OC’s Only IL Center for People with Disabilities and Older Adults, Dayle McIntosh Center Receives Two Anaheim Honors: Toastmasters Corporate Recognition Award and City of Anaheim Proclamation 

: Inside of DMC's meeting room the double award presentation photos. L-R, Holding award, Toastmasters Int’l Director, Region 2, Jesse Oakey, III, DTM is holding the crystal award in hands; Next to him is DMC Executive Director, Brittany Zazueta holding Anaheim proclamation, next to her is DMC Board President Tony Clement, standing; next to him in a grey suit is Anaheim City Council Member Carlos Leon and standing next to him is DMC Board Vice-President, David Flores)

Anaheim, CA –– Two honors in one day, The Dayle McIntosh Center for the Disabled of OC (DMC) www.daylemc.org is proud to celebrate the double blessing of unexpected honors given on April 18th, 2024, while celebrating forty-seven years of committed service as Orange County, California’s only Independent Living Center. The long-standing peer-based 501(c) (3) non-profit organization which serves people with disabilities and the aging community received a proclamation signed by the City of Anaheim’s Council Member Carlos Leon and Council Member Stephen J. Faessel.  The proclamation was physically presented at DMC’s facility (501 N. Brookhurst Street #102) in Anaheim, during a Toastmaster’s Anaheim Club #2 meeting, where DMC also received the prestigious Toastmasters Corporate Recognition Award, an award which is only presented once every seven years, presented by Toastmasters International Director, Region 2, Jesse Oakley III, DTM.

“I want to recognize all of you at the Dayle McIntosh Center for your commitment and your dedication to fostering employment through the Toastmasters program,” said Anaheim Council Member Carlos Leon, who represents the city’s District 2, where the center is based. “I appreciate all the work you do. On behalf of Anaheim, we recognize you and your efforts, especially here in District 2. We hope to continue working with you on behalf of our community. Thank you and congratulations.”

Both awards have deep meaning for DMC with a long history connecting both partnership alliances in the city. Anaheim’s name is a blend of Ana, after the nearby Santa Ana River, and German –heim meaning “home” punctuates the double recognition of just that with DMC calling Anaheim home two different times – once in 1987 and again in 2014, where its current Anaheim facility is the meeting place for Toastmasters Anaheim Club #2, the second oldest club of the Toastmaster Internationals among more than 16,200 clubs currently existing in 145 countries. The club was chartered in Anaheim, Orange County, California on January 1, 1926.  DMC received the Toastmasters Corporate Recognition Award the same night as the City of Anaheim proclamation, which is an honor designated for distinguished corporate sponsors making an investment in the future of their employees and their organizations. 

“If I can give the one word that connects the Dayle McIntosh Center to Toastmasters, it would be courage. Similar to Toastmasters having the courage to stand up and speak to the audience, the people of the Dayle McIntosh Center have the courage to stand up and speak to the world through their words, actions, and heart,” stated Las Vegas-based International Director, Region 2, Jesse Oakley III, DTM, who flew in from Las Vegas specifically for this presentation and is an esteemed ambassador of the organization.

For DMC, this full-circle rewarding moment is not lost on its leadership both for the Board of Directors comprised of Toastmasters members and for its current Executive Director who is celebrating over eleven years with DMC and ushering in new movement with her second year spearheading the organization’s growth trajectory in a new COVID-era climate. 

“It is a true honor to receive the Corporate Recognition award from Toastmasters on behalf of DMC. I joined Toastmasters with Anaheim Club 2 in 2016 as a new supervisor looking to grow my confidence in communication and expand my leadership skills. As the Executive Director today, I greatly benefit from the skills I gained and relationships I built through the Club. I hope our Team at DMC and the disability and older adult community we serve see this important recognition as a symbol of the excellence that is possible when we invest in ourselves,” shared Brittany Zazueta, Executive Director of DMC.

Pictured: Left, the crystal engraved Corporate Recognition Award from Toastmasters International; Right, the City of Anaheim proclamation on cream color paper with gold embossed logo at the top and highlights signed.

Founded in 1977, DMC initially called Garden Grove home, back when Anaheim’s population was 200,100 people with 6.80% older adults according to the state’s census. DMC’s Anaheim roots grew strong with a move to its very first Anaheim office location in 1987 (150 W. Cerritos), where the older adult population grew to 7% and total population grew to 242,161. The move seemed appropriate to serve a growing community. That same year, DMC created history in Anaheim and in Orange County with the development of one of the few apartment complexes in the nation designed specifically for people with disabilities and their families, Carbon Creek Shores of Anaheim. The 107,794 square foot two-building challenging project took six years of planning and development with ACCESS Anaheim Technical Advisory Board, Retirement Housing Foundation and the Dayle McIntosh Center leading the way joining forces with the City of Anaheim to see it through to fruition. 

