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As October comes to an end and the fall grows colder, our Consumers greet us with their red noses and smiling faces. Although it’s cold outside they know where they can come to the Ability Center see a warm smile and a friendly face. Some meet with their advocates, some meet with their life skills coach, and some meet with their representative payee. Some just stop in to say hello. No matter the reason, they know that here at the Ability Center they are always welcome. We do our best to make our Consumers as comfortable as possible and treat them like family; for some, we are the only family they have. As winter approaches, we look forward to spending these cold months warming hearts and bringing holiday cheer to all our Consumers!




·         We’re happy to report that our annual report is complete. Although it is not due until December 31, 2009, we wanted to complete it early to be able to focus on our work plans for this fiscal year. The report’s development provided us with an opportunity to analyze the accomplishments, obstacles, and lessons of the past fiscal year, and the data analysis proved that we’re not only growing, but also we’re providing more efficient service. We still have some areas of weakness, that through detailed work plans, we’re going to address and improve for the good of our Consumers.

·         We continued our Outreach, this month focusing in Dońa Ana County as we prepared our work plans for Outreach into our catchment area for this fiscal year. We have discovered that aggressive Outreach to an underserved population has increased service requests for Independent Living. While in some organizations, the program participants go to them (and we experience that), we understand that if we really want to get to those at-risk, hard-to-reach individuals, we have to go out to them, engage them, and create enough comfort for them to believe initially in us. Then through follow-through, they become true believers.

·         Our three programs are doing well. Our Independent Living Program continues providing quality service. The loan equipment and food bank services are getting more requests after this month’s Outreach efforts. We’re happy to see these results from our Outreach. The Traumatic Brain Injury Life Skills Program is doing great, providing service to qualifying individuals in Southwestern New Mexico . Finally, our Social Security Payee Program continues to manage finances for its participants while teaching budgeting and self-control—we have seen great growth in our once difficult participants in this program.



This month, we received a thank-you letter from a Consumer. She was very grateful for all the assistance she got from The Ability Center. With her permission, we are sharing this letter with you.

Dear Ability Center:

I have gone through a lot in my life. I was abused growing up and used drugs a lot when I grew up. Through a friend, I learned of you guys. I needed help with my life so I went and talked with one of your advocates. That moment changed my life. By talking and learning from the advocate how to cope with my disability, I have changed my life. I don’t drink or do drugs no more and I am going to counseling to get better. I want to thank The Ability Center for helping me and saving my life.






Parents of trick-or-treating kids can get so caught up in the fun themselves that they might forget some simple safety ideas that could save everyone some trouble. Having a fun and safe Halloween will make it all worth while.

Below are just a few common sense tips that can help.

Know the route your kids will be taking if you aren't going with them.

The best bet is to make sure that an adult is going with them. If you can't take them, see if another parent   or a teen aged sibling can go along.

Know what other activities a child may be attending, such as parties, school or mall functions.

Make sure you set a time that they should be home by. Make sure they know how important it is for them to be home on time.

Explain to children the difference between tricks and vandalism. Throwing eggs at a house may seem like fun but they need to know the other side of the coin as well, clean up and damages can ruin Halloween. If they are caught vandalizing, make them clean up the mess they've made.

Explain to your kids that animal cruelty is not acceptable. Kids may know this on their own but peer pressure can be a bad thing. Make sure that they know that harming animals is not only morally wrong but punishable by law and will not be tolerated.


Anytime a child has an accident, it's tragic. The last thing that you want to happen is for your child to be hurt on a holiday, it would forever live in the minds of the child and the family.

There are many ways to keep your child safe at Halloween, when they are more prone to accidents and injuries. The excitement of children and adults at this time of year sometimes makes them forget to be careful. Simple common sense can do a lot to stop any tragedies from happening.

Help your child pick out or make a costume that will be safe. Make it fire proof, the eye holes should be large enough for good peripheral vision.

If you set jack-o-lanterns on your porch with candles in them, make sure that they are far enough out of the way so that kids costumes won't accidentally be set on fire.

Make sure that if your child is carrying a prop, such as a scythe, butcher knife or a pitchfork, that the tips are smooth and flexible enough to not cause injury if fallen on.

