When Crisann Black gave birth to an autistic son, she started to see firsthand the struggles people with disabilities go through on a daily basis. One of the things that caught her attention right away was the lack of activities and therapies available today for people with disabilities.
In an effort to give those with special needs a safe and fun environment for social activities, the Tucson mother decided to take matters into her own hands. She started a brand new nightclub tailored to meet the needs of those with disabilities. She named it Club Zeus in honor of her son.
The club acts as a once-per-month dance party that welcomes anyone with special needs to socialize, dance, have fun, and enjoy tasty refreshments. The club is perfect for those that don’t have a lot of opportunities to connect with others – especially those with similar experiences.
Crisann Black has given birth to five children and while she’s no stranger to motherhood, she understands the responsibility that comes with mothering a special needs child. Her youngest son, Zeus, is now four years old and was born with autism – something they cope with daily.
She opened up about her role as his mother, adding that ‘being his advocate is one of the greatest things that I can be. Being his mom is amazing, but being there to really defend and support him is probably the best thing.’ She takes great pride in raising her son every single day.
Black ultimately decided to start Club Zeus when she saw the growing need for inclusive spaces and tailored environments for those with special needs. “In thinking about his future in regards to therapies or activities that he’s involved in, I want to see more activities take place,” she said.
Club Zeus is open on the second Saturday of every month – their last dance was on October 8th and they have another one scheduled for November 12th. If you’re in the Tucson, Arizona area, you can pre-order your ticket for $10 – and be prepared to leave feeling like a rockstar!
Club Zeus is Helping People With Disabilities Find Joy in Life
What Crisann Black is doing for the special needs community is something she hopes to see more parents do for their children – no matter what type of disability they have. She reflected on how many people don’t take the time to understand her son and rather choose to ignore him.
“I do have to speak on his behalf and explain to people, ‘Hey, he has a disability. He doesn’t mean any harm,'” said Black, adding that they sometimes receive positive responses rooted in understanding, while other times they receive poor responses that just come off as rude.
When people with disabilities show up to Club Zeus – which is reserved for those 18 years and older – they “come in full glam, and they look gorgeous, and it’s just incredible to see them and their confidence, and it just all shines,” according to Black. It sounds to me like they have fun!
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There are more than one billion people in the world living with at least one disability and 61 million adults in the United States alone. More specifically, there are over five million adults in the United States that fall on the autism spectrum and more are being born every single year.
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