‘Go after your dream;’ New activity club for people with disabilities hosts first event

BEAVERCREEK — People in the Miami Valley are working to create a community for those with disabilities.

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Club PocQuets, and another organization, have partnered to create the area’s first activity club for people with disabilities.

Saturday afternoon, the club hosted an event at the Align Life Center in Beavercreek.

There was a DJ, karaoke, food, games, and a massage therapist.

The club’s goal is to take away the stigma surrounding disabilities.

“It gives me a sense of independence and it just makes me feel normal sometimes. Having a disability is not a punishment at all, it’s how God made me,” PocQuets member Ashley Ackerman said.

Ackerman previously worked with Louanda James, who is the founder of the club.

After the two became good friends, James came up with the idea of creating the club back in 2021.

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“I’m going to keep doing it, by the time we finish I want them to have their own community. So they cannot be judged and have equality where they go,” James said.

Ackerman said she grew up with social anxiety and told News Center 7′s Malik Patterson that she always wanted to be a part of something bigger than herself.

Now she uplifts others in the group.

“Don’t let anyone ever tear you down and I mean anyone. If you want to pursue a career in nursing, law school, anything. Do not be afraid to go after your dream,” Ackerman said.

The Align Life Center hosted the club on Saturday afternoon. The center also serves as a day center for those who have disabilities.

Josh Ison is the owner of the Align Life Center, and he said he’s excited to see what the club has in store.

“Spreading this open to folks with all kinds of disabilities. Not just developmental disabilities, but physical and psychological,” Ison said.

Ackerman also has a vision for the club and for other disability groups.

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“I hope we can reach this message not just across Ohio but across all the states to get the message across that people with disabilities are still people and we need disability equality,” Ackerman said.

James said the club’s next plan is to secure a fitness center to host events at.

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