top of page

Pandemic Didn’t Stop TMI Clients with Developmental Disabilities from Completing Viticulture Program

Updated: May 20, 2021

Individual with a disability picking grapes
Shane participating in the Viticulture Program prior to the pandemic.

The pandemic didn’t stop this awesome Toward Maximum Independence (TMI) group from completing the Global Citizens Viticulture Program in Temecula. Amanda, Daisy and Shane started the program with the assistance of their TMI Community Integration Training Program (CITP) Job Coach Annaliza Ventenilla prior to the shelter in place order. The TMI CITP program is designed as a vocational and social skills training program to recognize, develop and build the skills of TMI clients with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).

Man with a disability in vineyard smiling.
Shane enjoying the program prior to the pandemic.

In the beginning, Annaliza committed herself to finding an engaging program for her CITP group to participate in where they could learn and grow in their knowledge of Viticulture. The program teaches participants about various topics from like plant anatomy and the grape cycle. During the pandemic, she remained steadfast in her commitment to assist each client by providing directives on how to utilize video technology to participate in the online program via Zoom. Annaliza also participated in the Zoom program in order to provide support and encouragement to each of her clients.

Woman with a disability in vineyard.
Daisy participating in the program prior to the pandemic.

Amanda, Daisy and Shane were very dedicated to continuing the program online and demonstrated disciplinary skills in being on time for each class, participating in group discussions and completing the class course work. Even if frustrated at times due to not quite understanding or getting the answers incorrect the first time, they continued to press on until they successfully completed the course!

The Viticulture Program had a drive-by ceremony for the group to pick up their certificates of completion. They were excited to celebrate their accomplishments together on a Zoom call!

Individuals with disabilities on Zoom.
Shane, Daisy and Amanda celebrating their course completion via Zoom.

“I am so very proud of all involved,” said CITP Division Manager Andrea Rivera “They should be very proud of themselves as well! Thank you to Annaliza for being such a dedicated and wonderful Job Coach during this challenging time.”

Congratulations to all on a job well done!


Toward Maximum Independence (TMI) has been transforming the lives of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1981 and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing since 2000. In 2020, we launched Disabled Veteran Employment Services. TMI strives to help our clients to realize their hopes and dreams by providing Employment Solutions, Community Living and Family Support Services throughout San Diego, Riverside and Imperial Counties. To stay connected with us, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Together we can share acceptance and awareness, ultimately contributing to further inclusion.


bottom of page