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Faces of Inclusion October 2021

Posted 10/11/2021

"AWS Foundation announced that Pathfinder Services is a recipient of Vantage Grant funding and will receive $1 million over the next five years."

Wow! We’ve wrapped up the 4th annual Toast to the Arts Fundraiser. It kicked off with an online auction one week prior to the live event. The amazing artists created many beautiful pieces of art, and two vacation packages were donated to support the auction.

We then had an exciting evening at the in-person event at Two EE’s Winery on Thursday, August 19. We are so happy to announce that this was our most successful year so far! We want to thank everyone who sponsored, attended, and/or purchased art supporting our artists and the Creative Abilities Art Studios.

Next up is the 17th Annual Pathfinder Kids Kampus Turkey Trot. We hope you will join us on Thursday, November 25 – Thanksgiving Day! The 5K/1 Mile Walk has a new course this year. This fun event will start and finish at the Huntington University PLEX Fieldhouse. The 5K will kick off at 8:00 A.M. and the 1 Mile Walk will begin at 8:30 A.M.

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While we hope you can be there in person, you can also choose a virtual option and share your personal photos with us on our Facebook event page. This is a great opportunity for a friends and family morning of fun while supporting the families and children at Kids Kampus.

Finally, I would like to introduce the newest member of our Development Team. Alicia Bowers has joined us as the Volunteer and Event Specialist. Alicia will be leading our fundraising events, as well as working directly with all volunteer and interns. We are so thrilled she chose Pathfinder Services!

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Program Spotlight

$1,000,000 in Funding

AWS Foundation announced that Pathfinder Services is a recipient of Vantage Grant funding and will receive $1 million over the next five years. This funding process challenges providers to evaluate existing programs and provides an opportunity to transform how they support the disability community.

AWS Foundation has enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about Pathfinder Services and to share their vision of enhancing individual choice and increased independence," says Patti Hays, AWS Foundation CEO."Pathfinders has demonstrated that they listen to their staff, clients, and families a”s they look at providing even more choice-driven opportunities for those they serve.

We will implement a five-year plan that will expand and enhance services with a commitment to redefining quality and program impact using Person-Centered Thinking principles. We believe that life-changing outcomes result from focusing on people over processes and systems. This philosophy will drive everything that we do for the people we support and how we develop and invest in the people we employ.

This news comes at a perfect time as we recently completed strategic planning that refined our mission to strengthen communities by enabling people with disabilities and economic challenges to achieve autonomy, inclusion, and stability.

I am grateful for this opportunity,” says Danielle Tips, President and CEO of Pathfinder Services. “This grant will allow us to look at resources differently; exploring new options such as technology, adaptive devices, and natural supports that will allow individuals access to choose from a multitude o”f support options based on their vision of a good life.

Program Spotlight

Eliminating Sub-Minimum Wage

We officially requested of the Department of Labor to be withdrawn from future 14(c) certifications effective July 30th, 2021.

"Since 1938, 14(c) certificates from the U.S. Department of Labor have allowed employers to pay individuals with disabilities less than the federal or state minimum wage that is mandated for all other workers." (APSE 2020). This 80-year practice was designed to incentivize employers to accommodate workers with disabilities that impair their productivity by paying them a piece rate instead of an hourly wage for the work they perform. This practice became a staple in “Sheltered Workshops” operated by disability service organizations across the nation. Such workshops were intended to create opportunities when there otherwise was little for the people with disabilities in the employment market. While this arrangement was well-intentioned many such organizations eventually found it philosophically at odds with their missions.

We believe there is a better way to create dignified work for people with disabilities and has spent decades advocating for them in the competitive employment market while also treating everyone working in our manufacturing department as regular employees. The organization decided 5 years ago to figure out how to eliminate sub-minimum wages and pay people in a fair manner without suffering financial losses. During that period, Pathfinder retooled its processes and rethought its supports, testing productivity against time studies that gave it the confidence to eliminate the use of piece-rate work and the sub-minimum wage it typically resulted in. This move is part of Pathfinder Services' commitment to redefining quality and program impact using Person-Centered Thinking principles. The organization believes that life-changing outcomes result from focusing on people over processes and systems. This philosophy will drive everything that Pathfinder does for the people it supports.

Mourning the loss of one of our founders

David L. Brewer, one of our founding fathers passed away on September 9. A local attorney, David was very involved in the Huntington Community for many years, and we were able to express our sympathy to his family and thank them for “sharing” him with us, especially in the beginning years. He was committed to those with disabilities, and we are very grateful for everything he did to get Pathfinder Services started nearly 56 years ago. He was a former board member and was the recipient of the Herbert D. LaMont award in 1999. Recently, we were able to sit down with the founding fathers and have video footage of them sharing about the early days. We are thankful that we have this bit of history archived. Our deepest sympathy goes to his family.

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5 Ways You Can Get Involved

GIVE

Your financial support makes what we do possible, by filling the gap between government support and the actual cost it takes to serve people with barriers.

VOLUNTEER

No matter your interests or passion, there are opportunities to make a difference in the lives of our friends.

DONATE

In-kind gifts of paint, pencils, craft paper, and more go a long way to inspire new artists and young learners.

PARTNER

Monthly giving provides reliable revenue and helps sustain our work.

VISIT

Attend an event, visit one of our sites, and bring your friends! This is the best way to see our mission up-close.

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