Washington, N.J., March 21, 2023Families and community members are invited to attend Disability Awareness Month Night from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, March 28, at the Mansfield Township School. The informational event is being presented by the Mansfield Township Elementary Child Study Team in partnership with The Arc of Warren County. Members of the community are invited to attend this event.

Retired Captain Gerald Turning Jr., of Blue Bridge Autism Training, will be the evening’s keynote speaker. In 2012, Turning began writing about his experiences as a dad with an autistic child and he established a successful blog titled “Bacon and Juiceboxes.”  He retired after 25 years as a municipal police officer to follow his mission of educating the public and spreading awareness about the remarkable individuals on the autism spectrum, like his son, Eric. Turning recently published his first novel, “Desperate Pursuits.”

Disability Awareness Month Night will be held in Mansfield School’s all-purpose room.  Community resources will be available and breakout sessions will cover Speech Articulation, Reading Engagement, OT Feeding Therapy and Facilitated Play.

Brief remarks about The Arc of Warren County will be made by John Whitehead, CEO of The Arc of Warren County and Annamaria Lalevee, Chief Development and Communications Officer. Liz Gensheimer and her son, Todd, will also share their experiences utilizing The Arc of Warren County’s services.

“Besides increasing awareness, this event will provide important information and encourage discussion,” said Deboranne Marley, Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant at Mansfield Township Elementary School.  

Snacks will be provided during the evening and there will be helpful tips for parents. All are welcome to attend the program, which is sponsored by NJEA F.A.S.T., Families and Schools Together Working for Children.

This is the 36th year that National Disability Awareness Month has been observed across the country. On February 26, 1987 President Ronald Reagan made the observance official via Proclamation 5613.

To RSVP for next Tuesday’s event, go to https://forms.gle/BXvZkgbVjXTbAHWz6

The Arc is a national organization that serves individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities and their family members since 1950.  The Arc of Warren County is one of 700 chapters of The Arc and serves more than 1,100 people annually for the past 69 years.  Programs include residential group homes and supervised apartments, day services, community based supports, advocacy services, recreation and summer camp, Special Olympics training, early intervention and a wide variety of additional social services. For more information, visit www.arcwarren.org