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The Ability Center finding solutions to provide services to Toledo community

300 wellness calls have been made in the past two weeks and puppy training has gone virtual.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Right now, The Ability Center of Greater Toledo is making sure that our neighbors with disabilities still can get what they need is access to everything becomes more difficult.

"You know, they aren't able to go to those grocery stores in order to get the PPE," Mallory Crooks with The Ability Center said.

The Ability Center is continuing to provide services and as people are becoming more isolated, helping with more than 300 wellness calls in the past two weeks.

"We don't want to get into very specific needs because everyone is handling things very differently, but just giving them a call and saying 'hey, The Ability Center is looking out for you,'" Crooks said.

On the organization's website, they are making sure people know how they can stay connected from home, directing people to Netflix Party, Facebook and Houseparty so they can interact while still staying safe.

Crooks says one of the biggest ways people can make a difference for all their neighbors, but especially those with disabilities is to simply reach out.

"For you to put yourself out there as a neighbor or a friend or just give someone a call to say 'hey how are you doing?' neighbor to neighbor, you might not realize the impact you're making in someone's life," Crooks said.

Some of the center's programs have had to get creative, including their service dog training, which is now being done via Zoom.

Right now, the goal is to get them used to pretty much everything that might seem unusual, so Puppy Program Coordinator Penny Miller has gotten creative.

"I would get dressed up in SCUBA gear I would have my snorkel and my little flippers on my feet and I sat down with the puppy and we played fishing together," Miller said.

Even at 4 months, these pups can't afford to get behind because they need to graduate like the other puppy classes before them.

RELATED: Toledo library expanding its 'Sit, Stay, Read' program

RELATED: The Ability Center hosts open house for the community to view new K-9 training center

RELATED: Ability Center aims to make Toledo most disability friendly city in U.S.


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