On Tuesday, April 24, New York City Council Member Mark S. Weprin invited Council Members, service providers, and families of children with autism to a rally on the steps of City Hall, in an effort to urge the New York City Council to continue funding for its citywide autism initiative.
The New York City Council’s Autism Initiative has had a powerful impact on the lives of thousands of children and families providing vital services and resources. Council Member Mark S. Weprin along with many other Council Members are proposing that the New York City Council fund the Autism Initiative two million dollars for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.
Council Member Mark S. Weprin was joined by Council Members David G. Greenfield, Brad Lander, Daniel Halloran, Margaret S. Chin, Gale A. Brewer, G. Oliver Koppell and Lewis A. Fidler. Many more Council Members have signed a letter of support for the Autism Initiative Funding. Weprin states, “The City council has been able to provide thousands of families with vital support services and resources; unfortunately the funding is only a drop in the bucket.”
Shema Kolainu – Hear Our Voices has always been an avid supporter of Council Member Weprin’s Annual Autism Awareness Rally and his sustained effort to ensure the Autism Initiative is funded.
CEO and Founder of Shema Kolainu-Hear our Voices (SKHOV), school and center for children for autism, Joshua Weinstein, Ph.D., M.B.A., attended the rally along with many other representatives from a variety of organizations.
Council Members, service providers and those affected by autism had an opportunity to speak. Council Member Brad Lander thanked Shema Kolainu – Hear Our Voices along with other teachers and service providers for their work and for coming to the rally. Lander noted that as awareness increases so will support, “This is a scenario where we can make a real difference.” Council Member David Greenfield also thanked Shema Kolainu – Hear Our Voices for their contribution to the autism community and stressed the importance of this funding for those affected by autism.
City Council funding has supported many training and wraparound providers who collectively conducted numerous training workshops for parents and educators reaching over thousands of parents, caregivers and professionals in all five boroughs. SKHOV is one of the recipients of this funding with which they provide parent training and autism workshops open to the public. There are 4 workshops per year with topics ranging from daily living skills to Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) techniques families can learn to help their son, daughter, sibling etc.
Dr. Weinstein was pleased to have the opportunity to attend the rally along with several students from Shema Kolainu – Hear Our Voices saying, “We urge the City Council to fund the Autism Initiative which helps families find resources and services to enhance the quality of life for their children on the autism spectrum. The services funded by the Autism Initiative allow children on the autism spectrum to receive additional care along with respite for their families. I particularly thank Council Member Mark Weprin along with Council Members David Greenfield and Brad Lander for their leadership on behalf of the Council’s Autism Initiative.”
Shema Kolainu – Hear Our Voices urges all those affected by autism in the New York to contact their local council member to encourage them to support funding of the Autism Initiative.