Abilities First and Poughkeepsie Galleria Host a Showcase for Individuals with Special Needs and Disabilities and Their Families

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (February 27, 2018) – More than 40 vendors providing support for individuals with disabilities and special needs will be in attendance at ABILITIES FIRST: A Showcase of Resources for Enrichment & InclusionThe philosophy and practice of including children or adults with disabilities in the same classrooms, programs, and community settings as people without disabilities.. The Showcase will be held on Saturday, March 4, 2017 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., at the Poughkeepsie Galleria in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. From 9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m., there will be an opportunity for children with special needs and their families to attend the Showcase before the mall opens in a sensory sensitive environment.  Admission to the showcase is free and open to the public. Abilities First is spearheading the event to bring together resources to enrich the lives of children and adults with any disabilityA traditional term that generally means a person has a condition that makes it difficult for them to do things that those without disabilities can do. While we try to minimize use of this term because it emphasizes people’s limitations rather than strengths, it is sometimes necessary for diagnostic and funding purposes.... More whether it be developmental, intellectual, physical, or other. The 2017 Abilities First participant of the Year, Jessica Doering, will serve as the Grand Marshall of the event.

The community is invited to participate in a flash mob at Center Court. To learn the dance moves, visit http://www.abilitiesfirstny.org/showcase/.


9:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.: Early Opening in a Sensory-Sensitive Environment for Children and Families with Special Needs

10 a.m.: Sensory-Friendly Movie Screenings of A Wrinkle in Time (PG) & Black Panther (PG-13)

Playing at Regal Galleria Mall Stadium 16 courtesy of Regal’s My Way Matinee Program. Tickets are $6.50 each.

10 a.m. – 3 p.m.: Showcase Open to the Public

    • More than 40+ vendors including
    • Bussani Mobility, services and rents wheelchair accessible vans
    • ClearCaptions, a captioning phone system enables those with hearing loss to communicate
    • Open Doors Educational Advocates, helps families navigate Special EducationThe process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits. We believe all children and adults can benefit from quality education. services
    • Grow Music, provides music therapy

11:45 a.m.: Welcoming Remarks from Grand Marshall Jessica Doering (2017 Abilities First Participant of the Year), Poughkeepsie Galleria, and Stenger, Roberts, Davis & Diamond, LLP

11:55 a.m.: Wheelchair Basketball Demonstration by Ali Adaptive Sports and Fitness

12:30 p.m.: Meet the Dogs from Hudson Valley Paws for a Cause

12:45 p.m.: Meet Mocha, a Pony from Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue

1:00 p.m.: Performance by You Are Beautiful People (Beautiful People) Spirit Squad

1:30 p.m.: Community invited to join the flash mob followed by Dance Performance by Abilities First School Dance Dance Crew

2:30 p.m.: Meet the Animals from Two By Two Zoo

The ABILITIES FIRST event is hosted by the Poughkeepsie Galleria. Support is provided by Stenger, Roberts, Davis & Diamond LLP, Dutchess County Government, THINK DIFFERENTLYThe Dutchess County initiative designed to make our community more inclusive and accepting of children and adults with special needs (Learn more about this initiative)., and media sponsors iHeart Media, Poughkeepsie Journal and Hudson Valley Parent.

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