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Morris County services for people with disabilities go virtual

MORRIS COUNTY, NJ – People with intellectual and developmental disabilities who have been isolated during the pandemic now have access to virtual activities and lessons, thanks to a grant approved for Community Options, Inc., by the Morris County Board of County Commissioners and the Morris County Department of Human Services.

The $15,000 Grant-in-Aid was approved in late 2020 for Community Options, which provides employment and housing supports to more than 900 people with disabilities statewide, enabling the nonprofit to purchase computers for a program that benefits 75 Morris County residents. These residents with disabilities can now access activities such as yoga, cooking lessons, music therapy, mindfulness training and gardening through virtual instructors.

Community Options has continued its core services throughout the pandemic. But the nonprofit has been forced to limit many critical in-person day program activities as people with disabilities are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, even with vaccinations underway.

“The pandemic has forced many people with disabilities into isolation, even within their own communities,” said Robert Stack, founder and CEO of Community Options. “These new virtual activities will allow them to reconnect, while helping them improve the skills they need for everything from effective communication to finding gainful employment. We thank the Morris County Board of County Commissioners and the County Department of Human Services for their support and partnership on this project.”

“Many vulnerable individuals have been isolated during the pandemic, which has gone on now for a year, and many of those children, seniors and individuals with disabilities either do not have access or do not have the capabilities to communicate digitally with others. Programs like this, which provide them the technology to access online resources and connect with others, are of the upmost importance as we continue into the uncertainty posed by this pandemic,” said Morris County Commissioner Kathryn DeFillippo, the board’s liaison to human services.

As part of the grant project Community Options joins bi-monthly policy meetings with the county’s Disabled and Senior Provider Group, where they exchange resources and ideas with other organizations.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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