(October 7, 2021 / JNS) Yachad, the Orthodox Union’s division for individuals with disabilities in the Jewish community, has announced the launch of REACH, a new Jewish communal resource and referral service for individuals with disabilities and their families.
The program will initially serve the New York region, although plans are in the works to scale operations over time to accommodate families throughout the United States.
Yachad international director Avrohom Adler said “in the past, families of those with disabilities had to rely on reaching out to second- and third-degree connections only to learn that the referral wasn’t related to their immediate need. Our hope in creating one centralized system is to be able to give the most accurate referral based on the caller’s specific disabilities and circumstances, no matter whether that is a Yachad program or another one.”
REACH aims to provide an organized and centralized referral service for individuals with learning, intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in the Jewish community for services specific to their necessities. These include various government-funded programs, special education, therapies, legal services, and social and recreational programs, among others.
The referrals will be data-driven, based on the criteria and preferences provided by the party seeking information.
“Our community has long been in need of an extensive referral network for individuals with disabilities and their families,” said Orthodox Union president Moishe Bane. “The efforts of the Yachad team will represent a significant and invaluable contribution in addressing that need.”
REACH operates as a centralized database for services and referrals accessed by phone.
The phone lines are staffed by a trained team of professionals at Yachad’s headquarters. After an initial inquiry, the caller will receive an email with the suggestions including names, contact information and websites for further information.
Those looking for assistance in finding the right types of services can call 1-877-Reach-52 (732-2452). The database service is free to utilize.
Those providers interested in being added to the database can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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