Who We Are
Ensemble is a parent-directed resource for families caring for someone with a disability that provides support from birth through adulthood. Our name, Ensemble, is French for “together” and was chosen for the strength and resiliency found in the connections we build between families and within the community. Ensemble inspires possibilities for our children by promoting family leadership so that families thrive and become active members in the community.
The diagnosis of a disability or special need is often unexpected and can drastically alter a family’s life. Parents face tremendous challenges and experience intense emotions and feelings such as loss, anger, despair, guilt, frustration, and isolation. Sometimes, the isolation can be profound as many parents feel others will not understand how they are feeling.
Ensemble was founded in 2000 by two moms whose lives have been affected by their children's diagnosis of a disability. These moms understood the importance of connecting to others as the first step in helping parents cope with the challenges of raising a child with a disability. They approached Community Living Essex County with a proposal to fund a family leadership group to strengthen families and change perceptions. The agency saw the benefits of this approached and Ensemble was created. Ensemble is grateful for this unique relationship and the continued support we receive from Community Living Essex County which enables us to focus on our work to empower families and shift the community’s attitude to a welcoming and inclusive environment for our loved ones. These moms along with Community Living Essex County understood the importance of connecting to others as the first step in helping parents cope with the challenges of raising a child with a disability. That connection is the inspiration for our tag line:
“Making Connections, Inspiring Strength”
The understanding is what fosters the strength in the connections between families and the community as reflected in our mission and vision:
Ensemble is guided by an advisory committee and a parent consultant, Kelly Runnalls who carries out the ongoing and daily activities.
Ensemble’s website is designed to offer opportunities:
to connect with other families
for individual support
to actively participate in the community
to share and receive helpful tips
to read and share inspirational stories
to access resources designed to support a parents’ journey
for hope and encouragement for families
Ensemble is supported and works in partnership with Community Living Essex County who believes in the merit of family support. We rely on grants and the generosity of public donations to fund our programs and services.