Meeting a Need: The Arc Mercer's Special Needs Alliance for Pride

Monday, July 23
1:45 PM - 3:00 PM
Location: Grand Ballroom D

The Arc Mercer of New-Jersey has launched a unique and much-needed organization that supports LGBT people with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities. The organization, known as the Special Needs Alliance for Pride (SNAP), formed in June of 2017. Its overarching goal is to assist people who are doubly challenged by stigma. It received a great deal of media coverage, which is detailed below.

Since its founding last year, SNAP has been building bridges into the mainstream LGBTQ community through coalition building programs. The aim is to foster integration and support among people with special needs who are feeling alienated as the try to express their sexuality.

The presentation will cover the following:

1. Recognition of Need and Expanding SNAP
2. Replication of SNAP
3. Engaging Media Coverage
4. The Importance of Counseling as a Key Component
5. Fostering LGBT Special Needs Adoption

Steven Cook

Executive Director
Arc of Mercer County

Steven Cook became Executive Director of the Arc Mercer in New Jersey in 2007. Since then, the agency has seen its budget double, to $19 million, and its staff swell to more than 320. Steve’s innovative approaches to I/DD issues have brought The Arc Mercer national prominence. Last year, the need for an organization to support LGBTQ individuals with special needs became apparent to him, and the Special Needs Alliance for Pride was born.

Presentation(s):

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