I am proud to serve as the Secretary on the Board of Directors for ConnectAbility, Inc. This organization is dedicated to the inclusion of individuals with disabilities, helping them feel valued and empowered. I come from a background in Special Education through a local school system, and I direct many parents and students to ConnectAbility. My role in education is identifying preschool students with delays in development, and many times parents are devastated to learn that their child might be different. But different isn't less. Different isn't worse. Different is just that - different. We are all different and ConnectAbility seeks to to help all people find their commonality among many differences. Attend just one event (from workshops, fundraisers, community events, or respite events) and you'll feel a sense of purpose in your own life and the lives of others that you just can't get elsewhere.
ConnectAbility is truly one of the most amazing organizations I have had the privilege to know. They do so many amazing things for this community!
ConnectAbility is by far, the best nonprofit I have ever had the honor of working with. The community outreach they offer, the access to events and activities they provide to people who would otherwise never have is what I love most about ConnectAbility. I have been blessed to share my gift and joy of running with someone who in unable to do so herself. Sharing races and moments with Angel has been life changing for me and none of this would be possible without ConnectAbility.
My special needs teen daughter enjoys the social events coordinated and sponcered by ConnectAbility.
We are beyond grateful for their invaluable volunteer service!
ConnectAbility is a wonderful organization that provides support to children and adults with disabilities (and their families) - but they do so much more. While they provide events for families to attend, sibling support groups, parent events, and fundraising opportunities, the true goal of ConnectAbility is to empower individuals to use their abilities to make the world a better place.
As a participant, you get to experience a variety of activities, like a talent show, movie nights, spring carnival, VBS in the summer, a costume contest, and a Christmas party. Other opportunities include the Thousand Words project, where participants are paired with photographers to produce artwork that speaks when words are often lacking, or the Race for a Reason, where participants are paired with athletes to complete in running, biking, and swimming events around Georgia. As a volunteer, you get the unique opportunity to work with individuals with disabilities, but soon, you start to see them as we see everyone else - for their abilities and their contributions.
If you are looking for a place to volunteer your time, or if you are looking for a place to experience true joy, both can be found at ConnectAbility.
Connectabillity is awesome you learn so much just from helping out people with physical and mental disabilities and it helps them feel good about there selves same as volunteer
ConnectAbility is an amazing organization that helps my children feel accepted for who they are and not judged for their differences. They welcome everyone and even do everything they can to help parents/caregivers deal with some of the challenges of taking care of someone with a disability.
Exceptional Non Profit Serving North Georgia and those with Special Needs.
ConnectAbility offers support, compassion and care as well as educational services to those with Special Needs and their family’s.
Connectability is an awesome organization!! They support people with special needs and their families in many ways - socially, emotionally, physically, etc. They are loving and caring to all!
Wow, where do I begin? We were one of the first ConnectAbility families that’s started when they were Sidekicks almost 15 years ago. My daughter was 3 and she is now almost 18! ConnectAbility has brought us from little ones going to play at Halloween Gatherings and Santa Clause to Star Wars Prom and Thousand Words Photography projects. My daughter and my entire family have been blessed by the monthly events and respites to the fancy Gala’s to the parent meetings and sibling workshops! My daughter has been able to learn and grow with Other people like her and always felt welcome. We are blessed to be a small part of the ConnectAbility Family!
Connectability has been great for my family. My granddaughter would not let me leave her when we first began. Now she is so independent at these events. The staff and volunteers are always so helpful with resources available, giudance, and giving the parent's something to look forward to. We are so blessed to have Jacqueline Daniels and Connectability. I read every day about someone who has no respite. I wish every community could have a Connectability group.
WOW! What a wonderful opportunity for disabled AND their caregivers. My family has been involved with connectability since the very beginning when it began as Sidekicks, and have been thrilled at how many ways it has grown. They meet once a month for super fun activities such as Halloween contests, Santa at christmas, pool party, and even a prom which has to be the most fun of all. The president is the most dedicated and caring person, not only taking time to get to know all the participants, but their families as well. Of course, I was hesitant to leave my special needs nephew in the beginning. There were plenty of volunteers, all interacting and taking care of everything. Now, I love dropping him off and going for a nice dinner with my husband. I am so happy this program is available close enough for us to be able to attend.
This organization is AMAZING! I have volunteered with this organization several times in the last month during various events and I am continuously blown away after each one by the love that just fills every single experience involving this group! It is a blessing to serve alongside the ConnectAbility team as they pour out their hearts to an incredibly beautiful population and it is even more amazing to be blessed by the ConnectAbility children and families themselves. Everything about the work this group does is beautiful and I'm so honored to have the chance to play a small part in it!
