The NJ Division of Developmental Disabilities Application Process
May
23
6:00 PM18:00

The NJ Division of Developmental Disabilities Application Process

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Presented by the law firm of Sussan, Greenwald and Wesler of Cranbury

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Andrew I. Meltzer, Esq. will provide an overview of the New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD), the state agency which coordinates a continuum of services for adults with special needs age 21 and older. Mr. Meltzer will present a step by step guide to assist families in the DDD application process. Andrew will also touch briefly on the types of services DDD provides including but not limited to: The Community Care Waiver, Residential Services, Funding for Family Caregivers, and Supported Employment Services. This presentation is a must for any family that has a child with a developmental disability and has concerns about his or her ability to live independently as an adult.

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Film Screening: Take a Look at This Heart
May
24
6:30 PM18:30

Film Screening: Take a Look at This Heart

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SUGGESTED DONATION: $3.00

Take a Look at This Heart is a film about love, sexuality, and the human bond within the disabled community. A journey into the lives of 17 very unique people; some with disabilities and the partners who love them, others struggling to get by in a world that seems to often overlook them. In exploring the confidence and unconditional love that these humans have for themselves and each other, you may begin to question your own notions on life, love, and what it means to really feel in every sense of the word.

For mature audiences.

Light dinner will be served.

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Public Speaking for People Who Don’t Like Public Speaking
Jun
4
10:00 AM10:00

Public Speaking for People Who Don’t Like Public Speaking

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Speaker: Mary Goepfert, MSW, MPA, LCSW, LCADC

Nervous about speaking in public? Yes? Well, join the crowd…

On Tuesday, June 4th, ACI will be having an interactive workshop to help build the skills needed to be the confident public speaker that's in all of us. These skills will help you land that job and succeed in your career!

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Measles: Myths and Facts
Jun
18
10:00 AM10:00

Measles: Myths and Facts

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Presented by Dr. Sabah Kalyoussef, an Infectious Disease Specialist at Saint Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick.

Think measles has been eradicated? Think again...

There has been an big increase in the number of people in United States, including NJ, contracting measles over the last few years. Find out how you can protect yourself from this disease. Dr. Kalyoussef will also discuss the importance of vaccination.

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Plays in the Park: EVITA
Jun
21
8:00 PM20:00

Plays in the Park: EVITA

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COST: $7.00 at the door. $5.00 for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities. Cash only!
(When buying your ticket, tell the Box Office at Roosevelt Park that you are with the Alliance Center for Independence. Make your way to the accessible seats near the stage where you will meet CJ Dodge. You must RSVP for a ticket!)

Plays in the Park is proud to present EVITA live on stage!

Join ACI at Roosevelt Park for EVITA! This Tony Award winner for best musical is about a passionate woman who went from the streets of Argentina, to show business stardom, to the highest levels of influence in Buenos Aires. At once both a saint and a villain, Eva Peron’s dramatic, meteoric rise from poverty to prosperity is groundbreaking and heartbreaking. This show includes timeless songs such as: Buenos Aires, Don't Cry For Me Argentina, The Money Kept Rolling In, and A New Argentina.

Arrive no later than 7:30 PM.

If you would like concessions, bring money or bring food from home. Parking is free, but is first come first serve. Transportation will not be provided. Bring a lawn chair no higher than 40 inches if you need a seat.

Register by June 17th.

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Introduction to Microsoft Word
Jun
25
1:00 PM13:00

Introduction to Microsoft Word

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Learn about the basics of Microsoft Word including:

  • Create, save, open, print, and edit Word docs

  • Format a Word doc’s margins, fonts, alignments, and other attributes

  • Use bullets and numbering

  • Use spell check and find/replace functions

Must have basic computer knowledge. Please bring your laptop. If you do not have your own laptop, ACI has a limited number of laptops available. Please let us know if you need one.

About the Instructor
Anne Topping is currently teaching information technology at Middlesex County College. She has commercial industry experience from her work at AT&T and Metropolitan Life Insurance company.

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Creative Writing Cooperation - Part 2
Jun
26
6:30 PM18:30

Creative Writing Cooperation - Part 2

  • PeopleCare Center for Nonprofits Inc. (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS
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Come join us again! Didn’t join us for the first part, don’t worry!

