March is Developmental Disabilities Month

CONTACT: Barbara Fornasiero, EAFocus Communications;; 248.260.8466; Erika Jones, Judson Center;; 248.837.2052

Royal Oak, Mich. —March 21, 2019 — Judson Center, a multi-county human service agency providing autism programs, behavioral health services, child and family services including foster care and adoption in tandem with its affiliate, Child Safe Michigan, and employment services for the disabled, is bringing disabilities month into focus by highlighting a community partnership that benefits both those with disabilities and area seniors.

Judson Center’s Vocational Services, which provides community-based employment and skill building opportunities for persons with disabilities, has been working with Meals on Wheels Oakland since 2017 to bring food and fellowship to seniors living in Ferndale. Meals on Wheels provides the meals and delivery equipment (bags, coolers etc.,) while Judson Center’s Vocational Services participants help gather the meals from the distribution center and then deliver them to the seniors’ door. In the process, they have built close relationships with the seniors they serve.

“I call my staff the unsung heroes of Meals on Wheels; they are rock stars who go above and beyond their duties,” Lawanda Shields, Judson Center Vocational Services Site Supervisor, said.  “Along with serving meals, they have become a listening ear and friend to the seniors they serve. They provide such positive energy each day and always go the extra mile, for example, remembering the dietary needs of their seniors.”

Meals on Wheels Ferndale and Coolidge Site Manager Carleen Webb is also enthusiastic about the benefits of the joint program.

“We have such an amazing partnership with Judson Center. The support we receive from their Vocational Services participants is key to our seniors receiving their meals. Not only do they receive their food, they receive it with kindness,” Webb said. “Judson Center’s team is very professional and hardworking.  Meals on Wheels and the seniors they serve can always count on them.”

Ultimately, the goal of Judson Center’s Disability Services is to help participants live with purpose, fulfillment and dignity, according to Brad Ewing, Director of Disability Services.

“Judson Center’s partnership with Meals on Wheels provides a service to the community while also helping our participants develop skills in the areas of customer service and managing interpersonal relationships that often prove vitally important for those pursuing employment,” Ewing said. “For others, it yields the opportunity for full inclusion and engagement in the local community.”

For more information on Judson Center’s disability services, visit the website.

About Meals on Wheels Oakland

Oakland Meals on Wheels is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization. The mission statement of Meals on Wheels Oakland is to provide seniors with daily delivery of hot, nutritious food delivered by a caring person interested in their safety and wellbeing. To donate, volunteer or receive a meal visit the website.  

About Judson Center

Judson Center is a non-profit human service agency that provides expert, comprehensive services in Southeast Michigan that strengthen children, adults and families impacted by abuse and neglect, autism, developmental disabilities, and behavioral health challenges so they are successful in their communities.  Since opening its doors in 1924, Judson Center has grown to change the lives of nearly 9,000 children, adults, and families each year. Judson Center has five regional offices in Genesee, Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties. Headquarters are located at 4410 W. 13 Mile Road, Royal Oak, MI 48073.  Learn more at