This April, Project REACH hit an important milestone in its history by holding its 2nd Annual Disability Awareness Month event titled “A Spectrum of Celebration.” The event featured two keynote speakers: Dr. Valerie Paradiz, who presented on autism culture; and the principle investigator of Project REACH, Dr. Christopher Rosa, who spoke about what is possible when all work together for the betterment of people with disabilities. Also featured was a panel of professionals and students on the spectrum who discussed “Autism Culture and Diversity.” The event drew over 120 people including students, faculty, staff, parents and professionals who came to learn more about the culture of ASD.
Project REACH also showcased its second “Reaching for the Stars” awardee. The award honors one person for their outstanding leadership in inclusive higher education. This year, the award was presented to Professor Emeritus of Hunter College, Dr. Shirley Cohen. Dr. Cohen was cited for her strength, guidance, vision and leadership and her tireless efforts on behalf of people on the spectrum, especially students. Her belief that anyone, if given a chance, has the ability to do great things has helped students to reach their goals and keep in line with the mission of Project Reach. Project REACH congratulates Dr. Shirley Cohen on receiving this prestigious award.
Project REACH would also like to extend a special thanks to all who assisted in producing the event including the host school and partner, BMCC; the Office of Accessibility and Director Marcos A. Gonzalez and his staff; the CUNY Central Office of Student Affairs staff; and MBJ Food Services for the excellent lunch buffet.