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December 1, 2023

The Ability Connection

Issue #15

December 5th is International Volunteer Day

International Volunteer Day (IVD), 5 December, is an occasion to pay tribute to volunteers worldwide and to recognize the value of volunteerism.  At Bio Ability there are many opportunities for volunteering.  You can choose one or more of the following areas of interest or suggest others.

Fundraising- Assist in suggesting and planning fund raising events or applying for grants.

Event Planning- Suggest and assist in planning holiday events, open gyms, open houses, community events.

Children’s Classes/Camps- Assist instructors with classes and/or camps.

Community Outreach- Recommend and coordinate outreach in the community for the support of Bio Ability and our mission.

Community Partnerships- Suggest corporate or company partnerships that will benefit Bio Ability and our mission as well as to connect Bio Ability Management with any known contacts with these organizations.

Bio Buddy- This is an opportunity to work directly with children during a class or event to support them with participating in a class or other events.

If everyone volunteered the world would be a better place.   Join Bio Ability in making our community a better place by volunteering with us.  You can sign up on our website as a volunteer at Volunteer – BIO Ability ( .

December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month

When it comes to toys and gifts, it is critical to remember to consider the safety and age range of the toys. Prevent Blindness America has declared December as Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness Month. The group encourages everyone to consider if the toys they wish to give suits the age and individual skills and abilities of the individual child who will receive it, especially for infants and children under age three.

Consider the following guidelines for choosing safe toys for all ages:

  • Inspect all toys before purchasing. The toy should have no sharp edges or points and should be sturdy enough to withstand impact without breaking, being crushed, or being pulled apart easily.
  • When purchasing toys for children with special needs try to: Choose toys that may appeal to different senses such as sound, movement, and texture; consider interactive toys to allow the child to play with others; and think about the size of the toy and the position a child would need to be in to play with it.
  • Look for labels that assure you the toys have passed a safety inspection – “ATSM” means the toy has met the American Society for Testing and Materials standards.
  • Gifts of sports equipment should always be accompanied by protective gear (give a helmet with the skateboard)
  • Avoid toys with small parts (including magnets and “button” batteries which can cause serious injury or death if ingested) to young children as they tend to put things in their mouths, increasing the risk of choking.
  • Avoid toys with ropes and cords or heating elements.
  • Avoid crayons and markers unless they are labeled “nontoxic”.

For more information: Call Prevent Blindness America at 800-331-2020 or visit

What’s happening?

Jingle Gym

This special Caregiver’s Night Out will be December 8 from 6-8 at Bio Ability. This is a 2-hour adaptive camp designed to create a safe and enjoyable space for special needs children, while providing much needed respite for dedicated caregivers or parents.  This event is a unique opportunity to provide the time and peace of mind to shop for Christmas gifts or simply enjoy a well-deserved break! Your child may even make a special gift for you for Christmas.

Holiday Schedule

We will be closed for Christmas and New Years from Dec 22-26 and Dec 30 through Jan 1.

December Class Schedule

TTH      9-11 am           Caregivers Assistance Class

TTH      11:00 am         Adaptive Sensory Class

MTW   4:30 pm           Adaptive Ninja

MTW     5:30 pm        Adaptive Gymnastics

Sat       1:00 pm        Adaptive Fitness (Teen/Adult)

Sat       2:00 pm         Senior Functional Fitness

Exercise of the Month:  Gastrocnemius (calf) Muscle

The gastrocnemius muscle is a superficial two-headed muscle that is in the back part of the lower leg. It is located superficial to the soleus in the posterior (back) compartment of the leg. It runs from its two heads just above the knee to the heel, extending across a total of three joints (knee, ankle and subtalar joints). Along with the soleus muscle, the gastrocnemius forms half of the calf muscle, Its function is plantar flexing the foot (pointing the toes) at the ankle joint and flexing the leg (bending) at the knee joint.

The gastrocnemius is primarily involved in running, jumping and other “fast” movements of the leg, and to a lesser degree in walking and standing. Together with soleus, gastrocnemius is important for circulation of venous blood, providing the return of the blood from superficial to deep veins and superiorly to larger vessels to the heart.

Toe Raises– Stand with your feet hip width apart and toes facing forward.  Stand up on your tippie toes and then relax.  Do this 10 times.  You may do both at the same time or one at a time for more of a challenge.  Hold onto a chair for balance.

Elevated Toe Raises– Do the same above with your toes on a step or raised surface with your heels hanging off the edge.  When you relax between repetitions, let your heels hang down below the step and then raise again.  Do 10 repetitions.

Butt Kicks– Stand with feet hip width apart.  Bring your right heel up to your butt.  Lower to the floor and alternate with your left.  You can do this keeping one foot on the ground at all times and making it low impact and low intensity or you can make higher impact and intensity by doing it in a jog in place.

Jump Squat– Stand with feet shoulder width apart.  Lower into a squat position. Push off through the balls of your feet jumping as high as you can. Softly land on the balls of your feet.  Repeat for 10 repetitions.

Toe Jumps- Stand with feet shoulder width apart.  Rise up to the balls of your feet.  Hop up and down quickly.  Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.


Recipe of the Month:  Farmhouse Apple Bacon and Egg Casserole Recipe


Vegetable oil cooking spray
2 cups liquid egg substitute
2 cups nonfat milk
2 teaspoons dried sage
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
8 slices whole-grain bread, cubed
½ pound apple-cured bacon, chopped
3 small tart apples, such as Granny Smith
3 small red apples, such as McIntosh


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF (176ºC). Spray a 13-x-9-inch pan with the cooking spray. Arrange the bread in a pan.
  2. Whisk the egg substitute, milk, sage, pepper and salt in a bowl; pour over the bread. Mix and push the mixture down with a rubber spatula. Set aside.
  3. Cook the bacon thoroughly, but do not crisp. Drain on paper towels; set aside.
  4. Wash, core and chop (but do not peel) the apples. Add the apples to the bread mixture; stir well and push down with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle evenly with the bacon.
  5. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes.

Nutrition Information (12 servings)

Calories: 200; Total Fat: 7g; Saturated Fat: 2.5g; Cholesterol: 15mg; Sodium: 570mg; Total Carbohydrate: 22g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Protein: 13g.

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