Reaching out to all writers! Do you write poetry, short stories, or one act plays? Come share your work. Spend the night with other creative people and see how we can improve each other’s writing. Please bring excerpts from famous writers that you admire, we will be using them in a creative writing exercise. If you have a piece that you have worked on since Part 1 and you want to share your progress, that would be great!

Light refreshments will be served. Accommodations made upon request. Transportation will not be provided.

Register by June 21st.

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Baseball Game: Somerset Patriots vs. York Revolution
Jul
16
7:05 PM19:05

Baseball Game: Somerset Patriots vs. York Revolution

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COST: FREE, but donations are always welcome! (donations payable to the Alliance Center for Independence, 629 Amboy Ave, Edison, NJ)

Join ACI at TD Bank Ballpark to watch our Somerset Patriots play the York Revolution!

Meet us at the main entrance at 6:30 PM to pick up your ticket.

Transportation will not be provided. Bring money for concessions if desired.

Register by July 9th.

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Honoring the Life and Work of Ethan B. Ellis
May
17
1:00 PM13:00

Honoring the Life and Work of Ethan B. Ellis

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On behalf of Ethan’s wife, Janet and the Ellis family, ACI invites you to a celebration of Ethan’s life and work being held on May 17th from 1:00 to 4:00 PM at the ACI office.

The family and friends of Ethan will be speaking at 2:00 PM.

Please join us in honoring this nationally known advocate and former executive director of the NJ Council on Developmental Disabilities and the Alliance Center for Independence.

To read more about Ethan’s life, please click here.

Kindly RSVP if you will be attending the memorial.

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Sexual Assault Awareness Month: Denim Day
Apr
23
10:30 AM10:30

Sexual Assault Awareness Month: Denim Day

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month! 1/4 women and 1/6 men experience some form of sexual violence and people with disabilities are at a higher risk of victimization. ACI supports survivors of sexual violence and you can too. The material denim and color teal are symbols of sexual assault awareness.

Join us on April 23rd from 10:30 to 11:30 PM, as we create denim and teal pins to raise awareness and show support for sexual violence survivors.

Light refreshments will be served.

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Set the Table! Focus Group
Apr
18
1:00 PM13:00

Set the Table! Focus Group

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Rutgers University’s Public Outreach and Engagement Team (POET) is partnering with the Middlesex County Office of Planning to implement Set the Table! as part of the DESTINATION 2040 Comprehensive Master Plan.

Set the Table! is a fun, casual and social approach to civic engagement that provides Middlesex County residents, employees, employers and students with an opportunity to contribute to decisions on how the County will grow and change over the next 20 years.

ACI is proud to partner and host a social gathering to discuss several topics related to DESTINATION 2040. Topics include: the economy, environment, transportation, housing, technology, public services, arts/culture and health.

Light refreshments will be served.

NOTE: The second session that was originally scheduled from 6:00 to 8:00 PM has been cancelled.

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Earth Day Celebration
Apr
16
11:00 AM11:00

Earth Day Celebration

SUGGESTED DONATION: $3.00

Celebrate Earth Day with ACI! Join us as we make Milkweed Seed Bombs. Seed bombs are a perfect project to help the environment and help save the monarch butterflies!

Simply throw the seed bombs onto bare soil with a little water, plenty of sun and compost and your seed bombs will germinate and become a beautiful haven for monarch butterflies!

Seed bombs can be thrown in abandoned lots, gardens and the list goes on! They also make wonderful gifts, wedding favors and party favors!

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Sexual Assault Awareness Month: The Clothesline Project
Apr
9
10:30 AM10:30

Sexual Assault Awareness Month: The Clothesline Project

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Join ACI in decorating your t-shirt and help bring awareness to sexual assault!

The Clothesline Project is a visual display that bears witness to violence against women. During the public display, a clothesline is hung with shirts that are decorated to represent a particular woman's experience, by the survivor herself or someone who cares about her.

The purpose of the project is to bear witness to survivors and victims of the war against women, to help with the healing process for survivors and loved ones, to educate and raise awareness, and to provide a nationwide network of support. You do not have to be a survivor of sexual abuse to participate.