We have been with Connectability since my son was 4 years old, He is now 17.
Connectability have us an outlet to get with other kids his age and be able to connect on there level..
The program has grown tremendously over the past years.
I would strongly connect any child or adult and third family with this program to get plugged in for the help that might need their need
I have a special needs child and this organization has provided support and connections to our community! We have made friends and feel included.
Connectability has been a tremendous blessing to Dahlonega and surrounding area for many years, providing fun events for special needs individuals of all ages! I have been truly blessed to be able to participate as a volunteer for over 10 years, and it only gets better!!
ConnectAbility has helped me get to know many people in our community through many fun events. It's given me a place on its board; to help me feel important, and needed. It does this for me and multiple others in my situation. ConnectAbility also helps bring awareness to those who are not injured or impaired .
I first became aware of ConnectAbility when I was participating in a local leadership program. We selected ConnectAbility as our non-profit of choice in a project that we completed as part of our program. We chose ConnectAbility due to the tremendous impact that it has on the many families and individuals that ConnectAbility serves. With a very limited budget and staff, the outreach that ConnectAbility is capable of delivering is amazing and is very recognized in our community and indeed throughout the state of Georgia. Once our leadership team had completed our project, which was to work with our local county government and ConnectAbility to provide a new playground to serve people of all abilities, I had the opportunity to join the board of ConnectAbility. For the last year, I have had the honor of participating first-hand in the work of ConnectAbility and have witnessed the many events and services which are incredibly positive contributions to our community. The North Georgia area is fortunate to have the dedicated resources that Jacqueline Daniel and her team represent.
My 22-year-old son (with special needs) has been able to participate in Talent shows, 5K's, and monthly parties that he enjoys while his dad and I are given a break from caregiving. The staff and volunteers of ConnectAbility have a way of interacting with their participants and families that make us all feel special.
ConnectAbility is a Team effort and we are all a part of the team.
As a special needs parent of a adult daughter after she graduated school if felt like we were all alone. We found Connectability three years ago. They gave us not only a much needed monthly respite night but we made so many life long friends in the parent group and not only with them but we made friends with the volunteers and leaders of Connectability. They also offer sibling workshops to our other children and it really helped her to understand she was not alone in her feelings or left out. Connectability is changing lives in our special needs community. I am so blessed to have found them. If you know anyone who is a guardian, parent, or caregiver of a child or adult with special needs I recommend Connectability. They can be a life line to them.
As a Parent of a young teenager with special needs, ConnectAbility not only offers us a valued night off but also the opportunity for our daughter to meet and make new friends that are her age group. They are truly a blessing to this community, we are eternally grateful for their continued support of the Special Needs Community.
My son has been a part of Sidekicks - and now Connectability for almost 7 years. From his first days of coming to a gathering and watching from the fringes to now being the cheerleader/life of the party, he has always felt welcome and we felt he was safe. His love for Jacque and her gang is visible anytime their names are mentioned. James and Jacque/Jacque and James - what wonderful examples to the community.
ConnectAbility and Sidekicks are amazing! My daughter and I had the privilege of visiting the Sidekicks respite program and observe what a blessing it is to the people served and their families - and also to those volunteers who help make it possible. It is a loving, caring environment where people are treated with dignity, respect, and just valued for who they are. There is fun, crafts, snacks, Bible stories, music - and parents/caregivers get some needed rest during this time. Jacquelyn Daniel started all of this and has some of the most dedicated volunteers. It is hard work but is a passion of hers to help people with disabilities.
We have been truely blessed to have the opportunity to participate in all of the activities that Connectability provides to our extended community. Connectability addresses so many areas of great need for us including respite for individuals of all ages with special needs, share groups for caregivers and families, organizational and volunteer support for Special Olympics, and the development and support of special needs ministries in non-denominational places of worship. Jacqueline Daniel has created, nutured, and expanded Connectability in order to reach that invisible population - the often forgotten and neglected population of those with disabilities. As a parent of a child with Down syndrome, I can honestly tell you that I can rest easier knowing that my child has a place in our community thanks to Connectablity. I will always be grateful for Jacqueline and for Connectability.
Jacque Daniel has an incredible heart for those with special needs. I have watched her passion as a volunteer develop in this area since she was teenager. Since those many years ago she has prepared herself both educationally and as a young leader for her most recent endeavor of founding ConnectAbility, a not for profit organization focusing specifically on those with special needs. Her vision extends from educating and connecting churches of all sizes and denominations, to participation in school systems and in the Special Olympics. Great things are in store for this organization where countless individuals and their extended families will be strengthened and encouraged. With so many competing intangibles for our time and finances, Jacque Daniel’s passion and excitement for what she believes is not only a career, but a calling, separates her from the rest.
