The following content is created in consultation with Oak Hill. It does not reflect the work or opinions of NBC Connecticut's editorial staff. To learn more about Oak Hill, visit oakhillct.org.
There’s Harry, an ironworker who was left wheelchair-bound after an accident on the job. Janice, who was born with Townes-Brocks Syndrome, causing her to lose her vision. And Edwin, who had a hard time finding a high school that understood his learning needs. What do they have in common? They all went to Oak Hill for help.
Oak Hill, a private nonprofit, provides services to children and adults with developmental, intellectual and physical disabilities across 19 distinct programs in 155 program sites located across 77 towns in Connecticut.
Harry became the first member of Chapter 126 Sports & Fitness, an Oak Hill center which provides health and wellness services to those with physical disabilities through fitness and sports programming, promoting lifelong health and personal empowerment. With the help of his skilled trainers, Harry reached his original goal of being able to walk again.
For the blind and visually impaired, like Janice, Oak Hill’s programs focus on enabling individuals to live as independently as possible, offering specialized housing, workplace training, and assistive technology. They do the same for the deaf and hearing impaired.
Oak Hill’s extensive services for intellectual disabilities cover everything from workplace skills and training, to housing, in-home assistance, training for caregivers, transportation, and more. The Center for Relationship and Sexual Education is committed to broadening access to important sexual health information and addresses the overwhelming vulnerability to sexual abuse experienced by the intellectual and developmental disability community.
And there’s much more to what Oak Hill does. For example, Oak Hill School, where Edwin finally found educators that understood his needs, is a state-approved program that serves students with moderate to severe disabilities including autism, emotional disabilities, behavioral challenges and students with multiple disabilities. There are even two summer camps for youth and adults with disabilities, which are packed with adapted recreational activities such as swimming, hiking and boating.
Oak Hill’s vision is for people with disabilities to be able to achieve their full potential, engage in their community and meaningful relationships and fulfill their physical, intellectual, emotional, economic, social, and spiritual needs.
Find out more about Oak Hill and all the work they do here.