January 2, 2019 – Happy New Year to our Duvall Homes family and community. Once again, we’d like to thank each one of you – our families, friends and businesses – for supporting our mission to empower people with developmental disabilities living in our community. Because of you, our mission has not waivered since 1945. Duvall’s History
Since then, we’ve posted images with Instruments of Healing, images from #NationalSmileDay, ADT participants using Rendever and other images. Follow us on Instagram at #ImInspiredDeLand to be inspired and be a part of #TheDuvallDifference.
December 24, 2018 – Happy Holidays to the hardworking staff of Duvall Homes, most of whom will continue to work through the holiday season caring for our Duvall Community Family, 24/7.
The dedicated team had some fun this past week. Names were drawn for prizes, guesses submitted for the Tower of Candy, T-shirts that read “You Are Part Of #TheDuvallDifference” were given out and other surprises.
A sincere thank you to the parents and families who supported the 2018 holiday bonus, to the caring Board of Regents who provides support and professional advocacy throughout the year, and to Duvall Homes’ Leadership Team, led by Duvall Homes CEO, Steven DeVane. Read more on Employee Appreciation.
December 23, 2018 – Happy Holidays from Duvall Homes! Earlier in the month, after decorating the halls of our Opportunities Enrichment Center, residents attended the Pierson Lions Club annual Christmas party.
Everyone was entertained with live holiday music, a BBQ dinner and dessert prior to Santa’s arrival with gifts. Duvall Homes is grateful for the generosity shown by the Lions Club.
Only a few images were captured as we are in the middle of securing new photo releases for the protection of our residents. Thank you for your understanding. Just note, the residents had a fantastic experience.
Be sure to follow Duvall news and social media posts (bottom of page) for inspiring news and events, and for additional images as releases are received.
December 18, 2018 – A few weeks ago, Duvall’s Day Training Program began the process to adopt a US Military Soldier through AdoptaUSSoldier.org. We want our service members to know we are thinking of them and want to thank them for their service.
A deployed unit has now been matched with Duvall Homes and the collection of requested items has begun.
In a short time, approximately 70 items were collected; however, more is needed. The plan is to correspond with Adopt A US Soldier – Official and support our assigned unit, not just for the holidays, but through 2019. Packages will be sent out every other month.
Items Needed For US Troops
Here are a few items requested by the unit: coffee, nondairy creamer, individual sugar or sugar substitute; Uno, playing cards, Sudoku or crossword puzzle books; personal hygiene products (travel size); potato chips and beef jerky (no pork)
Should you wish to participate in Duvall’s Adopt A US Soldier, items can be dropped off at our main reception with the message “For Duvall Homes’ ADT’s Adopt A US Soldier.” If you have any questions, please email email@example.com. #TheDuvallDifference #AdoptaUSSoldier
December 14, 2018 – Rendever is an award-winning tech company out of Boston that is laser focused on improving the lives of others. Their sensory platform, operated by caregivers, helps engage special populations. Watch their video on CBS. So, how does Duvall fit in? Because possible benefits for people with developmental disabilities were recognized, we reached out to the Rendever team. As a result, a plan was set in motion for Duvall to test their virtual reality 360° equipment. And empowerment through VR emerged.
“Our platform was designed to enhance the social experience,” said Rendever CEO, Kyle Rand. “Several people can participate in real time, and form meaningful connections. With caregivers directing the program, participants are able to visit new places and enjoy the selected immersive experiences with ease.”
Rand’s background is in Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering. Rendever’s CTO, Tom Neumann’s, is a successful developer of VR applications. Since cofounding Rendever in 2016, Rand and Neumann have embarked on a journey to share their unique platform all over the world.
Discovering A New World
“Some of our participants have attention deficits or processing challenges, ” said Duvall’s Director of Adult Day Training, Shirley Zonnevylle. “The VR headset allowed them to focus on one specific subject and eliminate other visual distractions.”
Rendever continues to expand its reach. Their software is not just in retirement communities and long-term care facilities; they’re in single family homes and even cancer treatment centers. Among other things, Rendever’s platform provides a diversion for pain and anxiety.
Duvall Homes is fortunate to be given the opportunity to sample this innovative VR program, and are grateful to Rand and the Rendever team. While additional time is needed to determine the full benefits for clients of Duvall Homes, one thing is certain. Duvall’s team of Direct Support Professionals, Specialists and clients were able to explore a whole new universe. And, for a time, were taken to parts of the world they would otherwise not have gone.
December 7, 2018 – Congratulations to employee Matt Neumeyer! Matt, a relatively new Support Specialist, guessed the closest number of candies inside the Tower of Candy without going over. The seven stacked containers had 547 pieces of candy. Lotto tickets, tea towels and money were inside the 17-inch tall tower. In total, Matt won a prize valued at more than $100, which was part of some employee appreciation holiday fun.
