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Dutchess County Autism Supportive Environments

Date April 20, 2016


Dutchess County Autism Supportive Environments
Anderson Center Networking Event Opens Door for Businesses to ‘Think Differently’

Last month, Anderson Center for Autism along with Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro held a networking event to celebrate and recognize the 25 businesses that recently became Autism Supportive Environments.

Dutchess County began its sponsorship of Anderson’s Autism Supportive Environment program in 2015 as part of County Executive Marc Molinaro’s THINK DIFFERENTLY initiative. The community partnership is designed to assist businesses in understanding, serving, and supporting individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families.

“Many times families of individuals with ASD find themselves isolated from their communities and unable to participate in activities we take for granted such as dining out, running errands, enjoying community events or recreation activities. With this program, the goal is to create a unique and informed community more inclusive of individuals of all abilities. After all, change begins closest to home”, explains Nancy Osborn, MA, BCBA, Program Administrator with Anderson Center for Autism.

The program provides local organizations with free consultation services specific to each business’s needs. Consultation services may include staff training, recommendations for design in regards to organization, sensitivity to stimuli, visual supports, and safety.

The event offered the opportunity for perspective businesses to network with representatives from several businesses along with Anderson Center parents and staff.

County Executive Molinaro said, “Dutchess County is thrilled to partner with Anderson Center for Autism to help provide this important training. Anything we can do to make residents with autism and other special needs feel more welcome in our community is worthwhile. We appreciate all the strides the Anderson Center has made to help local individuals, groups and businesses THINK DIFFERENTLY about our neighbors with autism, and I invite other local organizations to take the training.”

Businesses that have completed the program in 2015 include:

  • Cosimo’s Trattoria
  • Courtyard by Marriott, Poughkeepsie
  • Giacomo’s Pizza and Café
  • Helping Other People Everywhere
  • M&T Bank, all Dutchess County locations
  • National Park Service – Franklin D. Roosevelt site
  • Poughkidsie
  • Red Hook Public Library
  • United Methodist Church of Hyde Park

Businesses scheduled to become Autism Supportive Environments in 2016 include Walkway Over the Hudson and Dutchess County SPCA.

If your business or organization is interested in becoming an Autism Supportive Environment, please contact Anderson Center for Autism at 845-889-9616 or visit www.andersoncenterforautism.org/autismsupportiveenvironment.