From our Executive Director
In the last edition of Newsline I wrote about my personal experience with my daughter’s Individualized Education Program (IEP).
I think it is important to note that I am not alone at the Federation in navigating the systems that serve children with special needs. Nearly every staff and board member experienced a loved one being affected by intellectual, emotional, physical and/or social challenges and has benefited from assistance in their academic, social and emotional, vocational or behavioral development.
At the Federation, we not only “talk the talk and walk the walk”– we live it.
That’s one reason the staff’s empathy and compassion toward families and caregivers are so exceptional. And, it is also reflected in the dedicated service we provide to professionals, partner agencies and communities.
I often have opportunities to hear staff members when they are on the phone with a parent. I can sense that, on the other end of the call, is a loving caregiver who needs information, may be overwhelmed and possibly at their wit’s end. I am always impressed and proud of the patience and knowledge that Federation staff provide. And, if they offer to follow-up, they do.
This commitment shows in the quality of our workshops, too. Recently, we held our first-ever series for Latino parents in western Massachusetts. The turnout thrilled us – over 40 families came back week after week for eight session. Their participation reflected the Federation’s commitment to provide a high-quality service – in part, again, because staff knows what these families are going through.
In business, it is said that companies who know their customers are more likely to thrive. That is true at the Federation. We were created by parents of special-needs children, we hire staff who have personal experience in that area, and we provide empathetic and expert support to parents and the professionals to whom we are true partners.