Materials will be provided, but we have a limited amount of shirts. Please feel free to bring your own shirt. All of the shirts will be hung in the ACI building during the month of April.

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Cards & Cocoa
Mar
29
6:30 PM18:30

Cards & Cocoa

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COST: $5

Come to ACI and play some card games! Rummy, Crazy 8s, Spit, Hearts, Go Fish, War; whatever you would like! If regular cards are not your thing, we have UNO too! While you play and spend time with friends, enjoy some hot cocoa!

Light refreshments will be served. Accommodations made upon request. In the event of inclement weather, you will be notified.

NOTE: This event is full. Please fill out the form below to be added to the waiting list.

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Come Fly with ACI!
Mar
28
11:30 AM11:30

Come Fly with ACI!

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The Council for Airport Opportunity will be coming to ACI for a presentation on the exciting careers in the airport industry! From security, baggage handlers, skycap workers to retail and customer service to maintenance, airports employ 1000's of people throughout the the NJ/NY area.

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Stress Management Workshop
Mar
21
1:00 PM13:00

Stress Management Workshop

Dealing with stress? Need help coping with life's challenges? Too much stress in your life can negatively affect your physical health and emotional well being.

Join presenter Michael Pearson, the Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator of the New Jersey Self-Advocacy Project at Arc of NJ, as he teaches us how to better manage our stress.

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Star Gazing & Cocoa
Mar
13
6:30 PM18:30

Star Gazing & Cocoa

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COST: $5

Come to ACI to enjoy the beauty of the night sky! Guest speakers from Amateur Astronomers Inc. will teach us about the moon and the stars. We will be outside, so please dress accordingly for the weather!

Light refreshments will be served. Accommodations made upon request. In the event of inclement weather, you will be notified.

Limited equipment available: If you have your own telescope or binoculars please bring them to the event.

Register by March 11th.

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Day of Mourning Vigil
Mar
1
6:00 PM18:00

Day of Mourning Vigil

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As part of a nation-wide Day of Mourning, ACI, along with disability advocates, will be holding a vigil on March 1st to honor the lives of disabled people murdered by families and caretakers. The vigil will address violence against people with disabilities and speak out against cultural prejudices and send the message that disability is not a justification for violence. Our lives are worth living!

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Not Dead Yet and the National Council on Independent Living held the first Day of Mourning in 2012. This is a national event with cities around the country participating.

If you would like to say a few words at the vigil, please let Argenys Caba know when registering.

Join us for light snacks and refreshments in the ACI office after the vigil.

Registration deadline is February 22nd.

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George Street Playhouse: Little Girl Blue
Feb
22
8:00 PM20:00

George Street Playhouse: Little Girl Blue

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COST: $20 per person. Please send checks to 629 Amboy Avenue, 1st Floor Suite 104, Edison, NJ 08837. Make your check payable to: The Alliance Center for Independence MEMO: George Street Playhouse. Checks must be received no later than February 4th, if your check is not received you will not have a ticket. Checks are non-refundable.

Join ACI for a fun night of theater at the George Street Playhouse as we watch Little Girl Blue. Following her critically acclaimed performance in American Hero, Laiona Michelle returns to George Street Playhouse to play Nina Simone in a new musical. This exuberant premiere musical reveals a life in between the black and white keys - a passionate journey from classical piano child prodigy to the High Priestess of Soul, told through the words and music of American icon Nina Simone.

For information about George Street Playhouse, please visit georgestreetplayhouse.org.

Transportation will not be provided. Accommodations upon request. Limited number of wheelchair seats, first come first serve.

We will be meeting at the front of the playhouse at 7:30 PM.

Register by February 4th.

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Blood Pressure & Blood Sugar Screenings
Feb
22
11:00 AM11:00

Blood Pressure & Blood Sugar Screenings

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ACI has teamed up with Saint Peter's University Hospital, Community Mobile Health Program to conduct free blood pressure and blood sugar screenings as part of our series of health and wellness workshops.

Fasting is not required for this screening.

