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SpecialCare+: Another Trailblazing Standard
May 31, 2016



On Tuesday, May 31st, Achiezer introduced SpecialCare+, a first ever forum for parents and caregivers of the special needs community; providing them access to information, support and resources that are available to them, all under one roof.

As Rabbi Boruch Ber Bender explained, "For us at Achiezer, there is nothing more rewarding than being able to witness, firsthand, the positive impact we can have on people's lives."

While the Achiezer staff anticipates there will be more special care programs to come, this unique Expo got down to business. Geared towards parents, caregivers and family members of children affected with special needs, the event yielded an unprecedented turnout.

Shortly after the event began, the Vendor Expo and the halls of Congregation Beth Sholom in Lawrence were filled with over two hundred people seeking guidance, advice and referrals from various noted experts in the field.

SpecialCare+ consisted of two components. The first was a vendor expo featuring many special needs and related service providers and professionals from many noted organizations and companies. Parents and caregivers were given the chance to meet and consult with these experts from the onset of the evening throughout the entire event. One of the attendees commented, "Every representative was so attentive, listening to each parent's story and advising them with what they had to offer."

Included among the products, services and information offered were the areas of education, healthcare providers, specialized equipment, emotional support, summer camp, extracurricular/respite, family resources, advocacy, day hab/residential, adult planning, financial and legal services.

The second portion of the night was divided into two, hour-long, consecutive breakout sessions, each which catered to the specific ages and stages of special-needs children and young adults. Parents and caregivers had the chance to select and attend the sessions in the topics they were most interested in learning about, ranging from legal and financial issues, to social skills, to parenting, to navigating the City/State services, to detecting learning disabilities to group home placement.

Attendees left feeling empowered - having gained knowledge on various topics, having collaborated with peers going through similar challenges, and, most importantly, they left with a very important resource book in hand. The resource book, assembled by Achiezer staff members includes pertinent information regarding every vendor in attendance at SpecialCare+ as well as some others who were unable to attend but have what to offer to the special needs community.

The enthusiastic comments received by Achiezer both during and after the event were remarkable. "I wanted to thank Achiezer for, as always, accepting achrayus for the community, no matter how daunting or challenging the task or project is," said Joel Kaplan President of On Our Way Learning Center.

In fact, the underlying sentiment of all those present was, "the vendors, the speakers, the venue, the attendance - made a successful event, and the resource directory ensures that this was not just an expo, but an organization that keeps on giving...and giving."

To hear audio of any of the speeches, to receive a copy of the resource guidebook or for more information please email specialcare@achiezer.org or visit www.achiezer.org.

Achiezer would like to express its sincere gratitude to Gourmet Glatt for one again generously sponsoring the lavish dinner buffet at SpecialCare+, personally overseen by General Manager and close friend and supporter of Achiezer, Mr. Yoeli Steinberg.

 

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