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Individual Supported by ADAPT Explores His Interests and Expands His Independence

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ADAPT’s vast catalog of recreational and educational offerings is one of the most unique characteristics of our organization. We offer hundreds of classes centered around art, music, history, life skills, and more—and this individual shows how our Adult Learning Center participants can discover all of them.

Steven has never limited himself to just one interest. As an attendee of ADAPT’s TOP (Transitional Opportunity Program) community volunteer program, Steven is based in the Bronx. However, he has not limited himself to only certain interests based on his location.

Years ago, Steven began taking a Dance Class at ADAPT’s Grand Concourse location. With the help of a former ADAPT Theatre Specialist, Gabbi, he developed an interest in tap dance, which then evolved into a serious passion. Noticing Steven’s interest, Gabbi helped him to identify the right tap shoes and purchase them. From there, Steven was selected for the 2020 “ADAPT’s Got Talent” show, where he took first place for his spectacular tap performance to “ABC” by the Jackson 5 and won a $300 cash prize. Most recently, Steven took to the stage at the Cozy Coffeehouse variety show to show off his skills.

However, dancing is not the only onstage activity Steven enjoys. He has also been very active in the ADAPT Theatre Group, where he held roles in “As You Like It,” “Almost, Maine,” and the upcoming United Voices play. He is constantly honing his skills, participating in both ADAPT theatre classes and a three-day Community-Based Theatre workshop led by the People’s Theatre Project.

In addition to his artistic pursuits, Steven is an active self-advocate. He was a consultant for the NYU Disability Studies Course and regularly offers his insights as a person supported at ADAPT’s Pre-Service Orientation.

“I like to challenge myself,” Steven said of the many activities he participates in. Any time he hears of a new activity, outing, or performance he is interested in, he signs himself up.

Steven is a participant in the Transitional Opportunity Program (TOP), which allows participants to attend ADAPT’s Adult Learning Centers while also volunteering at outside organizations.

Though Steven lives in the Bronx, he doesn’t let his location limit the activities he is able to participate in. When Steven wants to attend an event in a part of the city he may be unfamiliar with, such as the NYU Disability Studies class he consulted for, ADAPT’s Travel Training Specialists are able to help him get where he needs to be.

“I got more independent from the travel trainer,” Steven said. “Nelly [the Travel Training Specialist who assisted Steven] showed me which line to go or which direction.”

Steven is the true embodiment of a self-advocate, taking the initiative to do whatever piques his interest. Other activities he pursued include photography, swimming at the Lawrence Ave. Pool, attending performances at Lincoln Center, and countless more.

At ADAPT, our ultimate goal is to improve the quality of life for the people we support. That often means increasing individuals’ independence, whether that is inside or outside ADAPT. Though Steven used to attend program regularly, he now is employed outside of ADAPT and is becoming more independent day by day.

“I do dining service and serve meals to guests at the Osborn Senior Living,” Steven said of his job at a local retirement community. “It makes me feel happy and proud of myself.”

Steven received high praise from his supervisor and was asked to work additional days at the senior living home. As he becomes more independent, Steven will continue to volunteer through ADAPT’s TOP program, participate in our theatre productions, and go on outings with our Community Outreach team.

“I spent a lot of time in the program and I learned a lot of different things,” Steven concluded. “It’s time for me to move on to other things now.”

ADAPT is excited to see where Steven’s future takes him, including his feature in the upcoming United Voices, a documentary theatre piece about the lives of people with disabilities. We can’t wait to see the places he’ll go!



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