Travel Training with HASC Center
This week, HASC Center successfully ran its Travel Training Culmination program for the members of its Day Habilitation, Pre-Vocational and Residential programs. Funded by NYS Department of Transportation, the goals of the Travel Training program are to enable individuals with disabilities to have access to greater opportunities entering into the workforce and be fully integrated into our community. Select staff completed a rigorous training program and are now certified by the NYS DOT.
The HASC Center Pre-Voc members expressed just how impactful the Travel Training is to their feeling independent and capable. Program member Penina Wasserman stated it succinctly, “Not only did this increase my independence, it also increased my self esteem. It adds so much confidence for me to move forward.”
The Travel Training Culmination pro- gram this week celebrated the intensive efforts that HASC Center staff and clients made towards achieving these goals. In addition, HASC Center’s COO Avi Sacks recognized the fruitful partnership with YAI and its mentors Stephanie Rozansky and Lisa Cornagay towards the program’s success.
Mr. Shmiel Kahn, HASC Center CEO, addressed the staff with inspiring words of encouragement. “You have done something huge for our individuals... You have created something for them: freedom and independence. Imagine our individuals who now can now ride buses themselves, without someone trailing them.” Recognizing the partnerships which made this possible, Mr. Khan reminisced about the fruitful relationship with YAI over many years and expressed appreciation for city and state support for the program. “Thank you to the DOT for making this possible."
Certificates of accomplishments and Tefilas Haderech (The Traveler’s Prayer) key chains were given to our individuals by Mr. Kahn and Hadassah Halberthal, Chief Programming Officer. Congratulations were offered to the proud graduates, Chana Bracha Lowenstein, Atara Kanner, Pninah Wasserman, Daniel Maslaton and Ayala Geisler and appreciation was expressed to the staff members who have successfully become Travel Trainers.
Stephanie Rozansky of YAI praised and thanked the HASC Center staff, “It has been a lot of work but we thoroughly enjoyed working with you. This program is evidenced based...We are using procedures that District 75 has developed over 50 years: Things that we KNOW work and promote greater independence and greater quality of life. We are so happy and thankful and hope we can continue this collaboration together.”
Inspirational closing comments were delivered by our special guest of honor, Edmund E. Asiedu of the Accessibility Policy Unit of the NYC Department of Transportation. He shared with all about his office’s mission and how he advocates for those with specialized needs, making it easier and safer for all people with disabilities to travel in New York City.