"It's all about spreading the awareness throughout Fairfield County and let people know that we're here," said Chelsea Weeast, Development Associate at Easter Seals Coastal Fairfield County.
Beginning in 1935 as the Connecticut Society for Crippled Children and Adults, Easter Seals Coastal Fairfield County opened the doors to their Stamford Autism Center in December 2011.
Easter Seals Coastal Fairfield County is gearing up for their second Disability Awareness Week - an opportunity for the organization to inform the region about their autism & disability services.
Dr. Roslyn Burton-Robertson, Executive Director of Easter Seals Coast Fairfield County said, "Servicing individuals with disabilities, especially autism is especially important because it's not your typical disability and our guys our guys are so fantastic; they need a little extra and we provide them with that little extra that's needed to help them to intergrate into society."
Weeast added, "Our Disability Awareness Week we do a lot of different activities throughout Fairfield County to help raise awareness for disabilities, special needs and autism. We are partnered with the restaurant Friendly's and with them we have a program called Friends Who Care and it's a program designed to teach elementary, middle and high school students about inclusion."
As part of Disability Awareness Week, the organization will host the second annual Taste of the Coast, featuring local restaurants & vendors on February 27th, to raise funds for various services.
Kellie Ward-Welly, Development Manager at Easter Seals Coastal Fairfield County said, "We have top chefs come in from places like Dinosaur BBQ, Strada 18 and Bar Sugo and they come in [to Aitoro's in Norwalk] and cook the food right in front of you."
The organization says spreading awareness about autism especially within local schools is important.
Dr. Burton-Robertson added, "We work with the schools systems to provide the opportunity for mainstreaming so that they are not isolated in schools. They are not in seclusion rooms, but they are interacting and participating in the communities that they live in."
"Just to spread the awareness within the schools; what they can do to help especially with the inclusion - ways to include students. It's all about bettering the community that we live in," said Weeast.
For more information about Disability Awareness Week and Taste of the Coast, visit www.eastersealscfc.org.