ASI “Partied like Rock Stars” at the 2015 Florida Companies to Watch Awards Dinner

We were honored to be recognized at the 2015 Florida Companies to Watch awards ceremony.  Our own “rock star” Maggie accepted the award.  We want to thank GrowFL and the Edward Lowe Foundation for all they do to recognize and support second stage businesses.

Enjoy the photo gallery and smartphone video of some of the highlights!

Lisa Swiger Elected to Board of Directors of Citrus County Harvest, Inc.

Accessibility Services Inc. Program Director to Serve as Marketing Chair for Citrus County Blessings Program

(Homosassa, FL) – Accessibility Services, Inc. (ASI) announced today that Lisa Swiger, Program Manager, was elected to the Board of Directors of Citrus County Harvest, Inc. a 501(c)(3) that operates the Citrus County Blessings (Blessings) program. Blessings provides nutritional breakfasts, lunches and dinners to children on weekends, when families do not have access to government-subsidized meals.

“This is an exciting opportunity to help a worthwhile cause,” says Swiger. “Hunger is a definite problem, and the services Blessings provides bridges the gap of federal assistance. Without Blessings, many children would go with little or no nourishment over the weekends.”

According to a recent article published in the Citrus County Chronicle, 68% of school aged children in Citrus County are enrolled in federally funded free / reduced breakfast and lunch programs. Blessings finds that many of these children’s families/caretakers cannot provide adequate nutrition from lunch on Friday to breakfast on Monday morning. 85% of the children served by Blessings are ages six to 11, while 15% are ages 12 to 17.

“Lisa came with high recommendations to our Board and we are blessed to have her as a part of our team,” explains Grace Hengesbach, Executive Director of Citrus County Blessings.

“Working for ASI, Lisa knows what it means to change a life through hard work. Her passion for helping others in need extends well to our mission and she is already stepping up to the challenge as the chair of our marketing committee. I look forward to working with Lisa as we continue feeding hungry children in our community.”

Blessings currently serves 1250 children per week, although the need is much greater. As a member of the Board of Directors, Swiger will lead the marketing committee to help brand the organization and recruit additional support.

“ASI encourages our employees to get involved in the community,” says Maggie Thompson, President of ASI. “Blessings plays a crucial role in combating hunger and we are very proud that Lisa has been elected to serve on its board.”

About Citrus County Blessings

A program of Citrus County Harvest, Inc., Citrus County Blessings (Blessings) has been providing much needed sustenance to area children since 2009. Blessings helps feed children on weekends, when they don’t have access to government-subsidized meals. Blessings works closely with guidance counselors and administrators from 14 schools to identify children who will benefit most from the program. Blessings volunteers deliver nourishing meals to over 1,250 kids per week. For more information on the program, volunteering or donating, please visit http://citruscountyblessings.com.

VA Long Beach Opens Spinal Cord Injury Long Term Care Unit

Congratulations to the VA Long Beach and Paralyzed Veterans of America on the opening of the new Spinal Cord Injury Long Term Care Unit. This high-tech facility is designed to provide veterans with spinal cord injuries permanent housing with specialized care and support. ASI is proud to be part of this exciting project!

Special thank you to Stephanie Rivera and the Long Beach Post for this great article:

 

Device lets Lakeland couple communicate once again

Special thank you to Robin Williams Adams for writing such a heartwarming story for The Ledger.  We were honored to have had the opportunity to work with Alfred, Anna and the Dream Foundation!

http://www.theledger.com/article/20150914/NEWS/150919720

Accessibility Services, Inc. Among 2015 Florida Companies to Watch℠ Honorees

Leading Provider of Environmental Control Units Chosen From Over 500 Nominees

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Accessibility Services, Inc. (ASI) announced today that it is among 50 statewide companies selected from more than 500 nominees for Florida Companies to Watch℠, a statewide program managed by economic development group GrowFL, in association with the Edward Lowe Foundation. ASI joins an esteemed group of honorees who will be recognized with this prestigious award on Thursday, November 5th at the Hard Rock Live in Orlando, Florida.

“We are thrilled to be part of the Florida Companies to Watch class of 2015,” says Maggie Thompson, President of ASI. “I applaud GrowFL and the Edward Lowe Foundation for taking time to recognize the hard work and sacrifices businesses such as ASI make everyday to contribute to the economic prosperity of our state. We are excited for all the winners!”

Thompson took the helm of ASI in 2009 when her husband and ASI founder, Fred Thompson, retired. Thompson made the decision to lead her company down an ambitious path toward becoming the leading provider of environmental control units (ECU’s) in the country. Her substantial investment in research and development paid off as the $800,000 company grew to become the $7,000,000 enterprise it is today.

“We were able to accomplish these goals because of the hard work of our outstanding team,” explains Thompson. “This award would not have been possible without our dedicated and committed employees.”

According to GrowFL, ASI’s management team, competitive market position and strong community involvement were among several factors that put them in contention for the award.

The 50 companies named the 2015 Florida Companies to Watch generated a total of more than $1.2 billion in revenue and added nearly 1,000 employees between 2011 and 2014.

Together, the companies project a 23 percent increase in revenue and 19 percent increase in job growth in 2015.

