Dec 20, 2018

New Special Needs Resources: Jewish Abilities Alliance Website and Community Liaison

The Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County is pleased to introduce the new Jewish Abilities Alliance comprehensive online Resource Guide, and the availability of a Special Needs Community Liaison to provide information to individuals with disabilities, and their families.

The Jewish Abilities Alliance at southpalmbeach.jewishabilities.org was created as an integral part of the Federation’s Special Needs Initiative. The JAA is the community’s network that links individuals with disabilities and their families to resources, services, support groups, workshops, clinics and recreational programs within the community. Known as a “one-stop shop for families,” it is easy to navigate as users may filter their searches by ages and needs.

Tzippi Rosen, LCSW, Special Needs Community Liaison

The need for the web resource was clear, said Stuart Silver, Federation’s Vice President of Planning. “More than 100 community leaders, program providers and family members engaged in Federation’s Special Needs Task Force agreed that a comprehensive Resource Directory, identifying local programs and services offered by Jewish and secular organizations, was priority #1 for local families of adults and children with Special Needs. Today, we are one of four communities across the country who have developed a Jewish Abilities Alliance directory. We’re very pleased to have seen an increase in the use of the Directory since its recent launch.”

The Federation is also pleased to have met the Special Needs Task Force’s #2 priority by now offering the services of our Community Liaison for Special Needs. Tzippi Rosen, LCSW, is dedicated to helping individuals and families navigate the website and recommend available resources that correspond with their needs. She can be reached at 561-852-3145 or at jaa@bocafed.org.

“The Jewish Abilities Alliance is a vital resource for our community,” said Rosen, who has worked with the area’s Special Needs community since 2004. “The website assists families in finding the programs and services they need for their loved ones with different abilities, strengthening their connection and enabling them to more fully participate in the community.”

The Chair of Federation’s Special Needs Task Force, Emily Grabelsky, agreed. “The Jewish Ability Alliance represents our community’s open door to those families residing in South Palm Beach County with loved ones who have special needs. It allows us to highlight our programs and services offered throughout our community, and guide participants to a host of opportunities that meet their needs. It will help individuals and families learn more about what currently exists and access what is available. It is my hope that the JAA is the first of many innovative, new projects impacting these families over the next 3-5 years.”

In an array of convenient searchable categories, the online Resource Guide at southpalmbeach.jewishabilities.org lists more than 75 resources in sections designated for different age groups: Early Years, School Years, Transition Years and Adulthood. These sections also include advice on topics emphasizing creating a full life at each stage, from early diagnosis and educational considerations to planning for the transition to adulthood and life as an adult with a disability. Topics in the sections include: Early Identification, Diagnoses, Early Intervention; Parent and Family Support Services including Child Care and Respite Care; Financial and Legal Resources; Advocacy, Knowing Your Rights; Health, Housing, Transportation; Education, Vocational Training and Employment.