Working to empower individuals with disabilities to live life to the fullest, Futures, Inc. provides social-skills training, tutoring, independent-living training, and other support services to students and adults with disabilities. At the Futures School—Connecticut’s first community-based special-education school to be approved by the Department of Education—students aged 14–21 receive customized, one-on-one special education in their home communities. These education services include real-world work experience, transportation services, sessions with a full-time counselor, and typically lead to a high-school diploma from Futures School.
North Central Regional Mental Health Board strives to ensure that citizens take part in monitoring the state’s mental-health services. The organization works directly with people who have mental-health or substance-abuse issues through a variety of programs and advocates on their behalf through legislative and fundraising events. One of the many services available, the Day in the Life project, observed the lives of people who receive behavioral-health services through the state to determine how best to help them in the future. In addition, the annual Celebrating Recovery dinner invites individuals in recovery to share their stories as a way of reaffirming that recovery is always possible.
Each of the five participating Connecticut Landmarks offers a glimpse inside the domestic lifestyles of the state's early settlers, patriots, and prominent citizens. Grab a three-cornered hat and a nerf musket before storming the grounds of any one of the landmarks with a compatriot, or choose the individual membership for admittance to each house as many times as desired throughout the year. Members also receive a free subscription to the Landmark News newsletter, invitations to special events, a 10% discount on all museum shops, and a discount subscription to Connecticut Explored, a magazine that chronicles Connecticut's history.
Hartford Symphony Orchestra's St. Patrick's Day Celebration regales ears with classic Celtic tunes commemorating the feast of Ireland's patron saint. Visiting from his usual perch at the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra, conductor Gerald Steichen leads an army of instruments as it elevates the shimmering tenor of veteran singer Robert White, who has been nourishing auditory synapses since his radio debut in 1948. White fills listeners with Irish pride until they burst with clover leaves by belting out such distinctly Hibernian tunes as "Danny Boy," a slow, anthemic composition that resonates in the hearts of Irish emigrants. Renowned Irish fiddler Jeanne Freeman also fuels high-octane jigs with skills gleaned from County Donegal native P.V. O'Donnell.
In 1929, Tom Pinchbeck’s great grandfather traveled to Guilford with his family and staked their new territory with a massive greenhouse. For the next 79 years, Pinchbeck’s Rose Farm nurtured 100,000 rose bushes until highly industrial competition began to cloud their traditional production methods.
Rather than closing the doors on his farm, Pinchbeck restructured the business with his friend Jim Lyman. Lyman had been seeking a meaningful job opportunity for his son and other individuals on the autism spectrum. Through Roses for Autism—and in coordination with Ability Beyond Disability—Lyman and Pinchbeck aim to facilitate independence in the business world for individuals with autism. Employees at the farm take part in each step of the process by selecting roses, cutting stems, arranging bouquets, checking inventories, processing orders, and packaging shipments to be enjoyed by hungry bees and brides across the country.