As time, population, needs, and government resources ebbed and flowed, DMC moved back to Garden Grove, before returning to Anaheim in 2014 where it has called the city home again as the population rose to 347,362 where it has remained the last decade in its current 501 N. Brookhurst Street location.  This time the stay has allowed for a beautiful partnership to blossom with the city. In the same year DMC returned to Anaheim, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) was signed into law and mandated a new fifth core service for Centers for Independent Living across the Nation. One component was the requirement to provide youth transition services to young adults with disabilities, both in and out of school. The challenge with WIOA is that while it mandated important and needed services for young people, Centers did not receive any additional funding for implementation of those services. Fortunately, DMC was awarded Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds through the City of Anaheim, allowing the organization to launch a new Youth Program. In 2017, the city invited DMC to share space at the Anaheim Accessibility Center. This allowed a larger place to hold DMC’s weekly Youth Program groups on Saturdays, offer adaptive cooking workshops to people with disabilities of all ages, and grow new partnerships with the other disability service providers working from the AAC.

Presently DMC remains as OC’s only non-residential, cross-disability independent living agency in OC which meets the standards and indicators established for the operation of independent living centers in the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. Currently, 28 such centers exist in California and approximately 500 are in operation nationally. 

“I feel honored to be on DMC’s Board of Directors. Having grown up in the City of Anaheim I recall that I saw very few individuals with disabilities within the city. Now, I realize that they have always been there, it’s just that the ability to engage in the community was limited due to accessibility. The future here should be that we look at ways for the community of people with disabilities and older adults to have access to all that the city has to offer. Most importantly, we do all we can to support these individuals to enjoy life the same way we make Anaheim a wonderful experience for our tourist community,” stated DMC’s Board of Directors Vice-President David Flores who has spent 40 years with Toastmasters International, serving as Program Quality Director 2018-2019 and District 100 Director 2019-2020.

According to Equity in OC, current population is 3,186,989 in Orange County (and growing) where the number of people with disabilities has grown to more than 31,514 in just Anaheim alone and countywide to 278,935 in addition to the disability population with growing Boomer-GenX market of aging older adults. According to the Office on Aging over 450,000 older adults (aged 65 and older) account for 14.3% of Orange County’s population. By 2045, this number is projected to increase to 17.3%. With the ADA recognizing Long COVID as a disability, the CDC estimates nearly 20% of people who’ve had the virus are suffering with long-term effects. At the end of 2023 YTD OC-based positive cumulative COVID cases were 800,344 in total which brings the Long-COVID disability population number to 4,001,720, which will double, not including compounding pre-existing conditions, disabilities and aging to factor in the overwhelming growing population.

DMC facilitates equal access and inclusion within the community providing important resources, support and independent living rehabilitation programs. “As I learn more about DMC and the history of the movement towards independent living, I recognize the important role DMC plays in providing a hub to assist those seeking services in dealing with a disability challenge. One factor that is looming will be the growing older adult population. Based on the cost of living here in California, many seniors will face challenges to live in a household not originally built to accommodate their limited mobility. I feel that DMC can play an important role in serving this growing population,” elaborates Flores.

With a busy 2024 well underway so far, DMC’s Executive Director, Brittany Zazueta shares DMC’s pivoting need. “As we’ve shifted our focus back to community connection, igniting new and expanding existing relationships. Once of the most notable developments is the upcoming launch of our Veteran Direct Care Program in collaboration with the VA Long Beach Health Care Center. This program will allow us to support Veterans in receiving Home and Community-Based Services, allowing them to remain independent in the community setting of their choice. This person-centered and Veteran directed approach aligns with our mission and forward progress. DMC looks forward to continued expansion as we are actively developing community education programs for service providers, educators, medical professionals, and the disabled and older adult community we serve.”

The Dayle McIntosh Center acquires revenues from public and private sources, as well as through Fee for Service programs received from third party payees. The primary funders of the organization include: the Administration on Community Living, the State Department of Rehabilitation, and the California Department of Aging.  Year-long fundraising is vital for DMC to continue to do its work to meet growing demands in OC as the organization continues striving to bring in new programs and resources to change with the growing demand of the disabilities community it serves. Part of DMC’s strength is being a peer-to-peer organization where most of the staff is composed of individuals, who have disabilities themselves and have lived experience which will help benefits those new to disability. With success in doing so, first-hand support, services, knowledge and experience add to the ability to expand outreach demonstrating what is possible in becoming self-sufficient and rising above challenges.

If you’d like to donate to The Dayle McIntosh Center you can do so by clicking HERE.  Find out about the many ways you can support DMC HERE.   Help DMC circulate this donor flyer to your networks.

For more information on DMC’s programs and services go to https://daylemc.org or call directly at 714-621-3300.  For media story inquiries, please contact Publicist, Stacey Kumagai, Media Monster Communications, Inc. at 818.506.8675.         

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