Breaking Barriers Celebrates One Year Anniversary

Program Connects Underserved Communities to Services

Since launching in the Fall of 2021, Jubilee’s innovative Breaking Barriers program works to ensure that adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities from Hispanic and Asian communities can easily access support services. In just one year, the program has brought together more than a dozen agencies providing services and the DDA. The groups collaborate to create pathways to services for people from underserved communities.

Lisa Lorraine, Jubilee’s Breaking Barriers Community Navigator, is the newest recipient of Jubilee’s Exceptional Performance Award for her impactful work bringing this program to fruition.

“Lisa has created a program that has become known and respected throughout Montgomery County and beyond. In addition to the large-scale impacts that Lisa has made on the system, in just one year she has worked directly with 150 people to better access services,” said Julia McCune, Jubilee’s Director of Community Engagement.

Read on for a first-hand account of how Breaking Barriers makes a difference for families.

Connecting for a Brighter Future

As told by Reina Perez. Translated to English by Jubilee’s Breaking Barriers Community Navigator Lisa Lorraine.

When I first connected with Jubilee, I was distraught. My daughter came home from high school with bruises on her arms. I didn’t know what was happening. Rosa can’t speak. I met with the school, but I didn’t feel safe sending her back there. I don’t speak English, and I didn’t know where to turn for help.

I thought about pulling Rosa out of school. The future for Rosa looked bleak.

Right when I was at my breaking point, the Down Syndrome Network of Montgomery County connected me to Jubilee’s Breaking Barriers program. They want to help people like my daughter so they don’t get left behind when it’s time to move on to adult services. Breaking Barriers helped connect me with the right people in the school system. Now Rosa is thriving at a new school.

Lisa at Jubilee explained how to apply for government aid as Rosa ages out of the school system and its support system. She even gave me information in Spanish. Without the Breaking Barriers program, I wouldn’t have known that Rosa’s teacher can help us apply for government aid for adult services. There’s a lot of paperwork, and it’s a very complicated process. If Rosa hadn’t stayed in the school system, we wouldn’t get that help.

I feel more confident about the future for Rosa now. I don’t worry as much about what might happen when I am no longer around to care for Rosa. I know she will have the support she needs to ensure that she can live independently.