Together We Bloom
Our Mission and Values
The mission of Together We Bloom is to empower young children with disabilities and
their families through equitable access to communication, connection, and community. We strive to uphold this mission both by providing respectful, holistic, family-centered speech and language therapy and by working to transform our society into a place that is more inclusive and equitable for the children we serve.
At Together We Bloom:
We believe that every child is unique and deserves to be respected, valued, and celebrated.
We believe that all brains are beautiful and all communication modalities are valid.
We believe that direct intervention to support children with disabilities and neurodivergent children cannot be separated from the work to transform our society into a place that is more inclusive and equitable to the children whom we serve.
We believe in centering the voices and experiences of people with disabilities and those who have been marginalized by our society.
We believe that our community will be richer and more just by embracing our neurodiversity, celebrating our difference and prioritizing belonging and equity for individuals with disabilities.
The work and leadership of many disability self-advocates (including Autistic, Neurodivergent, Deaf, and other identities) have paved the way for the disability justice movement that we support. From their vulnerability in sharing their stories, their labor, and their drive for justice, Together We Bloom was inspired.
After ten years of practicing as a speech-language pathologist, learning from these disability self-advocates, and listening to the families of her clients, Together We Bloom founder, Kim Takacs was stricken by the harm and exclusion being done to individuals with disabilities and their families by a society that views disability as a problem to be solved rather than differences that contribute to the richness of our community. This current "medical model of disability" is pervasive in the field of speech-language pathology, our education system, and our greater community, and continually centers the experiences and needs of non-disabled individuals. This creates systemic structures that continue to marginalize people with disabilities and their intersecting identities.
As an established private practice owner, Kim felt she could not, in good conscience, support her clients to overcome communication challenges in therapy as an SLP and then ignore the structures in our society that prevent them from thriving. It is abundantly clear that dismantling the structures that perpetuate ableism, racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination needs to be goals of our work as much as providing evidenced-based intervention.
Together We Bloom was founded as a non-profit organization in 2022 in order to work toward this mission in the communities of Maplewood and South Orange and beyond. We believe in empowering children and their families by celebrating their strengths, supporting their challenges, and transforming our community to a more inclusive place. We are committed to amplifying the voices of self-advocates in the disabilities community, ongoing personal learning and growth, and prioritizing the dignity and rights of individuals with disabilities. We are centered on the values of connection, communication, and community.