Founded in 1969, the Whittier Area Parents’ Association for the Developmentally Handicapped (WAPADH) is a private, non-profit organization that supports individuals with a variety of lifelong disabilities including Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Down’s syndrome and related medical and/or behavioral disorders. Our history of achievements is the result of strong community and family support and an organizational culture that continually seeks to remove barriers and change the limiting cultural stereotypes long associated with this population. WAPADH currently serves people in the Southeast Los Angeles, San Gabriel Valley and North Orange County areas.
By Christina Ledesma
Every year the City of Whittier holds their annual Abilities Awareness Fair at the Whittier Community Center. The purpose of the fair is to inform the community about the resources available to individuals with disabilities. This year 30 exhibitors participated in the fair and provided information and workshops on emergency preparedness and employment. WAPADH’s Art Source also participated in the event and displayed consumer’s art. Two of WAPADH’s consumers Jeffrey Colbern and Alex Zuniga demonstrated their art work live at the event. Zuniga, who showcased her animation drawings at the fair, has been participating in the art program for a little over a year now. With the skills that she has learned in Art Source she has been able to work on her goal of becoming an animator. “I think that the art studio helped me with drawing, sketching, painting, and coloring skills that we are doing with are projects. I hope to find a job at the art store in Downtown Disney in Orange County” said Zuniga. Zuniga has enjoyed doing animation since she was very young and was inspired by watching Disney animators. Zuniga’s art demonstration at the fair was her first time doing live animation. Through the art program Zuniga has not only improved her skills as an artist but has also helped build her confidence. “I was excited at the beginning and got a little nervous, but as the day went on I didn’t get as nervous” mentioned Zuniga.
WAPADH offers monthly opportunities for individuals and their families or service providers to come in and brainstorm communication needs. We can discuss equipment, strategy, communication skills and social skills. Volunteers will assist you in thinking outside of the box. You are welcome to come one time, or every month. We only ask that you MAKE A RESERVATION ahead of time as we limit our list to the number of volunteers that we have each month so that we can meet your needs.
For a reservation contact Cheyanne at 562-946-0467 ext. 106. For a list of future dates, click here.
Each session is one hour with two time blocks available. Workshops are FREE!