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Allie’s Dream Launches Day Service Program For Young Adults With Developmental Disabilities

First program in 30 years to be founded by a special needs young adult’s parent

Allie’s Dream, an independent not-for-profit organization serving individuals with cognitive and developmental disabilities, announced the official launch of a full-time day service program for young adults with developmental disabilities who transition out of the educational system at age 22.

As the first Day Service Program in Connecticut in 30 years to be founded and managed by a parent of a special needs individual, Allie’s Dream provides young adults multi-sensory exposure to the arts with a diverse and quality curriculum for learning about the world and diverse cultures.  The curriculum, encompasses numerous activities, including Art Therapy, Music Enrichment, Movement, Dance, Theater, Physical Therapy, Aquatics, Cultural, and Social Inclusion.

Lili Vasileff, President and Founder, Allie’s Dream, explained that as a single mom of Allie–her special needs daughter–she decided that more had to be done to provide for quality of life and necessary fulfillment to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities upon their graduation from public school at age 21.  “I am thrilled that after much hard work, planning and in spite of the pandemic, our program is now a reality.  It was conceived to change and shape the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities by providing unique experiences and opportunities,” said Vasileff.  She added, “Our program aims to create a nurturing and inspiring atmosphere, making sure that every participant is empowered by enrichment through the arts, educational, social, recreational and therapeutic support services in order to enhance social connections among their peers and in the community.”

Vasileff went on to explain that 1 in every 5 children has special needs and nonprofit organizations deliver the bulk of state sponsored services to adults with disabilities, with no more money than they received fifteen years ago.  In addition, the Covid pandemic has compelled many agencies to fold, downsize, or place individuals on waiting lists and some will not be helped indefinitely, due to the sector enduring 48% work vacancy rate.

“We concentrate on attracting outstanding staff to sustain our arts-based immersion program.  We focus on ability instead of disability, by encouraging the pursuit of personal interests, thereby providing greater opportunities for personal success and creative expression,” stated Vasileff.  “We help guide future decision making, so that each person can make satisfactory progress through high quality learning experiences based on valid assessments, their abilities, and realistic goals.”

Based in Woodbridge, CT, Allie’s Dream is a 501©(3) not for profit organization and a qualified vendor of program services of the Department of Developmental Services of the State of Connecticut.  Additional information about the organizations and its program can be found at www.alliesdream.org.

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