2023 Bright Beacon Awards
Bright Feats Publications has had the honor of working alongside of dedicated service providers in the Special Needs community for more than 17 years. In that time, we have come to see greatness shine for those we serve and are grateful for the contribution of each of our partners. Many times, this work is far beyond a job and is a calling. This year we would like to give special recognition to a few of the providers that have gone above and beyond in helping this community thrive in 2023.
Outstanding Special Needs Therapist Award
Tribe Rehabilitation is a nonprofit rehabilitation center in historic Riverside located in Jacksonville, Florida. We serve children ages birth to five with any diagnosis but specialize in autism treatment. We provide family-centered care within a commercial 1938 historic home to provide a more natural experience. As a nonprofit organization we also provide community-based activities, programs, and events to promote families to connect and find their Tribe!
Pediatric Therapy Achievement Award
Visual Health and Learning
Visual Health and Learning Center is a specialty optometric practice dedicated to diagnosing and treating vision problems that interfere with reading, learning and activities of daily living such as sports, climbing stairs, pouring drinks, etc. Dr. Jenna Williams-McDermed & Dr. Chi Tran use vision therapy to teach patients to use their vision across a range of different circumstances. We focus on children, particularly those with learning difficulties, using visual training as a way to improve the use of his or her eyes. We also provide specialty care to help athletes develop the advanced levels of visual ability that is needed for sports.
Inclusive Employment Champion
Best Buddies is the world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Our programs empower the special abilities of people with IDD by helping them form meaningful friendships with their peers, secure successful jobs, live independently, improve public speaking, self-advocacy and communication skills, and feel valued by society.
Inclusive Ministry Pioneer
West Ridge Church
We believe that every single person deserves the opportunity to hear and respond to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are especially passionate about reaching families of loved ones with special needs. Since launching our Special Needs Ministry more than 10 years ago, we have watched this ministry grow, flourish, and bless families in ways we never could have imagined.
Excellence in Specialized Healthcare Award
At BrightStart Pediatrics, our business is caring for kids. We focus on providing the best nursing care and therapy. Service is guaranteed and our staff ensures consistent care and ongoing assessment.
Advocate for Inclusive Education
Abilities and Possibilities
Mission: To educate and empower families navigating Exceptional Student Education Services. Services include IEP & 504 support, review of records, educational consultation, matrix reviews, meeting preparation, strategy, & attendance, FES-UA guidance, transition planning, and filing notices on behalf of parents and guardians.
Family Support Hero Award
Ability Tree First Coast
Our mission is to reach out to families impacted by disability through recreation, education, support, and training (R.E.S.T.). We aim to partner with individuals and organizations to raise awareness and build support networks to strengthen and grow able families. Ability Tree Florida launched in the Fall of 2017 with a monthly respite night to give parents of children with special needs a break and some rest. And hopes to open in 2018 an after-school program for children with special needs so that their parents can receive a daily break as a caregiver.
Inclusive Arts and Culture Award
Apex Theatre Studio Inc Penguin Project
Every year, groups of young artists across the country take to the stage to perform a modified version of a well-known Broadway musical. These productions are unique—all of the roles are filled by young artists with developmental disabilities including Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism, intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, visual impairment, hearing impairment, and other neurological disorders.
Champion of Inclusion Award
PossAbilities Plus seeks to enhance the lives and opportunities of teens and adults with different abilities through training, employment, and social opportunities and more.
Empowerment Through Sports Award
Gliding Stars of Central Florida
The Gliding Stars of Central Florida is an adaptive ice-skating program that enables individuals with disabilities the opportunity for physical, social, and emotional growth by fostering a team-oriented, safe, and accepting environment, that allows one to break through barriers to accomplish their dreams.