Paul Bates, Pastor, Author, & ConnectAbility Volunteer
What an incredible opportunity to serve children and adults with special needs! ConnectAbility is led by Jacque Daniel, a seasoned professional in this field. She had the credentials and more importantly, the heart, passion, and drive to make dreams a reality for people who are in great need. She has created an event each month called Sidekicks, in which special needs children and adults can come and enjoy many creative life experiences. The special needs attendees are treated with respect, love and the specific care that they individually require.
My friend's daughter has been with Sidekicks for the past three years and the growth I have seen in her is amazing! It comes across in her attitude, in her smile, in her energy! I am looking forward to getting a chance to volunteer with Sidekicks sometime in the near future after seeing the amazing things they help to accomplish!
I have been a volunteer with Sidekicks for many years. As a special ed teacher, I have seen few organizations available that are so helpful to the families of children with special needs. I have enjoyed watching the children in program mature and gain social skills. Last year I took guardianship of a 10 year old with special needs. Several of the parents have helped me with naviagating thru some programs that were unfamiliar to me. So, I have seen both sides of the organization-both as a volunteer and a new parent. I highly recommend this organization for families who have children with special needs.
I was invited about 5 years ago to bring my daughter to Sidekicks and our family was instantly welcomed with an incredible amount of warmth and kindess that we so desperately needed at that time in our lives. My daughter, Fiona, LOVES Sidekicks and her two typically developing brothers also enjoyed participated in the fun Friday evenings once/month. It is difficult to get a babysitter to watch three young children, esp when one has special needs, and this time also afforded my husband and I a few hours to go to dinner and get a needed break. Some months, we would stay and volunteer as well and found we enjoyed that equally as much. I began work on my Masters degree in Special Education about this same time and then spent the next two Summers getting to volunteer to help with Sidekicks' VBS program. I truly think that perhaps tied with my wedding week and the weeks of my children's births, these are the two happiest weeks of my life thus far. The entire group of Sidekicks, led by example by Jacques Daniel, is the most joyous group of people I have ever met- people that I know God put on this planet to make a better place- and it is contagious. As I am a special education teacher and have been involved with Sidekicks for a few years, I was recently asked to join the Board of Directors for this organization.
ConnectAbility and Sidekicks is a much needed organization providing social interaction for adults and children with disabilities, while at the same time giving parents and caregivers much needed respite. Jacque Daniel has skill, experience (I should know, she worked with me years ago as a teen volunteer in a respite program I began in Gwinnett County!) and a natural ability to relate to individuals with disabilities. She's a dedicated, hard-worker with a heart to touch both the people she serves and their families. Any life would be enhanced by the services ConnectAbility provides and you are sure to leave with a smile on your face, eagerly awaiting the next opportunity to socialize with your friends or to take a breather knowing your loved one is having fun in a safe, caring, enriching environment!
I began volunteering with Sidekicks last year and have thoroughly enjoyed every opportunity to interact with this special group of people. My young son and I both look forward to our monthly get-togethers. In the beginning I thought I would be doing a good thing for this group - it turns out I think I get more rewards than I give. I know the parents and caregivers appreciate a few hours of free time and Jacque always plans a fun evening of activities for us to share. Looking forward to future opportunities to participate!
I began to take my children to the Sidekicks Respite program in December 2009. I had heard about the program for several months before I decided to check it out. I was hesitant to leave my special needs child with people I did not know. I stayed the entire time at that first respite event and watched as all three of my children had wonderful time. Every volunteer was so enthusiastic to be there and really seemed to genuinely love all the participants. After meeting Jacque Daniel and all the volunteers I felt completely at ease with the level of care my children would receive during the respite events. Many of the volunteers and participants have become extended family for us, and a single mom with no family in the area these connections have become invaluable to me. I would highly recommend this organization.
I have volunteered with Connectability through their Sidekicks program for 8 years and not only have I been touched by the magnitude of the organization in such a small community but also have changed my understanding of children and adults with special needs. Every month is a party with my friends. The events are different than any event imaginable. There is always a positive and uplifting atmosphere.
My son ELie became a part of Side Kicks in 2006. At first his 'participation' consisted of sitting in a corner on the floor watching and eating if given food. Gradually, he has come to recognize friends and favorite people.
Now he is a star with hsi very own front page pictures, enjoying dancing and socializing with his peers.
Sidekicks has welcomed him and helped him grow, whether he chose to sit in the corner and observe, or be an active participant.
We are blessed to have the dedicated people who have pushed forward to create this growing group. Thank you.