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

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (February 27, 2017) – 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 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at the Poughkeepsie Galleria in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. From 9:00 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.

Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro will serve as the Grand Marshall of the event. Molinaro will provide welcoming remarks at 11:45 a.m. at Center Court. Other activities at Center Court include a flash mob at 1:30 p.m. The community is invited to participate in the flash mob. To learn the dance moves, visit the Abilities First Showcase Facebook event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/1752675808381124/.


9 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 Lego Batman (PG) & Logan (R)
Playing at Regal Galleria Mall Stadium 16 courtesy of Regal’s My Way Matinee Program. Tickets are $6.50 each.

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Showcase Open to the Public

  • More than 40+ vendors including
    • Rifton, a manufacturer of special needs furniture and equipment
    • Topfield Equestrian Center, a therapeutic riding center
    • The Seeing Eye, trains seeing eye dogs to guide blind people
    • SureHands Lift & Care Systems, provides lift and care systems for people with reduced mobility
    • Byron’s Hudson Valley Hearing Aid Centers, specializes in providing better hearing solutions
  • Seminars
    • Estate Planning for Individuals & Families presented by McCabe & Mack LLP
    • What is it like to have Down SyndromeA genetic condition with certain physical features and usually mild intellectual disability. Many people with Down Syndrome have overcome obstacles in life to become very successful and independent.? by Down SyndromeA genetic condition with certain physical features and usually mild intellectual disability. Many people with Down Syndrome have overcome obstacles in life to become very successful and independent. Assn. Hudson Valley
    • What is person centered care? presented by Dr. Jeffery Fox, Abilities First Chief Executive Officer
    • Guardianship for Adults with Disabilities presented by Sholes & Miller, LLP
    • Front Door Access to Services presented by NY State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD)
    • American Sign Language Basics presented by Gail Hancock-Huttel, Abilities First School Teacher
  • Special performances by Hudson River Performing Arts and Abilities First School Students

For a full schedule of events, visit http://www.abilitiesfirstny.org/showcase/.

The ABILITIES FIRST event is hosted by the Poughkeepsie Galleria. Support is provided by 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)., iHeart Media and Media Sponsor Poughkeepsie Journal.

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