January 9, 2017

RFK UCEDD and LEND in the Bronx celebrated its annual Holiday Party with individuals and families served at RFK Children's Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center (CERC) at Monterfiore . It was an awesome experience for everyone - participants, volunteers, and staff! Activities were created that enabled participation for all including ornament making, bouncy castle, basketball, face painting, bean bag toss and games. The environment was thoughtfully created to maximize participation for people of all abilities.

Our community partners donated gifts and food from the best restaurants in our local neighborhood. The Engineering department at Albert Einstein College of Medicine built and staffed "Bob the Builder" bean bag toss- a hit with participants! Including our engineering and facilities department in the party helped everyone experience the RFK UCEDD mission of participation for all people creating allies in ensuring accessibility and inclusion. The RFK IDDRC researchers from Sophie Molholm's cognitive neurophysiology lab integrated with CERC clinicians providing fun activities. Iona Preparatory School's Varsity A Basketball team with Coaches Vic Quirolo and Reggie Langston helped in many ways including creating opportunities for the party participants to play basketball together adapting for each individual to ensure success. The high school team members learned about the abilities of all people and were exposed to many career options in healthcare through their experience.

The party would not have been possible without coordinator Shirley Goodlett, CERC therapists and staff, Cece Haas (Einstein facilities management), and our generous donors including Joseph McManus from the Liberty Democratic Association. Thanks to everybody for supporting an awesome inclusive holiday experience for all!