With innovation and determination, distance doesn’t always mean disconnected.
As with most gatherings, LADD events and programming were canceled or postponed starting in mid-March due to COVID-19. As an organization that aims to connect adults with developmental disabilities to their community, this seemed almost antithetical to our mission. No more Fit For Life classes? What about Independent Resident Council meetings? No Taking Flight Awards Dinner or Flying Pig Marathon?
But thanks to an investment in technology, made possible by LADD supporters over several years, distance didn’t necessarily mean we were disconnected. A new LADD Live event on Zoom, a virtual meeting platform, has brought dozens of individuals supported, staff members and community guests together. From painting tutorials to book clubs, a new activity or discussion takes place each week day and reminds us all we are just one click away from connecting with our community. The Independent Resident Council continues to meet virtually every week and helps decide activities for LADD Live.
When it comes to health and wellness, we’re not only focused on keeping the virus out of our community. We’re also working to bring fitness and healthy habits into the lives of each individual we support. LADD’s Fit For Life classes moved to Zoom and have offered a much-needed opportunity to get up and moving in workouts tailored to all abilities with minimal equipment.
During our recent Quaranteam Fitness Challenge, participants logged in to virtual classes, walked, ran, rolled, biked, balled and lifted every day. Around 100 individuals supported by LADD and employees completed 30 minutes of exercise each day or a 5K throughout a one-week period. While many completed the challenge alone or with roommates, working toward a collective goal and sharing our daily successes virtually provided a strong sense of unity across our entire community.
Beyond the numerous ways LADD has been offering virtual programming, individuals have also been live streaming worship services, seeing family and friends through FaceTime and going on virtual tours and trips to landmarks around the world. While it’s not the same as hosting in-person events, we’re thankful for the sense of connection fostered through virtual experiences.