Philanthropy Share: Together & Able III – VSA Florida

Philanthropy Share: Together & Able III – VSA Florida

Together & Able Celebrating Year #3

Welcome to year three for Together and Able, an inclusion art project, which benefits our children and community. Thank you to Susan Davis BaldinoVSA Florida Region 1 Program Coordinator, for sharing being part of our Philanthropy Share campaign!

What is VSA Florida?

First, it is Very Special Arts!

Their history explains that in 1981 “…VSA Florida was founded by the Florida Department of Education (Bureau of Education for Exceptional Students) and Florida Department of State (Division of Cultural Affairs) and was accredited by the National Committee- Arts for the Handicapped, an affiliation of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, under the name Florida Arts for the Handicapped Program. The first state office was established at Florida State University in Tallahassee.”

What is the purpose of VSA?

The mission of VSA Florida is to provide, support and champion arts education and cultural experiences for and by people with disabilities. Our vision is to create a world in which the arts are universally accessible.

How Did Together & Able Begin?

As the state organization on arts and disability, VSA Florida understands the power of art to make our world a more inclusive place for all people regardless of their abilities.

When VSA FL learned about the Chain of Parks Art Festival, organized by the LeMoyne Center for Visual Arts, we applied to be part of the “Village,” the interactive area of the festival where children, adults, and families can participate in art-making activities.

Instead of organizing a “make and take” exercise, VSA Florida decided to undertake a larger project that will make an impact on people of all abilities.

And, Together and Able began that Spring 2016…

Year I 2016

The work was conceived and designed by a Tallahassee artist as a large three-canvas triptych. The canvases were prepared and the background painting completed by a group of volunteers.

Once the groundwork was laid, we took the red and gold canvas to Leon High School where students, teachers, aides, and mentors filled the empty spaces with their words of equality, inclusion, and human rights.

Together & Able, Susan D. Baldino 2016

Year II 2017

The new community art project, Together and Able II, started at Leon High School in the “Lion’s United” class. The 2017 projected included six kites with words about human rights, the power of art, kindness, equality, ability, justice, and social inclusion.

Together and Able 2017

Year III 2018


Together and Able 2018

How Can You Help? It’s easy!

  1. Visit the Together and Able exhibit this weekend at the LeMoyne Chain of Parks Art Festival.
  2. Participate in the project by adding your “message” this Saturday or Sunday between 10 am to 5 pm with Together and Able.
  3. Volunteer with Together and Able this weekend or throughout the year.
  4. Make a donation to support the efforts of this year’s project.
  5. If you do not reside in Tallahassee, Florida OR  you are away this weekend, learn more about VSA Florida.

Our message in 2016

Your Participation Helps Our Community 

According to Susan Baldino, all proceeds from this event will support the art residencies, especially the art and the Holocaust residencies for Leon County next year.

Follow VSA All Year Long!

Visit the VSA web page and learn more about the year-long projects, resources, artists, and community events.  Like and Follow VSA Florida on Facebook and Instagram, and sign up for alerts/emails.

Children’s Communication Center & Together and Able 

We are thrilled to include Together and Able in our Philanthropy Share campaign to help support their event and their message!

Visit Together and Able during the LeMoyne Chain of Parks Art Festival & participate in the community artwork project promoting INCLUSION & HUMAN RIGHTS for people of all abilities.  

Our Center is proud to be a third year sponsor with Together and Able and invite you to Like/Follow us on Facebook and Instagram .

Susan Baldino, VSA & Lori Savage Grayson, CCC, 2017

Children’s Communication Center & Together and Able

As a Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) private practice we are committed to providing high quality, well managed & professional SLP services to young children through adults who can benefit from our services.

SLPs are integral professionals in the lives of families in our community experiencing speech, language, learning, and social communication challenges.

We also provide services through our Corporate Speech & Communication program for those who would benefit from improvement in public speaking and overall communication skills.

We invite you to follow our blog posts highlighting a wide range of family topics all year long including our Community Partner and Philanthropy Share campaigns.

‘I Am Able’ bracelet CCC & Together and Able 2016

 Susan Davis Baldino & VSA Florida, we are thrilled to support your efforts!

Together, we are making a difference!





Autism Awareness Month: A Look Back

Thank you to Kirsten Malenke who interviewed me about the Children’s Communication Center’s participation with Autism Awareness Month! Below is an excerpt from her Advance Healthcare Network article. (2016)


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) refers to a group of complicated disorders of brain development, characterized by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. According to the CDC, one in 68 children is classified as being on the autism spectrum.

In 1965, the Autism Society of America was established by Bernard Rimland, PhD, and Ruth Sullivan, PhD, along with parents of children with autism. The mission of the Autism Society is to improve the lives of those living with autism by increasing public awareness about the everyday issues faced by people on the spectrum, advocating for services, and providing information regarding treatment, education, and research. The Autism Society is a not-for-profit organization composed of a network of 100 affiliates that spans the nation.


Lori Savage Grayson, MMSc, CCC-SLP, FSL, is the founder and director of the Children’s Communication Center Inc. in Tallahassee, Fla. With almost 40 years of experience, Grayson has seen many changes in the field of autism research as well as the challenges those with autism face as they mature over the years. Grayson’s passion for helping those affected by autism is evident in the many ways she and the center participated in their community last month.

The center celebrated Autism Awareness Month from day one, starting with the Autism Speaks Light It Up Blue Event. Each day they posted articles relating to autism and advertised local events and services on their social media sites. They helped sponsor the Autism Speaks U Club 5K at Florida State University, as well as a community art project called Together and Able that was featured in a local art festival. The center shared the Autism Navigator, an online collection of web-based tools for parents and healthcare professionals created by the Florida State University Autism Institute. It also promoted a local sensory friendly skating night and The Chocolate Spectrum, a Florida-based artisan chocolate company created by a speech-language pathologist for her son and other individuals with developmental disabilities who are hired, trained and employed.

Grayson said, “Each of us deserves the best opportunity to communicate, play, tell stories, share emotions, learn, gain an education, achieve, succeed and be happy with family and friends. While each person with autism has different strengths and areas of need, they share common challenges with social, communication, and language skills. I am a speech-language pathologist and that’s why I think autism awareness is important. Autism affects one in every 68 children and at the same time it affects all of us. Together, we are making a difference.


READ MORE  Update: 2018, this link does not appear to be active at this time.