“I’m shocked,” said Neumeyer. “I really appreciate it!”
Accounts Receivable Specialist, Bobbie Daley, won a surprise 2nd Place gift because she guessed the next closest amount without going over. Bobbie celebrated 10 years at Duvall this past June!
Duvall’s Chief Operating Officer, Marsha Shankleton, presented the prizes. The holiday fun is part of a larger We Appreciate You employee celebration that began the week prior to Thanksgiving. Management gave each employee a Publix gift card with a thank you letter from Duvall’s CEO, Steven DeVane.
More holiday fun employee appreciation is to come!
November 29, 2018 – Enjoy Volusia County when you visit Duvall. Flip through this month’s issue of Evolve, the business publication of the Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce to learn more. Duvall Homes is a Daytona Chamber member, and recognizes that what attracts families and guardians to Duvall is not just our residential supportive services and programs, but also the national appeal of the County of Volusia.
Oceanfront beaches, great eateries and ecotourism – from the east side of the county to the west – are just a few options to fill calendars of visiting families and friends all year round. Visit our great beaches; tour various springs and waterways; bike, jog or walk miles of natural and paved trails; select from any type of cuisine you can think of; visit historical landmarks, museums and more.
The best thing of all is that residents of Duvall Homes are fortunate to be able to visit the same attractions that 10 million people come to visit each and every year. (Florida Trend July, 2018.) After flipping through Evolve Magazinehere, click on some of the great videos below, courtesy of West Volusia Visiting Center, to help fill your calendar when you plan your visit.
September 7, 2018 – As we enter the peak of hurricane season, we are once again reminded of the generosity and care of our families and community. Together, they helped to provide the much-needed support to obtain and install automatic generators at our group homes this past year.
“Thanks to our parents, families and community, we now have peace of mind that we can maintain power for refrigeration, laundry and lighting. Maintaining our group homes at a comfortable temperature can help us avoid serious problems,” said Marsha Shankleton, Duvall’s Chief Operating Officer.
We also send an extended thank you to the dedicated staff at Duvall Homes. Our professionally trained team of caregivers ensures that each of Duvall’s Group Homes maintains a heightened level of disaster preparedness throughout the year due to the fragility of those in our care. #TheDuvallDifference
July 24, 2018 – “We moved here from Georgia because it offered the best residential care and day training we could find for our son,” said Ruby Helton, mother of Jason who moved to Duvall Homes in 2010.
The Heltons discovered the Duvall difference when they first brought Jason to DeLand, Florida, eight years ago. They recognized that Duvall seeks to provide the highest quality of life and greatest level of independence for each resident by creating an individualized plan that includes opportunities for personal growth.
Jason, like all residents of Duvall, are provided with social experiences in the group home and community, which are key to living a life of independence and dignity that is nurturing and fulfilling. Several organizations, like the National Institute of Health, report that social connections help protect health and lengthen life. Whether with family, friends, housemates, neighbors or members within your community, getting involved with others influences our wellbeing.
Being socially active in Duvall’s day training program provides additional opportunities for collective engagement. Participants are presented with varying circumstances to develop life skills and vocational skills at our Opportunities Enrichment Center.
Parents and guardians like the Heltons have turned to Duvall Homes since 1945 as they plan ahead for their own care and that of their dependent with special needs – both who are living longer.
Learn more about the programs and services offered to people with developmental disabilities of varying abilities, by contacting Administrative Assistant, Lisa Herring, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 386.734.2874 x119. Lisa will put you in touch with the right support specialist to answer all of your questions so that you can discover more about #TheDuvallDifference and our 73-year-old legacy.
For state funding eligibility, contact Florida’s Agency for Persons with Disabilities at APD.MyFlorida.org.
July 2, 2018 – Duvall Homes has provided residential supportive care and day training services that empowers people who live with a developmental disability since 1945.
Today, and every day, we celebrate our families and guardians, direct support professionals and trained specialists, and our community of volunteers and sponsors, who together make up a team that defines The Duvall Difference. Because of you, we’re able to empower others to learn new skills and to earn a paycheck. Because of you, we can make a difference and an impact on the lives of others in our care.
In the coming weeks and months, please join us in sharing inspiring expressions of The Duvall Difference. Your stories help families to plan ahead and others to get involved.
Learn about the programs, life-skills development and vocational training services available for adults with developmental disabilities like Down syndrome, Autism, Cerebral Palsey and other disabilities at DuvallHomes.org/Programs-Services.
June 15, 2018 – Florida’s active aging residents are familiar with the longstanding fact that Florida continues to lead the nation as the number one retirement state. We know it’s for the balmy weather and beaches, recreation, cost of living, healthcare options…, but did you know many retire here because it’s easier to care for their aging child or sibling with a developmental disability?
