Orange County residents with special needs could soon share the same opportunities as those in Dutchess following a presentation by Dutchess County Marc Molinaro of his "Think Differently" initiative.
Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus hosted Molinaro on Wednesday for the presentation along with a variety of non-profit community providers and parents with special needs children.
“As I expected, County Executive Molinaro’s ‘Think Differently’ presentation received a warm reception from the audience,” Neuhaus said. “What Marc has created with this initiative is important and impressive and we were honored to host him today. ‘
The father of three children, including a daughter who is on the autism spectrum, Molinaro introduced the initiative in early 2015 as a way for residents, organizations, and businesses to re-think the ways they relate to residents with special needs.
Since its inception, Molinaro has worked to encourage every city, town, and village in the state to consider adopting “Think Differently” resolutions that promote supportive environments for residents of all abilities.
The county has also offered supportive training, encouraged community development to expand accessibility, and held events for children and families living with special needs.
Orange County has supported accessibility initiatives by funding ADA projects at Tommie McDuffie Park in Blooming Grove, the Village Park in Cornwall, Brook Lake Park in Town of Highlands, Benedict Park in the Town of Montgomery, the Winslow Therapeutic Riding Center in the Town of Warwick, and Sally’s Dream Playground, located at Thomas Bull Memorial Park in Hamptonburgh.
“In every corner of our state, communities are answering the call to ‘Think Differently,' and Orange County has already made great strides to fund accessibility efforts. I look forward to seeing how those projects benefit Orange County residents and applaud County Executive Neuhaus for embracing the ‘Think Differently' ideal.”
More information about Dutchess County’s “Think Differently” initiative is available at dutchessny.gov/thinkdifferently .
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