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Guiding all families: Jewish Disability Awareness Month and JF&CS’s special needs services

Who is wise? The one who learns from all people…. 
                                 – Pirke Avot, ancient Jewish text

In honor of February’s Jewish Disability Awareness Month, there are several programs, lectures and events throughout the community, all with the message of inclusion. If you’re looking for a way to acknowledge this month, consider hosting a JF&CS special needs sensitivity training workshop for your congregation, school or other organization. These group workshops are designed to foster sensitivity by helping participants understand what life is like for people with disabilities such as autism, ADHD and learning challenges. Please contact JF&CS resource coordinator Linda Marino at lmarino@jfcspgh.org or 412.904.5945 to learn more.

In addition to promoting greater inclusion through advocacy and community education, JF&CS provides information, referral, counseling and support groups. We work with families to ensure that their children, teens and adults with special needs reach their highest potential. Our experienced, compassionate staff understands that each disability presents a different set of challenges unique to your family, and our special needs program serves people of all religions and ages. If you or anyone you know needs help with an individual with special needs, please contact Linda at lmarino@jfcspgh.org or 412.904.5945 to learn more.

I also would like to take a minute to highlight one of JF&CS’s support groups. Growing Together is a monthly support group for family members of adults with special needs. Facilitated by Linda, the group provides families an opportunity to share information and emotional support. Participants agree that the resources and support they receive at Growing Together are invaluable.

Growing Together meets the first Wednesday of each month from 6:30-8:30pm at JF&CS (5743 Bartlett Street, Squirrel Hill).* The next meeting is Wednesday, Feb. 2. To register online, click here. For more information, please contact Linda at lmarino@jfcspgh.org or 412.904.5945.

* Refreshments provided. Growing Together meetings sponsored by ABOARD.