July 2018

Disability Resource Library July Newsletter

Summer is for everyone! For this month’s issue, we share some resources that encourage you to get outside and enjoy the beauty our wonderful state has to offer. From your very own backyard to any number of West Virginia state parks and recreation areas, there truly is something for everyone. We are excited to introduce this month’s Child Champion, Cathy Coontz-Griffith, Executive Director of the Taylor County Collaborative Family Resource Network.


Featured Resources

All featured resources are available to borrow from the DRL
To browse more resources, click here.

Backyards and Butterflies: Ways to Include Children with Disabilities in Outdoor Activities

Backyards and Butterflies book cover

This colorful, profusely illustrated book shows parents and others who work with children of various disabilities on how to design and build simple, inexpensive assistive technology devices that open the world of outdoor experiences for these children.

Check out Backyards and Butterflies

Celebrate Nature!

Celebrate Nature! is filled with hands-on activities to revive children's connection with nature. Each seasonal section-autumn, winter, spring, and summer - introduces woven themes with countless ways to integrate nature into your classroom. Chapters encourage reflection of your own memories of the seasons and provide activities that address science and discovery, math, blocks and building, language arts, reading, writing, dramatic play, art, and music. Also included are sample letters and suggested at-home activities to support family participation in this important learning.

Check out Celebrate Nature!

Catch Mitts Set

a photo of the catch mitts

This popular indoor/outdoor game helps guarantee successful catching. The ball sticks firmly to the hand paddles, catching almost any toss from any direction. The circular paddles have an easy adjusting fabric strap. Includes two paddles and one ball. A great idea for outdoor summer fun!

Check out the Catch Mitts Set

A Guide to Accessible Recreation in West Virginia

West Virginia is fortunate to have many accessible locations where everyone including children, older adults and individuals with disabilities can have fun! You can find information on these attractions through various state agencies and on-line, but this guide is an attempt to put as much information as possible in one place.

In addition to site listings, the Guide includes other information on travel in West Virginia, such as public and commercial transportation providers, medical equipment and supply vendors, 24-hour emergency care centers and dialysis centers. You also can find information on Convention and Visitor Bureaus, Visitor and Welcome Centers and Fairs and Festivals across the state. The entire guide is available for download for free!

Navigation Tips

Most of us take the ability to move in our home and community for granted, but for someone with a disability, even the smallest step on a curb can prevent them from accessing normal places. Being mobile enhances a child’s ability to learn, interact with others, and participate in the community. A variety of mobility aids and devices are available to provide support, motion and access, as well as assist them in leading active and fulfilling lives. Contact the WV Assistive Technology Program at the Center for Excellence in Disabilities for more information.

A Child's Champion

a photo of Cathy Coontz-Griffith

Meet Cathy Coontz-Griffith, MA, MS, PSII, Executive Director of the Taylor County Collaborative Family Resource Network. She has been working with children and teens for the past 29 years, both as a clinician working with drug and alcohol dependent teens and then later as a substance abuse prevention specialist. In 2015, she was awarded the Excellence in Prevention lifetime achievement award and in 2017 was presented with another lifetime achievement award for Students Against Destructive Decisions. West Virginia is her home and she is dedicated to the well-being of the people who live here. She truly believes that West Virginia’s youth are resilient, strong, and imaginative. “Seeing youth take leadership roles in their communities and being able to be an educator and supportive of their efforts is the wind beneath my wings,” says Cathy. She leaves us with her favorite quote from Helen Keller - "Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow."

Paths for Parents Program

Paths for Parents

Navigating systems as a parent or caregiver of a child with disabilities can be confusing and overwhelming. The Paths for Parents program provides information and support through three unique services in effort to empower parents in becoming real partners within the medical home.Services in this program include: The Disability Resource Library, Parent Network Specialists, and Nutrition Services. To learn more, visit http://p4p.cedwvu.org/.

The Disability Resource Library (DRL) provides educational information and resource materials to individuals with disabilities, family members, and practitioners throughout the state of West Virginia.Resources available to loan include:

  • Fiction and Non-fiction Books (children, adolescent and adult)
  • Reference Materials
  • DVDs
  • Assistive technology devices & adapted toys
  • Teaching and training curricula
  • Demonstration kits and Medical models
  • Disability Awareness Puppets

With two locations and knowledgeable staff, the Disability Resource Library is committed to supporting parents, educators, and the general public in finding appropriate, quality materials and services related to disability.The libraries are free of charge for the general public throughout the state and provide an online request and mail-out service.