“For decades we’ve had families retire to Central Florida from other states for our residential care and day training services,” said Steven DeVane, Duvall Homes’ CEO. Aging caregivers have turned to Duvall Homes since 1945 as they plan ahead for their own care and their aging dependent with special needs – both who are living longer.
Planning Ahead Produces The Best Results: Read about a caring father who recently planned ahead and chose Duvall Homes in our 2018 Spring Newsletter in The Duvall Difference on pages 8 and 9 here. #TheDuvallDifference
June 4, 2018 – Thank you to Pastor Walter Laseter and the gracious congregation of Weirsdale Presbyterian Church for their hospitality this past Sunday and for their years of dedicated support toward the mission of Duvall Homes.
We would also like to extend a thank you to Mission Coordinator Brian Farley, who was instrumental in arranging the invitation for our visit.
Members of the Presbyterian Church and community were apprised of how Duvall Homes transitioned from the single Duvall House that Thelma and Alanson Duvall formed in 1945 to today’s operation of 16 residential care group homes throughout the County of Volusia. Highlights of the short presentation covered current programming and services offered in Duvall’s Opportunities Enrichment Center, including contract work, which will soon take place in our newly renovated Vocational Training Center.
Many were surprised to learn of the critical need for trained Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) across Florida – the lowest DSP-funded state in the U.S. – to help care for the daily comfort, safety and empowerment of people with I/DDs, 24/7. Before changing legislation and government mandates took hold, members of Weirsdale Presbyterian were part of the contingency of volunteers who for years selflessly gave of their time to support and build, create with and watch over many individuals who resided at Duvall.
During the service, everyone was elevated by the sounds of Ellen Laseter, Dr. Laseter’s wife, on the piano, who performed, among other heartfelt hymns, The Old Rugged Cross. A surprise barbershop performance took place at the end of the service as Pastor Laseter’s newly formed quartet practiced for their choir-replacement summer schedule.
It was a delightful visit to Weirsdale; however, due the small size of Duvall’s administrative staff, it can be challenging to make all of the visits we wish we could make in and outside of the county. One thing we are always happy to do, is to share words of gratitude for the impact people have made on the hundreds of lives of individuals with developmental disabilities living in our state.
If you are an organization who has supported Duvall Homes this year, or in years past, and have a company newsletter, please let us know as we’d love to share inspiring stories and images with you and your members or employees.
May 25, 2018 – Inside Duvall Homes’ 2018 Spring Newsletter, you’ll once again be connected with the inspiring stories that bind our community together. Stories like Building Opportunities That Impact Our Community give insight to the tangible benefits that result when business partners get involved with the work we do.
Articles like The Duvall Difference provide an overview of the services and personal care Duvall residents receive from Direct Support Professionals and their Support Team every single day and of a father’s discovery of these services after putting the future care of his son above all else.
We also like to highlight community news and events in each issue. Our Spring Fling; service from high school and college students; the retiring of an employee after 37 years; and the Tim Tebow Foundation‘s very special Night To Shine event are just some of the newsworthy events that took place this past quarter.
Many of our friends, families and business partners have just received Duvall’s 2018 Spring Newsletter in the mail. You can enjoy it too by clicking on the cover to flip through the digital version.
Please share the many heartwarming stories with your own family, friends and colleagues. You’d be surprised who can benefit from the many different perspectives shared. Let us know what inspires you most about this issue at ImInspired.org. #TheDuvallDifference
May 23, 2018 – Inside this month’s issue of the Daytona Chamber’s business publication, Evolve, readers are presented with defined perspectives and proven business practices with respect to embracing a diverse workforce. As a proud member of the Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce since 2011, Duvall Homes is honored to have contributed to its Diversity in Business May 2018 issue to include the people we serve in our community.
In the article How Rich is Your Diversity? (pages 32 to 35) by Lisa Habermehl, Duvall’s Director of Marketing, experiences and values are shared by business leaders in the County of Volusia, and beyond, who engage with, employ and contract people with developmental disabilities.
Decades ago, a diverse workforce meant a workforce with varying ethnicity. Today, a diverse workforce is an inclusive labor pool varied in ethnicity, gender, age and abilities, and diversity in business includes diversity in a businesses’ workforce, leadership team and its customer or client base. Successful businesses that choose to remain current and continue to grow understand the many benefits of business diversity and inclusion.
May 11, 2018 – Happy Mother’s Day from the staff and residents of Duvall Homes! Adult Day Training Support Specialist, LaToya (right), tests out the new white board with Jon and Priscilla in Duvall’s newly renovated Vocational Training Center.