SBVC Hosts Records Number of Attendees at Monthly IE Disabilities Collaborative Meetings

It has been no less than a cavalcade of attendees to the meetings by the Inland Empire Disabilities Collaborative (IEDC) — a large advocacy network for people with disabilities — at San Bernardino Valley College over the past few months, with each person boasting hearty smiles and sentimental echoes of their shared life experiences. Attendees with various ties to disabled services in the community have shown and continue to show their support in this SBVC cohort.

 SBVCBeginning with 111 attendees in January and 126 in March, the number of participants has continued to grow. The meetings have been a way to obtain information on the services, resources, and the Department of Rehabilitation program for those who are interested or involved in expanding or improving services to the community.

At the Collaborative’s meeting in May, State Director of Rehabilitation Joe Xavier spoke to the audience from his personal experiences. As one who himself is part of the very fabric of the disabled community — evinced by his membership in the California Council of the Blind and the American Council of the blind (as well as being nearly blind himself); he has been a perfect mouthpiece for the meetings. Jointly with the IEDC, Mr. Xavier seeks to further its mission to provide “equal opportunity, universal access, and full participation” for all those in the disabilities community.

Following Joe Xavier for June’s monthly meeting was Paula Pearlman, who presented at SBVC the pith of the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. The department’s mission is as valorous as its representatives: it aims to “protect the people of California from unlawful discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations,” as well as from “acts of hate violence and human trafficking.” Mrs. Pearlman provided the audience with the resources to move forward in resolution and hope under the roof of the IEDC.Joe Xavier, Director for the Department of Rehabilitation, with SBVC Workforce Development staff at the May IE Disabilities Collaborative Meeting.

 Joe Xavier, Director for the Department of Rehabilitation, with SBVC Workforce Development staff at the May IE Disabilities Collaborative Meeting.
We don’t know where the Inland Empire Disabilities Collaborative will be in one year or a decade, but we see where it’s heading: toward a united frontier for disabled services in this community. The meetings have been such a success that the coordinators will need to get more chairs in anticipation of next month’s crowd of attendees!