Kids always want to help with the pumpkin carving. Small children shouldn't be allowed to use a sharp knife to cut the top or the face. There are many kits available that come with tiny saws that work better then knives and are safer, although you can be cut by them as well. It's best to let the kids clean out the pumpkin and draw a face on it, which you can carve for them.

Treating your kids to a spooky Halloween dinner will make them less likely to eat the candy they collect before you have a chance to check it for them.

Teaching your kids basic everyday safety such as not getting into cars or talking to strangers, watching both ways before crossing streets and crossing when the lights tell you to, will help make them safer when they are out Trick or Treating.

Make Halloween a fun, safe and happy time for your kids and they'll carry on the tradition that you taught them to their own families some day!

Borrowed from: http://www.halloween-safety.com/


Last month, we sent out some N1H1 safety tips, with the fear, deaths, and quarantines, we wanted to revisit this topic providing facts and safety tips once again. We want to help reduce the spread of the N1H1 virus. The best way to accomplish this with our Consumers is through information and guided practice. Then, we allow for independent practice with enrichment as necessary.

Key Facts about Swine Influenza (Swine Flu) from the Centers for Disease Control :

What is Swine Influenza?
Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza virus that regularly causes outbreaks of influenza in pigs. Swine flu viruses cause high levels of illness and low death rates in pigs. Swine influenza viruses may circulate among swine throughout the year, but most outbreaks occur during the late fall and winter months similar to outbreaks in humans. The classical swine flu virus (an influenza type A H1N1 virus) was first isolated from a pig in 1930.

Can humans catch swine flu?
Swine flu viruses do not normally infect humans. However, sporadic human infections with swine flu have occurred. Most commonly, these cases occur in persons with direct exposure to pigs (e.g. children near pigs at a fair or workers in the swine industry). In addition, there have been documented cases of one person spreading swine flu to others. For example, an outbreak of apparent swine flu infection in pigs in Wisconsin in 1988 resulted in multiple human infections, and, although no community outbreak resulted, there was antibody evidence of virus transmission from the patient to health care workers who had close contact with the patient.

What are the symptoms of swine flu in humans?
The symptoms of swine flu in people are expected to be similar to the symptoms of regular human seasonal influenza and include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing. Some people with swine flu also have reported runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Can people catch swine flu from eating pork?
No. Swine influenza viruses are not transmitted by food. You can not get swine influenza from eating pork or pork products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork and pork products are safe. Cooking pork to an internal temperature of 160°F kills the swine flu virus as it does other bacteria and viruses.

How does swine flu spread?
Influenza viruses can be directly transmitted from pigs to people and from people to pigs. Human infection with flu viruses from pigs are most likely to occur when people are in close proximity to infected pigs, such as in pig barns and livestock exhibits housing pigs at fairs. Human-to-human transmission of swine flu can also occur. This is thought to occur in the same way as seasonal flu occurs in people, which is mainly person-to-person transmission through coughing or sneezing of people infected with the influenza virus. People may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.

Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people. There are many things you can to do preventing getting and spreading influenza. The Centers for Disease Control suggest :

• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.

• Try to avoid close contact with sick people. Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people. If you get sick, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

Borrowed from: http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/dpp/news/dpgo_Swine_Flu_Facts_and_Safety_Tips_SAB_042520092441542



The Ability Center wants to take the time to thank the following individuals and (or) organizations for the great contributions they have made to the Center helping to fulfill our mission:

  • Aging and Long Term Services: Traumatic Brain Injury Program
  • Blas Rel
  • Brain Injury Association of New Mexico
  • Casa De Oro Care Center
  • Chris Van Horn
  • Christina Little of the United Way of Southwestern New Mexico
  • Deming Luna County Commission on Aging
  • Heriberto Valentin
  • Hidalgo County Senior Center
  • Independent Living Resource Center of Albuquerque
  • Our Dedicated Board of Directors
  • Our Dedicated Staff
  • Rehabilitation Services Administration
  • Sandra Williams
  • San Juan Center for Independence
  • Social Security Administration
  • The Catron County Health Council
  • The New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Area 3 Office
  • The New Mexico Governor’s Commission on Disability

Most importantly, our Consumers for having faith in us and coming back to us for assistance to live a high quality of life in their communities free of exploitation and institutionalization.

715 E. Idaho Ave., Ste 3E Las Cruces NM USA
Phone: 575-526-5016  |  Fax: 575-526-1202