The G.O.A.A. Open Door Project

Artist: Kristen I.

In February 2019, the WAE (Wellness, Arts, & Enrichment) Center began a G.O.A.A. (Gender, Orientation and Advocates Alliance) for adults with developmental disabilities. The G.O.A.A. will provide a safe and supportive forum for its participants to explore concepts of gender and sexual identity with opportunities for socialization, support, education, training and advocacy.

The program is led by a dedicated advisor and will meet once per month at the WAE Center (270 Pleasant Valley Way West Orange, NJ). Our next meeting is Tuesday, March 19th at 6:30 pm.

The G.O.A.A. is free and open to individuals with developmental disabilities from the surrounding communities. Please encourage adults 18+ who you think would benefit from this program to attend.

Why are we starting the G.O.A.A. Open Door Project?

Whether an individual identifies as LGBTQIA+ or has a family member or caregiver who identify as LGBTQIA+ or encountering a person who is transitioning genders or hearing and seeing discussions in the media, the community of people with disabilities encounters these issues regularly. Unfortunately, the resources to address these topics for people with disabilities are limited, at best, and many resources that do exist may need to be adapted.

About the WAE Center

JSDD’s WAE Center operates from a core belief that in an environment of unconditional acceptance, mutual respect and shared responsibility members can explore opportunities for learning, spiritual growth, relationships and community participation. Members are provided support and space to freely express themselves, maximize independence and achieve personal fulfillment. The Center offers classes, programs and opportunities to more than 150 people per year. The basic philosophy and practice of the program is dedicated to Finding the Spark Within every one of the members. Individuals with disabilities are, all too often, judged upon their limitations. JSDD is working to shift general community perceptions to look beyond the disability to embrace individual talent, ability and creativity.

Thank you for your support; if you have questions or would like to learn more about our new G.O.A.A. Open Door Project, please contact Oscar Marin omarin@jsddmetrowest.org Or Aubrie George 973-272-7164.

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