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African American History Month Presentation
Feb
21
1:00 PM13:00

African American History Month Presentation

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The Alliance Center for Independence celebrates African American History Month! This presentation will focus on the inventions and other contributions of African Americans in field of science and technology. Hear personal stories and participate in our fun fact quiz.

Light refreshments will be served.

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Valentine's Day Fun
Feb
7
6:30 PM18:30

Valentine's Day Fun

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Come to ACI and test your skill and knowledge with Valentine’s Day themed games like Jeopardy, Cupid’s Arrow Toss, and What’s Inside the Heart? Fun, friends, and prizes!

Light refreshments will be served. In case of inclement weather, you will be notified.

NOTE: This event is currently full. Sign up to be added to the waiting list at the link below.

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Voting Machine Demonstration
Feb
1
10:00 AM10:00

Voting Machine Demonstration

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ACI has partnered with the Union County Board of Elections to let voters know about their new ExpressVote XL voting machine. The ExpressVote XL full-face universal voting system displays the full ballot on a 32-inch interactive screen and produces an independent voter-verifiable paper record. Many counties are rolling this type of machine out in time for the next election. This is your chance to test out the machine, ask questions, give your input BEFORE they are put into official service.

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Enter the Big Top at ACI: The Greatest Showman
Jan
25
6:30 PM18:30

Enter the Big Top at ACI: The Greatest Showman

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COST: $5

Get swept away by the Academy Award nominated and Golden Globe winning movie, The Greatest Showman. A musical adaptation of P.T. Barnum’s early days in the circus and sideshow. There will be a discussion about the movie while we eat.

Light dinner and refreshments will be served. Accommodations made upon request. In case of inclement weather, you will be contacted.

Register by January 18th.

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US Census Bureau Temporary Job Openings
Jan
18
11:00 AM11:00

US Census Bureau Temporary Job Openings

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Presented by Patricia Greene Alston, Partnership Specialist, NY Regional Census Center, Field Division, US Census Bureau.

Looking for work? The US Census Bureau is currently looking to fill temporary job openings for the 2020 Census. The Census is conducted every 10 years, and the Bureau is in need of census takers and field workers to ensure everyone is counted. Find out about the positions that are available and the requirements.

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Disability Integration Act Viewing Party
Jan
15
2:30 PM14:30

Disability Integration Act Viewing Party

Join us on January 15th, as we celebrate the reintroduction of the Disability Integration Act. We will be viewing live as Representative Sensenbrenner and Senator Schumer reintroduce this important civil rights legislation to the 116th Congress. We will also spend this time calling and writing to legislators encouraging them to cosponsor the DIA. Build your advocacy and communication skills while celebrating the power, freedom, and progress of the disability community!

Light refreshments will be provided.

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Building Self-Confidence
Jan
10
10:00 AM10:00

Building Self-Confidence

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As part of our Independent Living Skills program, ACI will be hosting a free workshop on building self-confidence, presented by Michael Pearson, Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator at the Arc of New Jersey's Self-Advocacy Project.

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Holiday Luncheon & Shopping Trip
Dec
15
12:00 PM12:00

Holiday Luncheon & Shopping Trip

  • Woodbridge Center Mall Complex (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Come join in the holiday cheer as ACI friends and family gather at Olive Garden in the Woodbridge Center Mall Complex for Lunch and Holiday shopping.

Following our meal you are welcome to go shopping at the main mall complex, which is across the street and approximately a 5 minute walk. The main mall complex has stores such as Aéropostale, American Eagle, Claire’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Sears, Forever 21, Macy’s, GameStop, and J.C. Penney.

Please bring enough money for both your meal, tip, and shopping. An average meal at Olive Garden is $20-25. Visit olivegarden.com/menu to see the full menu.

Transportation will not be provided. Accommodations upon request. We will be meeting at the front entrance to Olive Garden at 12:00 PM.

Register by December 7th. Registration is required.

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Basic Credit
Dec
6
11:00 AM11:00

Basic Credit

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Join us at our free workshop on basic credit. Topics will include:

  • What is credit?

