Filtered by category: Spotlight Clear Filter

Spotlight on Florida Businesses for National Disability Employment Awareness Month

This blog post was written by Cameron Rolston, SportsAbility Alliance Social Media Intern.

Spotlight on Florida Businesses for National Disability Employment Awareness Month

In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, I spent October learning more about Disability Employment Awareness throughout different areas of Florida. I had the chance to talk to two companies in Florida - Inspire of Central Florida and Future Pathways -  that assist people with disabilities learn job readiness skills, master important life skills, and help them get jobs.  

Read More

Backwards Walking May Be More Helpful Than You Think

What is the most common cause of long-term disability amongst adults? Stroke (National Hospital Care Survey Demonstration Projects: Stroke Inpatient Hospitalizations, 2019). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke. 610,000 of them being their first new stroke. Subsequently, strokes can reduce mobility in more than half of stroke survivors aged 65 and older (Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics, 2022). The aftermath can affect your ability to transfer, ambulate (fancy term for walking), prevent you from doing activities of daily living, living independently, and increase your risk of falling.

Backward walking activates more muscles in comparison to forwardfeet walking  walking, targets knee flexion and helps to activate those muscles
that haven't been firing correctly because of the aftermath of the 

Read More

Leadership Spotlight: Gordon Palmer

Gordon Palmer currently serves as the president of the Board of Directors for SportsAbility Alliance (formerly Florida Disabled Outdoors Association). Since FDOA was founded in 1990, Gordon has been involved as a participant, volunteer, and board member. His first exposure to the organization was through the SportsAbility Expo, and he was instantly captivated by FDOA’s mission. Throughout the years, the SportsAbility Expo has remained Gordon’s favorite FDOA program.

Gordon's advice to newly injured people...

“... be strong, get an education and get to work. It's worth it.”Photo of Gordon Palmer

When he was 18, Gordon was injured in a car accident two weeks before his high school graduation, which left him a quadriplegic. He says he was blessed to have the support of his family and friends after the accident and would not have made it as far as he has without their support. Gordon used his injury as a catalyst to begin advocating for others with disabilities. Over the years, he has been active in various non-profit organizations, including the Center for Independent living of North Florida (Abilities 1st) and the Florida Transportation Disadvantaged Commission. Gordon stated, “My advice would be to someone who is newly injured to be strong, get an education and get to work. It's worth it.” He wants others to know that there are also many organizations and agencies, like Vocational Rehabilitation, that will assist you. 

Read More

Leadership Spotlight: Bill Redmon

Bill Redmon currently serves as a board member for the Florida Disabled Outdoors Association. He is a retired Camp Director, a team-building consultant, and owner of Wild Creek Adventures. Bill is also an advocate of the Removing Barriers Initiative and got involved with FDOA at an adaptive kayaking seminar that opened the conversation for his future involvement. He has been a crucial part of organizing multiple events at FDOA, but his favorite so far has to be the SportsAbility Sampler at the Family Café.

For Bill Inclusion Means...

"Being aware of each person as a person and intentionally including them in the joys of life"Image of Bill Redmon

Besides FDOA, Bill is the founder of StirringWaters, which he created based on his vision of providing a safe place where no one felt left out sitting on the deck, but everyone would be able to get into the fun. StirringWaters is a waterpark for people with disabilities. He wants to provide a safe space that is fully and intentionally inclusive for all types of disabilities.

Read More

Leadership Spotlight: Jeff Douglas

In 1991 while Jeffery (Jeff) Douglas was working at the Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC) at Florida State University, FDOA founder David Jones reached out to him in hopes of getting students with disabilities involved in recreation. Jeff has been participating and volunteering with FDOA ever since. Throughout the years, Jeff’s favorite FDOA event has been SportsAbility. He served as an advisory board member since August 2003 and joined the board of directors as the Director at Large in November 2020.

Photo of Jeff Douglas
Jeff's Idea of the perfect world

“Where there is a true concern for peace, patience, respect for each other without judging, and love.”


Read More

Leadership Spotlight: Bliss Wilson

Bliss Wilson currently serves as the Florida Disabled Outdoors Association board secretary. Bliss graduated in 2019 from Florida State University with a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology. Since becoming a part of the team in 2015, Bliss has provided crucial support with all FDOA programs and devoted her time as a volunteer for Miracle Sports and SportsAbility.

Photo of Bliss Wilson
Inclusion means...

"To me, inclusion is when each person feels welcomed and accepted."

After participating in Youth Leadership Tallahassee in 2015, Bliss’s journey with FDOA began as she was placed on the board. Having volunteered with organizations that served people with disabilities, Bliss felt that “the FDOA board was the perfect fit” for her and her interests. She started as a junior board member, and has worked her way up to becoming secretary. Also, Bliss began volunteering at multiple events organized by FDOA and found joy in providing sports opportunities for all.

Read More

Leadership Spotlight: Kevin Taylor

Kevin Taylor serves as the Florida Disabled Outdoors Association’s Communications and Marketing Director. Kevin is a military veteran, a graduate of Tallahassee Community College with a degree in Drafting and Design, and a small business owner. With a background in assisting non-profits with design, digital marketing, and systems improvement, Kevin has been instrumental in implementing FDOA’s virtual programs in 2020.

photo of Kevin Taylor
Favorite FDOA Program...

“The focus of the ALLOUT program is to get people into nature with a since of adventure. That is the kind of experience I like to have.”

When Kevin found FDOA in 2019, he was searching for a way to apply his marketing and communication skills to “something that felt meaningful.” He said finding FDOA was “divine timing” because “the past year has been tumultuous, and my digital marketing skills have been put to use by FDOA to continue to fulfill their mission.”

Read More

Leadership Spotlight: Kristy Carter

Kristy Carter - FDOA Board MemberKristy Carter has been volunteering with FDOA since 1997, when she got involved through a class project at Florida State University. She is active in all FDOA events, including Miracle Sports and SportsAbility. Her favorite FDOA event is SportsAbility, about which she said, “That is how I got hooked. The variety of programs offered and the amount of people that it can serve.” She worked as the Inclusion Specialist for FDOA from 2007 to 2011. Kristy has been on FDOA’s board since 2003. She served as the board secretary from 2011 to 2018 and has served as the vice-president since 2018.

Inclusion means...

“ALL people no matter abilities. Each individual would be respected and valued in society.”

Outside of FDOA, Kristy has worked as the Assistant Program Supervisor at the City of Tallahassee Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Affairs since 2012. She received her bachelor’s degree in Recreation and Leisure Services Administration from FSU and is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS). She specializes in training and advocacy within the Tallahassee and surrounding communities.

Read More