WXXI AM News

New program connects Jewish families with services for those with disabilities

Feb 7, 2018

AutismUp and the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester are combining forces to provide support for families of individuals with autism or other developmental and intellectual disabilities.

The two organizations are launching a service to connect families with the support and services they will need following a diagnosis.

Rachel Rosner, director of education and community training at AutismUp, says medical care is only a fraction of what will be needed.  A monthly meeting will be scheduled at Jewish organizations throughout the community to help families navigate the web of resources that are available.

"Whether that is early intervention through Monroe County or the Office for Persons With Developmental Disabilities through New York State, or even to know what synagogues would be the best match for their family's needs."

Rosner said the Jewish Federation has made a philosophical and financial commitment to promoting inclusion in the Jewish community at the same time that AutismUp was looking to expand its navigator program.

She said they want to expand the service to families throughout the Rochester area.

"Whether they're faith based or based in schools or other agencies, we want (the meetings) out in the community so we can meet people where they are so they don't have to work twice as hard to find the support they need."  

More funding is needed to grow the program, Rosner said. Funding for the Jewish family navigator program came from the Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation. 

The first meeting is scheduled for Sunday, March 4 at 10 a.m. at Temple Beth El.

This story is reported from WXXI’s Inclusion Desk.