On Tuesday, May 31, 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.
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 200 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, and financial and legal services.
The second portion of the night was divided into two consecutive hour-long breakout sessions, each of 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 on the topics they were most interested in learning about, such as legal and financial issues, social skills, parenting, navigating the city and state services, detecting learning disabilities, and 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 an 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 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 .Â .Â . and giving.”
To hear audio of any of the speeches, to receive a copy of the resource guidebook, or for more information, please e-mail email@example.com 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 Mr. Yoeli Steinberg, the general manager and a close friend and supporter of Achiezer.