Whippany, NJ – Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday for Independence 360, a program of Spectrum 360 serving adults with autism and developmental disabilities. The organization privately raised $800,000 to establish a state-of-the-art facility to serve at least 100 adults.
Speaking at the ceremony, Rooney highlighted the visionaries of the project – the board, staff members, parents, and students – as the real champions of the day. He noted that programs like Independence 360 provide opportunities for people with autism and developmental disabilities, and show the challenges they face every day come with optimism.
Rooney presented Dr. Bruce Ettinger, the executive director, with a citation honoring the facility’s grand opening. Programs like these are an important initiative for Rooney, who has two autistic close family members.
Spectrum 360, formerly known as The Children’s Institute, is a nonprofit organization servicing children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities. It offers a comprehensive program focused on learning vocational, life and social skills as well as personal development. It is approved by the state Department of Developmental Disabilities and Medicaid as a day program, and by the state Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services to provide job coaching. Other programs offered by Spectrum 360 include special preschool through 12th grade education, which is approved by the state Board of Education, and film and culinary schools.