  • Responsibilities of credit

  • Types of credit available

  • Why you can be denied credit

  • Your credit report

  • Credit score

  • Alternatives to credit

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Comprehensive Estate Planning for Your Special Needs Family Member
Nov
8
6:00 PM18:00

Comprehensive Estate Planning for Your Special Needs Family Member

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Alex Hilsen, Esq. and Kevin Pent, ChSNC will provide a comprehensive look at estate planning for individuals with special needs. The seminar will cover special needs trusts, the ABLE account, providing a legacy for the special needs individual, as well as taking advantage of any tax deductions and credits that may be available.

Refreshments will be served.

Register by November 1st.

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Medieval Fighting Demo
Nov
2
1:30 PM13:30

Medieval Fighting Demo

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Ye lords and ladies! ACI invites you to journey to the Middle Ages to learn the fighting skills of a medieval knight in a special lecture and demonstration by Roland Pierson.

Roland, a 40-year veteran of medieval combat, will teach the history of medieval fighting and tournaments, and demonstrate battle techniques from the Days of Old. Drawing on his skills as a member of the modern-day Armored Combat League, Roland will show you how a knight armors up for battle and wields a sword. You’re invited to swing a sword and engage in combat too (with padded foam weapons)!

No experience necessary! Come prepared to have some fun!

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The Nightmare Before Christmas and Scary Snacks
Oct
26
6:30 PM18:30

The Nightmare Before Christmas and Scary Snacks

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COST: $5

Spend an evening at ACI with Jack Skellington and the rest of the gang from Halloween Town! We will be showing Tim Burton’s classic, The Nightmare before Christmas and making some Halloween related sweets.

Light dinner and refreshments will be served. Accommodations made upon request.

Register by October 22nd.

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Free Flu Shots
Oct
26
10:00 AM10:00

Free Flu Shots

ACI has partnered with St. Peter's University Hospital's Community Mobile Health Services to offer free flu shots! Staff from St. Peter's will be on hand to give out information.

NOTE: Please bring your health insurance card.

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Transition Services
Oct
23
6:30 PM18:30

Transition Services

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Presented by Paul Prio from Hinkle, Fingles, Prior and Fischer, Attorneys at Law.

This workshop will help you and your family regarding your child’s specific rights and procedural protections regarding appropriate special education transition services so they can achieve their long-term goals and be linked to supports, services and programs needed for adult life.

Register by October 19th.

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Autism Conference: Emergency Preparedness Tips for Families
Oct
19
1:15 PM13:15

Autism Conference: Emergency Preparedness Tips for Families

  • Harrah's Waterfront Conference Center (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS
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ACI will be at the 36th Annual Autism Conference! Carole Tonks, ACI Executive Director and Kelly Boyd, NJ Office of Emergency Management, will be presenting Emergency Preparedness Tips for Families on Friday, October 19th from 1:15 to 2:30 PM (Session F).

Coping with an emergency or disaster situation can be stressful for anyone, especially individuals with autism. Families affected by autism will learn useful strategies to help them prepare for and manage emergency or disaster situations while still maintaining a demeanor that keeps the individual with autism as calm and focused as possible. This workshop will provide essential tips to help caregivers prepare to withstand various types of emergencies, including a list of items needed to shelter-in-place or evacuate. The State's Register Ready program will be discussed along with guidance on how to create a support network.

Visit autismnj.org for more info.

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Disability Connections: An Information & Resource Fair
Oct
13
10:00 AM10:00

Disability Connections: An Information & Resource Fair

  • SYK Korean-American Community Center (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS
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Are you an adult with a disability or a caregiver for a person with a disability looking for supportive services? ACI and the Middlesex County Office of Aging and Disabled Services may be able to help you find what you're looking for.

Join us on Saturday, October 13th for Disability Connections, a resource fair for people with disabilities and their caregivers. You'll have the chance to visit with local social service agencies and businesses to find the support that best suits your needs.

Visit the Middlesex County website for more info.

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Knowing Your Right: Fair Housing
Oct
12
11:00 AM11:00

Knowing Your Right: Fair Housing

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Join us at our FREE workshop on fair housing.

Topics will include:

  • What to do if you suspect discrimination

  • Signs of housing discrimination

  • Housing discrimination and discriminatory practices

  • The Fair Housing Act

  • Federal laws and protections

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