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Spotlight on LARC, which has Served Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in SWFL since 1954

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LARC, Inc.
Kevin Lewis

It’s been 30 years since the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act, or ADA. That’s the civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public.

Throughout the month of July WGCU is celebrating the 30th anniversary with the “Move to Include” initiative, a nationwide public media effort that seeks to inspire and motivate people to embrace different abilities and include all people in all aspects of life.

This week on Gulf Coast Life we learn bout LARC, or Lee Association for Remarkable Citizens. This organization has served people of all ages with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, and their families, here in Southwest Florida since 1954 — that’s 36 years before the ADA was passed. We get some history, and a sense of where they are today, with LARC's Executive Director, Kevin Lewis; and Katie Vazquez, she is the Learn-Achieve-Become (LAB) coordinator at LARC.

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Katie Vasquez

Mike Kiniry is producer of Gulf Coast Live, and co-creator and host of the WGCU podcast Three Song Stories: Biography Through Music. He first joined the WGCU team in the summer of 2003 as an intern while studying Communication at Florida Gulf Coast University. 
Julie Glenn is the News Director and the host of Gulf Coast Live. She joined the WGCU team in November of 2016 to expand the Gulf Coast Live call-in radio show from once a week to five days a week.  Since then, the show has been recognized in state and regional competitions and has featured artists, political leaders, historians, environmental experts, doctors, local reporters, and national and international scholars. After leading the station's award-winning coverage of Hurricane Irma in September of 2017, Julie was named Interim News Director. In January of 2018, she launched WGCU's first podcast: Grape Minds.