Written by Alyssa Wilson, University of Lynchburg Bonner Intern
It is often difficult for people with developmental and/or mental health disabilities to stay connected with caseworkers and generally make sure they are equipped with what they need.
Wall Opportunities and Wishes (WOW) aims to serve this population and meets needs that go above and beyond basic connection between clients and caseworkers, one of the organizations’ largest outreaches.
In this day and age it seems like everyone has a smartphone, however most people take this luxury for granted. WOW helps to equip those with developmental disabilities with Jitterbug flip phones that they are able to use to communicate with caseworkers and family about appointments, services and resources.
Through outreach to Department of Social Services offices and homeless-assistance programs, WOW has helped a number of individuals. For example, one of their clients was able to get into contact with family members in another state and find a safe, comfortable place to live amongst people they know.
WOW also helps people with funds for guardianship proceedings. Often those who experience developmental disabilities do not have the legal right or mental capacity to make decisions for themselves in a hospital setting.
Some individuals are lucky enough to have a family member or friend who serves as their legal guardian, but others must go through a court process to establish or transfer legal guardianship.
WOW assists these people with attorney funds, or other difficulties they may run into.
In addition to these services, the organization also upcyles, repairs and donates adaptive equipment like hospital beds, wheelchairs, patient lifts, shower trolleys, and more.
“When people rely on that from day-to-day it’s something that can be used by a number of people because the slings can be bought in different sizes,” says Rebecca Ledingham.
Finding solutions to difficulties when it comes to those with developmental disabilities is not a one-size fits all approach, every person has their own specific needs.
For example, children with autism will often bounce in order to regulate their nervous system.
WOW recently helped a client receive a new foam mattress.
The client, a teenage boy with autism, had previously worn out three spring mattresses due to his bouncing. With WOW’s help, he was able to get a new mattress that can withstand his needs.
WOW urges those with needs to specifically reach out to them and they will do their best to get those needs filled or be able to direct those to where they can receive assistance.
To donate items or learn more about Wall Opportunities and Wishes, visit their SHARE Greater Lynchburg profile.