Developmentally Disabled Adults Find Risks Are Their Own Rewards at Breaking Barriers by John Hart Real Estate

Adults with developmental disabilities don’t have it easy. But far too often in our society, this leads to people writing them off as helpless. Thankfully, a Los Angeles-area non-profit corporation is devoting themselves to helping developmentally disabled adults live their lives outside of the bubble to which they’re so often relegated. The organization is called Breaking Barriers. And as we found out in our latest Community Spotlight, they’re passionate about helping their participants help themselves.

Breaking Barriers: A Night of Laughter with Top Comedians from Comedy Central, Netflix, HULU, and Amazon

The Breaking Barriers Valentine’s Day Comedy Show is the perfect night out for anyone looking for a fun and meaningful way to spend Valentine’s Day. With a lineup of top comedians from Comedy Central, Netflix, HULU, and Amazon, including Stoner Rob, Joe Eurell, Audrey Stewart, Debra DiGiovanni, Sofiya Alexandra, Danielle Perez, and John Hastings, this event promises to be a night filled with laughter and entertainment.


The Crow provides the perfect venue for this event, offering a warm and inviting atmosphere to enjoy the night. Whether you’re a fan of stand-up comedy or just looking for a fun and meaningful way to spend Valentine’s Day, the Breaking Barriers Valentine’s Day Comedy Show is not to be missed.


Located at The Crow, the event is fully handicapped accessible for both performers and audience members, and has a huge FREE parking lot, making it easy for everyone to attend. And with the venue being directly at the metro stop, there’s no need to worry about parking or traffic. The bar will be open an hour early at 7 pm, providing plenty of time to grab a drink and relax before the show starts. And with two fabulous farm-to-table restaurants on campus, there’s never been a better time to make a night of it.



In addition to the top-notch entertainment, this show is also a chance to support a great cause. Proceeds from the event will go towards supporting adults with developmental disabilities, making this not only a fun night out, but also a way to make a difference in someone’s life.


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How Breaking Barriers supported me to become a better adult.

Thanks to Breaking Barriers I have become a better adult in many different ways. The amount of support and encouragement that this program offers has been helpful in my life. I have learned many new techniques that I can use for day to day living.



Breaking Barriers has been a big help within myself, they have taught me things from taking care of my mental and physical health. They taught me how to be a better communicator. Everyday is a new step in becoming a better person. Thank you to this awesome program that really cares about their participants. A big thank you to Ben.




Hidden Abilities

I want to talk about abilities. We all have them, some good and some bad. Some we take for granted, some are hidden from us. Some abilities are abundant and clear. Are we using our abilities or wasting them? Let’s use a simple example : Do you have the ability to make people laugh? Don’t be stingy with that ability… share it and often. That ability is priceless, we need laughter and joy and smiles! I happen to have a cleaning ability (not everyone has this ability) so I use this ability to freshen spaces as often as possible. Small act but it makes me productive and happy. Think of your endless abilities, celebrate them, count them, cherish them! If it’s a challenge to list them, ask someone near to you, they can help list them. My brother thinks I have the ability to be tough through adversity. I wouldn’t have listed that for myself but he sees it. Oftentimes we have these abilities that we just don’t see in ourselves. That’s why I believe it’s so important to celebrate and cherish every ability of every individual. They shape us and they make the world beautiful just by sharing our abilities, no matter how complex or simple they are. Cheers to you and your amazing abilities, may they be a source of joy and maybe some laughter, but mostly may they be a source of celebration and inspiration to all of us.


Breaking Barriers through Adriana’s eyes

       My name is Adriana and I am a client at the Westside Regional Center, I am also a part of the Self Advocacy group. I have attended several different programs throughout the years at the Regional Center. Some programs I felt I was treated unfairly; others did not fit my schedule or were not available when I needed them. I was always unhappy and lacked the confidence I needed to get back into the workforce.

       One day a facilitator told me about a program called Breaking Barriers. When I went to get more information, I was so happy to feel like they really listened to me and answered all the questions I had. They have completely changed my life in lots of positive ways. When I first joined the group, I was a little shy, but they helped me make friends and made me feel very welcomed. When I need help in any way, they are always there for me. Other programs never have given me the support and encouragement that Breaking Barriers has to offer. They are compassionate about what they do and guide you in the right direction. I have learned how to be confident in interviews, how to use public transportation not only in my city but all-over southern California. I have even learned how to dress to impress for an interview.

First Day as an Usher

       I recommend this program to anybody that is not happy with their current program. I used to make excuses about not attending programs but now I realize how important it is to me, and how it  benefits my life in succeeding. STOP making excuses and join Breaking Barriers! If you want to be yourself, then Breaking Barriers is for you!

Hammer Museum

There has to be a better way….

There has to be a better way….

       I have been in Social Services since I was 18. I started out as a Direct Support Professional right out of high school. I left and tried other things but always came back to it. I realized I had a passion for my work and made a commitment to supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Through the years, I worked my way up. I became an administrator, then a program director. I wrote reports for a behavioral consultant. I started to realize that what I was writing did not reflect the person as a whole. The reports focused on the deficiencies, the behavior plans were all cookie cutter and not tailored to each person’s needs. The people I was supporting were not thriving, they were just existing. Nothing was being done to support these individuals to success. Every meeting was the same. When you can do this, and this then you can move on. They were all just stagnant. It took a while, but I began to realize that maybe this, this and this may not be obtainable for that person. We were creating unrealistic expectations. We were trying to force these individuals into the mold of what we thought their lives should look like. Who am I to say how someone should live their life? I would probably cuss and scream a hell of a lot more if someone was trying to prevent me from living my life on my terms. BUT you can’t move into your own apartment until you reduce incidents of verbal aggression from a baseline of three times per month to zero for six consecutive months! Well shit, I’m almost 40 and I have never met and will never meet that goal. No one stopped me from living on my own. I don’t make my bed every day, I don’t do chores every day, I don’t work on my functional skills every day, I don’t always wake up on time, I don’t always wash my hair when I shower, etc. etc. etc. Some days I lay in my pajamas watching Netflix and eating Oreos. When I moved out at 19, I was a hot mess. I got to fail, I got to suffer, I got my electricity turned off, I crashed my car, I maxed out credit cards, I jumped around between jobs, I traveled, I ate like crap, I drank too much, I LIVED on my terms and no one held me back. No one told me I wasn’t ready. It was sink or swim and I sank…a lot. I exercised my basic human right to take risks. I finally figured it out. Today I’m a successful adult.



       So, there I was in another meeting telling another person why they can’t live their life.  I started feeling like a hypocrite. Then I started thinking, there has to be a better way. Then I started thinking about how I would do it if I owned my own support agency. I wouldn’t try to fit people into molds, I would embrace their mold. I also wouldn’t try to fix people, because nothing is wrong with them. We would develop support based on what the individual wanted. Things that made sense in their life so that they felt fulfilled. Then an opportunity presented itself where I could start my own company. It happened and I was determined that our agency’s policies would be vastly different. Breaking Barriers takes a person-centered approach to support. Our participants decide what they want to work on, they choose their goals, they determine how long it will take. We are here to work for the person. We do not believe there is something wrong with a person that has a developmental disability. We are all different and we all require different support in our lives. We are no better than others. There is no them and us, we are all equal. We are all human, working our way through life, and finding our own happiness. The better way is knowing this, living this, and running a support agency with these ideals as the foundation.