SEPAC Resource Fairs
MassPAC Supports SEPAC Resource Fairs
By Leslie M. Leslie, Coordinator – MassPAC
Packed into my traveling suitcase were brochures from the Federation, PTI, Mass Family Voices, Mass Family TIES, RTSC, MassPAC, Planning a Life – most in English, but now many in Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese. Stuffed in pockets were bookmarks, magnets, pens, small pads, clips, pencils and other giveaways which carried our logo and message. Last to go in was our beautiful new tablecloth proudly announcing “Federation for Children with Special Needs”.
The early Saturday morning atmosphere in the school cafeteria was somewhat chaotic as everyone grabbed a coffee, found their site and began to set up their table. Looking around, I saw all of those special people who work in our field begin to welcome families to their table, listen to their stories, and provide much needed resources and information. I met mothers, fathers, grandparents, teachers, administrators and advocates. It was so nice to steer them to one of the Federation’s many projects to fit their specific needs; whether it was getting emotional support, dealing with insurance or special health care needs or navigating the IEP maze. I shared our Call Center number and let families know they could call us with any question, we had trained staff ready to listen. Most of all, I let parents know that they were not on this journey alone –this was just the beginning of a long relationship with the Federation. Noontime approached all too quickly, but I left energized by the resiliency of special needs families. Little did they know how much I had learned from them. Methuen’s Recreation and Resource Fair is April 13, 2014. Have suitcase – Will travel!