The director of TEAMS Educational Center, a Nebraska-based nonprofit serving disabled people and their families, has won national recognition from the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists. Thompson Kay received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the denomination for his ministry to the disabled, particularly those with hearing impairment and dyslexia.
A native of Georgia, Kay moved to Lincoln to work as director of deaf services for Christian Record Services, an international organization that primarily serves the visually impaired. In 2000 Kay launched TEAMS. Beyond administrative duties, he and his wife, Ethel, assist children and adults through personal tutoring, sign language classes and educational workshops. They have developed a unique approach that helps students discover their individual learning process. Nationally, Kay presents seminars on disability awareness competence to educators, business leaders, clergy and parents of students with disabilities.
“People with disabilities need love, acceptance, and respect—just like non-disabled people do. They need us to be kind and considerate as we help them cope with their situation,” Kay stated.
Along with managing hearing impairment and dyslexia, TEAMS specializes in ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), the most common behavior dysfunction diagnosed in children and teens. Students with such disabilities tend to read below their grade level and intellectual capacity. Many are greatly benefited by personal tutoring as well as the licensed after-school program provided at TEAMS’ facility.
Kay typically concludes seminars with an admonition: “If you forget everything else I say, please remember this. People with disabilities are first of all people. May God help us overcome any barrier keeping us from accepting and interacting with them.”
TEAMS, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, can offer services at low cost because of tax-deductible donations. For more information, contact Thompson or Ethel Kay at 402.483.5395 (V/TTY) or firstname.lastname@example.org.