes.

As any young adult will probably tell you at one point or another, living with one’s parents is not always a great solution. Socialization is difficult as they may not have the opportunity to meet a lot of other people if he or she are constantly surrounded with the same family members. As parents age, it may become impossible for them to care for their child anymore, and the transition from a life-long residence could be more traumatic than if they had moved out when they were younger.

While there are some wonderful group homes with caring staff – this is not always the case. Group homes come in many varieties and can be paid for in many ways by state programs for people with disabilities.  Limited budgets result in less than ideal settings, programming and nutrition; and constantly changing staff is difficult for individuals with I/DD. 

Our goal at ScentsAbility is to develop an affordable, safe community for our Team Members who have expressed very clearly that they want to live as independently as they can WITH their peers. This is a difficult project and will take many years; but we are committed to succeeding… it’s what parents do for their kids – give them every opportunity to have a purposeful future!

Everyone has unique abilities.

Everyone has unique abilities.

Every ScentsAbility package includes a handwritten card from one of our Team Members. Writing in small spaces is very difficult for Jessica who has both visual and fine motor skills deficits. At ScentsAbility we modify the processes to give our Team Members the ability to reach their potential. A simple cut out template allows Jessica to write her name on the cards. One of our amazing moms, Sheri Scagliola (Katie’s mom) came up with this idea and now Jessica is writing her name independently!