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Disability Supports Offered at Senior Center July Marks Disability Pride Month and Anniversary of ADA

By Angie Fitton
Unbeknownst to many, July is Disability Pride Month. July 26th marks the anniversary of the creation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990.
Also unbeknownst to most, there are Disability Supports offered at the Bellingham Senior Center. This level of support is for everyone; it is not something that is determined by age.
The Bellingham Senior Center is all one floor and is ADA compliant and accommodates all disabilities. They offer an array of different services to those with disabilities. 
Every Monday at 1 p.m., the senior center has complimentary chair exercise classes. Each Tuesday at 10 a.m., a nurse is at the senior center measuring blood pressures of anyone who would like to check up on it. Wednesday mornings at 8:15 a.m. is a walking group that goes around the town common. This is great for those who need to frequently stop and rest while getting the exercise necessary to their health.
There are a couple of different opportunities to get exercise on Fridays, with a chair yoga class at 9:15 a.m. and at 9 a.m. for those able to walk without needing the frequent stops, there is a walking group that goes to the Southern New England Trunkline Trail (SNETT).
“At Home Hearing Health” comes to the Bellingham Senior Center the second Monday of every other month, or by appointment. During these visits, community members, and not just seniors, can get hearing tests, have their hearing aids cleaned and checked to make sure they are working properly as well as receive guidance on how to use the aids.
The Durable Medical Equipment Program is another great way that those with physical disabilities can receive help. Free of charge, as they are all donations, citizens of Bellingham have the option of borrowing from the “closet” at the senior center. Equipment that can be loaned out or given are wheelchairs, commodes, walkers, canes and shower chairs. Some of these items people may need long-term, or if they’ve just had a surgery and need equipment temporarily, this program is great for those in need.
“Helping those with disabilities is a natural fabric of the senior center,” states Director Josie Dutil.
Through GATRA, the Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority, which can be reached at (508) 823-8828, Bellingham residents within ten miles of the senior center receive complimentary rides to and from the senior center for any reason. 
Coming this July, the Bellingham Senior Center will be employing a part time Mental Health Therapist for those in need of talking with someone about their mental health problems. This free service is vital to those with mental health disabilities and a great addition to the senior center’s offerings.
For those looking to take advantage of the services provided at the senior center, their telephone number is (508) 966-0398, and they are located at 40 Blackstone Street. It is highly recommended that anyone who thinks they may be able to utilize the senior center call and request to be added to the list of recipients of the Bellingham Senior Center newsletter or go to the website off of the main Bellingham town page at
In addition to the Bellingham Senior Center, the Franklin Senior Center, right in the next town at 10 Daniel McCahill St., Franklin, is open to neighboring town residents aged 55 and older. There, folks experiencing vision problems can call for an appointment or to join the low vision support group at their regional Low Vision Center. Call Maggie Gundersen at (508) 520-4945.

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