I had the privilege of meeting an incredible mother, Jessica, and her two daughters, Sarah and Harper, who are in the early learning program at United Ability. As United Ability Day is approaching on May 5, she told me about the impact the organization has had on her family and what this special place means to her.
She knew she wanted her daughters at United Ability from the start
It was so amazing to hear the heartwarming story of Jessica, a mother who found hope and comfort for her children at United Ability. When her babies were born three months early and suffered prematurity-related injuries and trauma, Jessica knew she wanted her daughters at United Ability for early intervention. The impact the organization has had on her family has been nothing short of amazing.
Her daughters, Sarah and Harper, have gained confidence and overcame their physical and developmental challenges through the Early Intervention and Hand In Hand Early Learning programs at United Ability. For Jessica, the difference has been life-changing. But the story doesn’t end there. Jessica said the difference she’s seen in her girls has been amazing.
“When we first started the program at two years old, Harper couldn’t roll over. Within a month, she could roll over and army crawl. Sarah was basically nonverbal at that time, and she has now tested out of speech.”Jessica
The confidence her daughters have gained at United Ability has been life changing for their family.
“There are not any other places or daycares where the girls can be with people their own age, especially because of Harper’s mobility. This is a place where she can be with kids her own age with the same cognitive skills. This is giving them the confidence to go into public school, because they’ve already interacted with peers in a classroom setting. I couldn’t be more thankful.”Jessica
A full circle story
As I was meeting Jessica and her children, I also got to meet another incredible woman named Bailey, a woman who also received services at United Ability as a child and now works at Shipt. Watching the two women connect and share their experiences was truly special. Bailey’s story is proof that children with disabilities can thrive and make a difference when they’re older, giving even more hope to Jessica and her family.
Bailey was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when she was a child and received services at United Ability. She later ended up volunteering and giving back to United Ability and the people who gave so much to her. She went on to study at Jacksonville State University before coming back to Birmingham.
“Being able to give back and let these these parents see someone that’s grown and established that has alo gone through these challenges is so special. I love getting to share with parents different life hacks and ways to navigate a disability. If I could have only seen somebody like me when I was younger, what difference it would have made.”Bailey
As the mother of two children on a similar path as Bailey, Jessica also recognized the full circle moment.
“It is amazing to see and connect with someone like Bailey. When we first got our diagnosis, it felt like the world was over. Seeing her shows us that even if their life may be different, it’s okay. It’s very special to see that they can grow and make a difference when they’re older.”Jessica
Support United Ability and sport their new shirt on May 5
On May 5, you can support United Ability and make an impact on families like Jessica’s by wearing a United Ability Day shirt. Not only will you spread awareness for the life-changing work they’re doing, but you’ll also be supporting them to continue their advocacy for accessibility for all.
This year’s shirt, made in partnership with Life is Good®, celebrates 75 years of United Ability and takes a disability-inclusive twist on the classic shirt. Order your shirt online or purchase at any Alabama Outdoors locations, and don’t forget to post a photo wearing it on May 5 using the hashtag #UAWhereIsRocket.
This is a perfect opportunity to for individuals or companies to support an awesome organization in our very own community.
Join us in supporting this incredible organization spreading hope and comfort to families like the Jessica’s.