WEST ORANGE, N.J.
- Jan. 13, 2021
-- On January 21, 7 pm, LGBTQ+ WAE
will hold its first virtual meeting of 2021. Part of the Wellness, Art and Enrichment (WAE) Center (West Orange, NJ), the group offers inclusivity and unconditional support for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who identify as LGBTQ+. Monthly meetings will be held on the third Tuesday of each month at 7pm, beginning in February 2021. Individuals interested in participating in the hour-long meeting can contact meeting facilitator Oscar Marin at firstname.lastname@example.org
to register. Meetings are free and open to the public.
"LGBTQ+ WAE brings together a group of people who share similar life experiences. Its goal to lessen the isolation and reduce stereotypes and misperceptions of people with IDD and/or ASD who identify as LGBTQ+. It is truly a place where inclusion, equality, and community intersect," says Marin. He has been involved with the LGBTQ+ rights movement since the mid-1980s and helped to develop the LGBTQ+ WAE program in 2018.About LGBTQ+ WAE and the WAE Center
LGBTQ+ WAE (www.jsddmetrowest.org/
lgbtq-wae/) is a community focused on social interaction, education, individual expression, and advocacy for people with IDD and/or ASD 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 (https://www.jsddmetrowest.org/
wae-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.