Newsletter – July 2021

This month marks our third year since opening doors to First Place–Phoenix in July 2018. Here’s to the amazing residents, their families and First Place staff for bringing us to this milestone on our journey to creating a wonderfully unique and diverse community of pride, purpose and endless possibilities!

“In A Different Key: The Movie” – A Mother’s Search for Hope

The remarkable mother of an autistic adult son found the first person in the U.S. diagnosed with autism during her research and discovered how one community got it right. Watch the highly anticipated documentary about the history of autism, In A Different Key: The Movie, and join co-producer Caren Zucker and other panelists at the Phoenix Film Festival on August 14, 15 and 17.

In A Different Key received the Audience Choice Award for Best Documentary at the recent Sedona International Film Festival. First Place and SARRC, featured in the film, are beyond proud to have played a role in this amazing body of work by Zucker and co-producer and fellow journalist John Donvan—and thrilled with audience responses. In a Different Key is a must-see for family members, neighbors, teachers, co-workers, first responders and the entire community. Continue building our supportive community by bringing a friend!

Phoenix
Harkins Theatres Scottsdale 101

(7000 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix, AZ 85054)

2021 Fall Symposium—Our 10th!

Join us October 13–15 for the 10th First Place Global Leadership Institute Symposium, our first “hybrid” event. A portion of each day will be available via live webinar. Those joining us in person will benefit from networking and firsthand experiences at First Place–Phoenix and other properties; both in-person and webinar attendees will profit from a deeper dive into navigating issues, challenges and opportunities inherent in real estate and community development.

Combine powerful components that build momentum for your vision, story, know-how, funding needs and healthy outcomes. Inspire and engage others to be part of this era’s history in the making for those we serve. Stay tuned for more information, including registration, for this milestone First Place event. In-person attendance is limited to 50 people.

YES Day for Autism Campaign Kick-Off

First Place is excited to announce its support of and participation in the inaugural YES Day for Autism created and spearheaded by our sister nonprofit, the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC). Learn more about YES Day for Autism’s 71-day fundraising and awareness campaign—and join us in saying YES to creating more supportive, inclusive and adaptive communities for individuals with autism.

Must-Read Column Reveals a Father’s Hopes and Fears

In a recent guest essay in the New York Times, David Axelrod, senior CNN political commentator and former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, reveals his lifelong concerns for his 40-year-old daughter Lauren, who lives with an intellectual disability. He writes of the post-high school “cliff” all too familiar to parents of children with special needs—the same cliff Denise D. Resnik, First Place founder and president/CEO, has spoken of for years—and of the persistent lack of housing, jobs and services for adults with disabilities. Read about Axelrod’s compelling take on how policymakers’ one-size-fits-all approach is not the answer to funding high-quality, affordable independent living options offering “people like Lauren the dignity of choice and the happiness they deserve.”

Readers reacted to Axelrod’s essay with support and also shared their own stories while bringing to light other concerns. But all agreed that when it comes to supportive housing, one size definitely does not fit all.

The Eyes Have It at First Place–Phoenix

July has been Healthy Vision Month here at First Place–Phoenix! Residents and Transition Academy students have been working hard all month to keep their vision sharp during “vision gym” sessions. Participants recently challenged themselves with perception puzzles—and gave their eye muscles a workout with some eye exercises!

Strikes and Spares Galore

First Place–Phoenix residents and Transition Academy students are thrilled to return to one of their favorite activities—bowling! It’s a great way to get back out into the community and stay cool during the summer months. Everyone is looking forward to more fun outings to come—especially indoor activities to beat the heat.

Landmark Law Opens Doors and Breaks Down Barriers

National Disability Independence Day on July 26 is a federal holiday in recognition of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990. This landmark legislation was enacted to prohibit discrimination against and promote equal opportunity for people with disabilities. Something well worth celebrating every July—and always!

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