“These stand-out companies are all led by entrepreneurs, and have demonstrated their capacity and intent to grow,” said Dr. Tom O’Neal, executive director of the Florida Economic Gardening Institute and associate vice president for the University of Central Florida’s Office of Research and Commercialization. “They also all have critical intellectual property or a niche position that gives them a competitive edge in their markets.”

For more information about Florida Companies to Watch, visit flctw.growfl.com.

ASI Partners with Dream Foundation to Fulfill Final Wish

Environmental Control Unit (ECU) Allows 84-year-old with Parkinson’s Disease to Communicate with His WifeAlfred and Anna at Sandys wedding

Eighty-four year old Alfred Combee had quite an active life. The former fire investigator was also an avid wildlife photographer. He and his wife Anna loved to mountain bike together. Three years ago, Alfred found out he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. His disease progressed quickly. He has already lost his speech and his ability to write, which left him unable to communicate.

Alfred’s wife Anna is now his full-time caregiver. Frustration grew among them both as Alfred struggled to convey even the simplest information.

“It got to the point where he could not even tell me if he needed something,” explains Anna. “He could not communicate basic things like when he had a headache or if he needed his medicine. It is very scary when you do not know what is wrong.”

Alfred’s dream was to be able to speak to his wife again, so, his hospice social worker suggested they contact Dream Foundation. The California-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization is the only national dream-granting organization for adults and their families battling life-threatening illness. Dream recipients are 18 years of age and older, have received a limited prognosis, and lack the resources to fulfill their dreams themselves. Anna submitted an application on behalf of Alfred, and, much to their excitement, they were selected. With more than 20,000 dreams served since 1994, Dream Foundation has never turned away a qualified dream request.

Dream Foundation contacted Accessibility Services, Inc. (ASI) in Homosassa, Florida to see if they would be willing to develop and donate a device to help Alfred achieve his dream of being able to communicate with Anna. ASI manufactures the autonoMe ECU and customizes the devices to fit the specific needs of each client. When ASI president Maggie Thompson heard Alfred’s story, she was more than willing to help.

“We knew how important it was for Alfred to be able to speak to Anna,” says Maggie Thompson, President of ASI, “We sent our technical team to Alfred’s home multiple times and developed a solution which now allows him to communicate with Anna. We were determined to do whatever it took to make one of his final wishes come true.”

According to Anna, Alfred is able to type into the device, which, in turn, speaks to Anna.

“They also programmed pre-fabricated sentences he can choose from, such as ‘I need to take my medicine’ and ‘I have a headache’,” says Anna. “I can now quickly respond to what he needs. We can also have a conversation, which we could not do before.”

According to Dream Foundation Executive Director Kisa Heyer, “Our organization was touched by Alfred’s story and his unique needs. Working with ASI was an encouraging and heart-warming experience that allowed us to help restore Alfred’s quality of life. We are thrilled for both him and Anna that he is once again able to communicate.”

“Alfred and I have been together for 25 years. My full time job is taking care of him. This is what you do when you love somebody,” concludes Anna. “I am grateful to both the Dream Foundation and ASI for making sure Alfred got exactly what he wanted.”

About Dream Foundation
The only national dream-granting organization for adults, Dream Foundation enhances the quality of life for individuals and their families battling life-threatening illness. Dream recipients are those individuals who have been given a year or less life expectancy. Dreams range from basic need items, like a working stove, to bedside reunions and meaningful experiences with children and loved ones. Founded in 1994, Dream Foundation serves more than 2,500 dreams each year and relies on a network of volunteers, sponsors and individual donors. For more information, visit www.dreamfoundation.org.

Options for Accessibility

We would like to extend a special thank you to Megan Carella and the Citrus County Chronicle for the wonderful story about ASI in the Sunday Business section. If you missed it, be sure to check it out:

Accessibility Services, Inc. Promotes Michael Lawrence to Inside Sales Representative

ASI proudly announces the promotion of Michael Lawrence to Inside Sales representative. He joined ASI in February 2014 as an intern and was promoted to Warehouse Inventory Specialist. In his new role, Lawrence will conduct consultations nationwide and develop customized solutions to help individuals with severe disabilities and spinal cord injuries gain control of their environment through the use of ASI’s proprietary autonoME environmental control unit. Lawrence earned a B.S. in Management and Organizational Leadership from Columbia Southern University and is currently working on his master’s degree.

 

 

Maggie’s Moment – Recognizing The Key Training Center

We are a proud supporter of The Key Training Center, a private nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization serving adults with developmental disabilities.  Based in Citrus County, the center provides residential, vocational and adult day services, to hundreds of developmentally disabled adults.  It is the only facility of it kind in the area.

I personally commend this organization and their dedicated, compassionate staff.  ASI is proud to make a contribution to help support The Key Training Center’s very important mission.

Learn more about The Key Training Center.

Maggie’s Moment – Recognizing The Key Training Center 2

Community Safety Net program

Accessibility Services, Inc. is proud to partner with the Citrus Sheriff/Fire Rescue on their Community Safety Net program.

The initiative is designed to teach elementary school students about fire safety and prevention. There is also a mobile app which lists community emergency contact information, national safety contact information, safety tips and community leaders. The flyer below offers additional information about the program and a QR code to download the mobile app.

Check it out and let us know what you think!
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