William Placek, PFLAG Chapter president, will speak at the April 19 LGBTQ+ WAE group’s virtual meeting, starting at 7pm. LGBTQ+ WAE provides a safe space for LGBTQ+ adults with developmental disabilities to interact with others who share similar experiences. New members are welcome.
The LGBTQ+ WAE group will host a special presenter from PFLAG at their April 19 Zoom meeting from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Speaker William Placek MSW, LSW (he/him) is the President of PFLAG Jersey Shore & the Regional Director supporting PFLAG Chapters in NY, NJ, & PA. William will educate the group about the history, mission and services of PFLAG and will lead an interactive discussion about PFLAG in New Jersey, including how the organization has served members on the neuro-diverse spectrum. Interested individuals can RSVP with their email address and attendee names to Oscar Marin, the LGBTQ+ WAE group facilitator, at omarin@@jsdd.org. They will be emailed the meeting Zoom link in return. There is no cost to attend the meeting.
“PFLAG is one of the most powerful allied groups for the LGBTQ+ community because it began as a group of families who love their LGBTQ+ children fully and unapologetically for who they are. A mission with familial love and support at its core is well aligned with the goals of the LGBTQ+ WAE,” says Marin.
Established in 1972, PFLAG provides confidential peer support, education, and advocacy to LGBTQ+ people, their parents and families, and allies. PFLAG has chapters in communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
Through their monthly meetings, LGBTQ+ WAE provides an opportunity for social connection and education for LGBTQ+ people who also have Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities (IDD) or are on the Autism Spectrum. The group includes both neuro-diverse and neuro-typical people. Parents and caregivers of LGBTQ+ individuals with ISD or ASD are encouraged to attend.
About LGBTQ+ WAE and the WAE Center
Part of the Wellness, Art and Enrichment (WAE) Center (Livingston, NJ), LGBTQ+ WAE is a community focused on social interaction, education, individual expression, and advocacy for people with IDD who self-identify as LGBTQ+. The group supports each individual and their community in expanding knowledge and understanding of day-to-day issues faced by people who identify with the LGBTQ+ community. In addition, it serves as a resource to caregivers, families, and allies so that they may better understand, support and advocate for the person in their care.
The WAE (Wellness, Arts, Enrichment) Center, a Jewish Service for the Developmentally Disabled (JSDD) service, is an adult day program focused on adaptive arts and personal growth. The Center was founded on the belief and knowledge that each individual possesses the potential for creating a meaningful life, a process the Center calls “Finding the Spark Within.” WAE’s distinctive, holistic approach is built around tenets including dedication to the individual, unconditional acceptance, promoting self-expression, and embracing diversity and inclusion.