Dialogue 101: INCLUDEnyc

Deb Gordon’s guest was Gennarose Pope Director of Communications and Outreach at INCLUDEnyc, a non-profit founded in 1983 by three mothers of children with disabilities who had difficulty finding resources for them, and is dedicated to advocating on behalf of children and young adults with disabilities.

INCLUDEnyc serves young people with disabilities from birth to age 26, and empowers them and their families with the knowledge and support to help ensure inclusion and access to systems, programs and services.

“Our mission statement is to provide love, equity and access for young people with disabilities, and it’s not that they need any special accommodations, their needs are not special – they’re the needs that we all have…and what they really need is to be included…and given the same opportunity to be a part of society like everyone else,” said Pope.

 

INCLUDEnyc has grown to become the premiere source for information and resources for young people with disabilities in New York City and their services include individualized education programs, a help-line, and workshops and trainings for both professionals and laypeople.

INCLUDEnyc will host their annual Summer Fun & More Fair on Saturday, January 28th from 11am to 3pm at Hotel Pennsylvania. The fair enables young people with disabilities and their families to learn about year-round recreational and social programs available to them which they might not otherwise be aware of.

“We do typically have 90 plus vendors at this place, so it’s quite a large event,” said Pope. “It’s a really bright happy event, and a lot of our vendors bring interactive games for kids, it’s just a really fun time.”

“It takes all of these different organizations, puts them all into one room, and allows families to speak with them face to face.”

The fair is free to attend, and there is no need to register in advance – families and those interested in attending need just show up.  In addition, there will be Spanish, Chinese and ASL translation available onsite.

For more information about INCLUDEnyc and the Summer Fun and More Fair, visit www.includenyc.org.  You can also call the help-line at 212-677-4660.

 

–Deb Gordon/WCBS-FM

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