On October 23, Dr. James Lawler with Darinka Vlahek and Yuliya Khripunkova of AHRC New York City’s Adult Day Care Services, presented workshops on Community Empowerment through Person-centered Planning Presentations: A Project of AHRC New York City and Pace University at the NYSARC 60th Anniversary Convention. NYSARC is the largest nonprofit organization in the state that works for and with developmentally disabled people and their families. This project, undertaken by students in Dr. Lawler’s course in Community Empowerment through Information Systems and Technologies (CIS 102W), was designed to enable individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities by having them create and present person-centered plans for self-development and growth. The plans were created with the assistance of students using multimedia technology and tools. By the end of the fall 2009 semester, nearly 40 students will have helped 40 individuals from five different AHRC facilities across New York City develop personal plans. The program is scheduled to continue in spring 2010 and subsequent semesters until fall 2012.
The workshops, which were introduced by Dr. Marilyn Jaffe-Ruiz, an AHRC board member and professor in the Lienhard School of Nursing, was attended by the board of governors and executives of NYSARC, Inc. in New York State and by many self-advocates. After describing the project, Dr. Lawler discussed the challenges and critical success factors in running a program of this nature.
Commenting on the response to the presentations, Dr. Lawler said “these workshops were well received at the convention, with numerous attendees seeking information about the community engagement partnership programs that Seidenberg has with AHRC New York City and other nonprofit organizations in the city and in Westchester with the support of the Center for Community Outreach at Pace University.”Students interested in enrolling in the CIS 102W course with AHRC New York City in the spring 2010 semester should contact Dr. Lawler at firstname.lastname@example.org.