For the past 464 days (at the time of this writing) Raising Special Kids has been using a wide array of technology to connect with and support families raising children who have disabilities. Technology has proved to be very effective in allowing us to safely connect with families across the entire state, and we will continue to take advantage of these tools for reaching some families, but like so many parents and family members we talk to, we miss connecting with our community in-person. We are pleased to see new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and to see the Arizona Department of Health Services reporting a leveling off in key COVID-19 data that indicate support for a cautious return to a new normal.
The terms ‘unprecedented’, ‘challenging’, ‘uncertain’, ‘tragic’, ‘difficult’ and many more are all appropriate to describe the past 464 days, however, at Raising Special Kids we have learned many things and have developed solutions to problems we never thought we would have. Through it all, families remain at the center of everything we do, and we look forward to bringing our learning, new solutions, and new service delivery methods, these COVID silver linings, to our work as we enter the next phase of the journey through the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are grateful to our community partners who have begun to invite Raising Special Kids to participate with them in in-person activities with parents and family members, and to those who have partnered closely with us over the past 464 days to serve and support the disability community. Arizona families of children who have disabilities continue to struggle with the effects of the pandemic that carries on to this very day. We anticipate more access to critical services and supports for Arizona families with a return to our new normal that includes in-person individual assistance, participation in community outreach events, delivering training curriculum in the community and meeting with families, partners, supporters, and donors in pursuit of our mission: strengthening families and systems of care to improve the lives of children who have disabilities.
I am thrilled to announce that our careful return to a new normal will begin on July 12, 2021, 485 days since we shifted our support exclusively to virtual platforms, with the re-opening of our main central office.