• A family arrives in Boston and attends their first Shabbat service. The dad, unable to control an outburst of Tourette’s tics, suffers so from the glaring looks that he refuses to return—or to celebrate his son’s Bar Mitzvah in the temple.
  • An eight year old girl with cerebral palsy reflected only in her speech is ignored by a baseball coach, who assumes that she is unable to understand his directions—when in fact she is of above-average intelligence, and a promising potential catcher.
  • For years a single mother sends her son, who suffers from anxiety, from camp to camp and school to school, searching for the one place where he will be “just like everyone else.” As he continues to fail, he gets more and more depressed—until he endangers himself and has to be hospitalized.  


What if our community—people and institutions—were better equipped to understand, welcome, and handle others whose behaviors challenge (and feel threatening to) us?


That’s the goal of OPENING DOORS:  INCLUDING PEOPLE WITH CHALLENGING BEHAVIORS. Together we will explore our assumptions and learn about how our reactions affect people with challenging behaviors and their families. Everyone will leave with a deepened understanding of how to achieve successful inclusion.


So yes: a conference can make a difference in people’s lives. This conference is for families, clergy, educators, youth and teen leaders, and anyone else who is committed to creating welcoming spaces. It may change your life as much as it changes that of someone you welcome!


A Beyond the Ramp Conference

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Leventhal-Sidman JCC, Newton


Register or learn more: specialneeds@jccgb.org or call 617-558-6508

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