Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Special Needs Education & Employment Conversation

Boca Raton, FL – September 15, 2015 – On Thursday, September 10, 2015 over 70 members of the community came together to learn about education and employment services in supports in Palm Beach County for individuals with special needs and disabilities.  The following experts discussed the landscape of needs and services and shared how their organizations are working to create a more inclusive and engaging community for residents of varying abilities:

Tom D’Eri, Founder and CEO, Rising Tides Carwash

Michelle Dryer, Director of Community Partnerships, Career Source

Dr. Mary Lou Duffy, Professor, Florida Atlantic University and Project Coordinator for the FAU Academy for Community Inclusion

Ann Eisenberg, Executive Director, Palm Beach School for Autism
Dawn Hicks, Executive Director, Stand Among Friends

Stacey Hoaglund, Family Network on Disability, Coordinator of Partners in Policy for the State of Florida

John Neveling, District Human Resource Manager in the South Florida Region, The Home Depot

Keith Oswald, Chief Academic Officer, School District of Palm Beach
Michelle Rubin, Founder of Autism After 21 and FAU Soaring Owls

Unicorn Children’s Foundation, in partnership with Palm Beach County Youth Services, are convening community conversation to better understand the current landscape of supports and services, the gaps in available services and supports, and barriers to accessing services for individuals with special needs.  Since January 2015, over 180 participants representing more than 70 private, public and civic organizations, as well as parents and individuals challenged by special needs, have come together monthly to discuss their experiences, concerns, ideas, and solutions.  These community conversations are part of a larger community needs assessment on special needs and disability that was commissioned by The Unicorn Children’s Foundation with funding support from Palm Beach County Government, Quantum Foundation, Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County, Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County, Ruth Rales Jewish Family Service, Autism After 21, Els for Autism, and the Autism Project of Palm Beach County.  A presentation to the larger community is planned for Tuesday, December 1, 2015 from 5-8pm at the Palm Beach County South County Civic Center to unveil a business model to create a more coordinated and comprehensive continuum of care, engagement, and inclusion for individuals with special needs and/or disability.

View Photos: https://plus.google.com/photos/114447671366269128560/albums/6194813882377864289

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