- BY AGE
- BY INTEREST
Join us for this opportunity to meet, to learn, to discuss, to laugh.
Proudly presenting Keynote Speaker Pamela Schuller, Internationally Known Disability Advocate and Stand-up Comedian
Featuring Special Needs Breakout Sessions in Occupational Therapy, Social Work, Education Consultancy, Transition Programs, Special Needs Wills and Trusts and Advocacy.
FREE babysitting available only with registration by Monday, 2/12. Click here to register. Search Symposium
Continuing Education Units (CEU) available upon request. Please contact Courtney Teicher at 908-889-8800 x227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In honor of Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month (JDAIM)
In partnership with Greater MetroWestABLE and Jewish Family Services of Central New Jersey
As a teen, Pam Schuller had the worst diagnosed case of Tourette Syndrome in the country, a touch of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and a whole lot of pent-up anger. She spent years depressed, suicidal and wishing her differences away. Over time, she started looking at her life differently and turned her obstacles and challenges into the very fuel that propels her. Now an internationally known disability and mental health advocate and professional stand-up comedian, Pamela’s stories of growing up in a body she had no control over are engaging, powerful, a little bit heart-wrenching and unapologetically funny. Pamela has spoken and performed in six countries, in almost every state in the U.S.,and for more than 25,000 kids, teens and adults. She holds a BA in Psychology and Youth Outreach Through the Arts and an MA in Child Advocacy and Policy, where she focused her studies on creating comedy and improvisational theater programs as a tool for youth with disabilities to improve self-advocacy skills. She has grown that skill set into a repertoire that teaches kids and teens to be proud of who they are, communities to be deeply inclusive, and corporate teams to be innovative and learn to make smart, bold moves. Pamela was named one of the "36 Under 36" who are changing the face of the Jewish community by The Jewish Week because she gets audiences of every age comfortable, laughing, and learning together through storytelling and humor. Pamela doesn’t just “tolerate” what makes her different; she embraces it, loves it, and finds the funny in it... all while challenging her audiences to do the same.
Breakout Session Leader Bios
Adrienne P. Robertiello, BS is the Special Health Care Educator at Children’s Specialized Hospital. Adrienne works to educate and provide practical strategies to enhance function and quality of life, increase safety and improve the effectiveness of community services and healthcare practices. For the past nine years, Adrienne has provided educational workshops and presentations and has developed resources for people with disabilities and their families, educators and administrators, health professionals, emergency response teams, law enforcement, community officials, businesses and other agencies and organizations. Adrienne is a parent of three children, one who is a teen diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and other physical disabilities.
Robyn Krugman, LCSW is the Coordinator for Adolescent Services at Jewish Family Services of MetroWest NJ. She has over ten years of clinical and programmatic experience working with children, adolescents, their families and their communities. Robyn provides individual and group psychotherapy for adolescents and their families to provide them with the tools they need to become healthy and successful adults. Robyn has done extensive work with individuals with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, survivors of trauma, and she has also worked with many children and families dealing with issues related to ADHD and other learning disabilities. Robyn also collaborates with private and public schools to create and implement psychoeducational programs for students, staff and parents. Robyn strives to help adolescents and the people in their lives understand the unique and complex challenges of adolescence. Additionally, Robyn teaches part time at Rutgers University in the School of Social Work.
Laura Weitzman, Ed.D, LPC is Coordinator of Special Needs at Jewish Family Service of Central New Jersey. Laura leads support groups, helps families understand and negotiate special education and provides consultation to schools. Previously she was Director of Student Services at Solomon Schechter Day School, now known as the Golda Och Academy, followed by 20 years in the public sector as Director of Special Services in Warren Township, Mendham Borough and Cranford Township. She holds a doctorate in educational administration from Seton Hall University. A licensed professional counselor, Laura uses her experience in both public and private schools and education to help parents through the complexities of raising children. She is a published author.
Melanie Ritter, Esq. takes great pleasure in being able to assist families with their legal needs especially in the areas of special needs planning involving special needs trusts, protective arrangements, guardianships, and probate and estate administration. Melanie has been an associate with the Law Offices of G. Emerson Dickman for the past ten years and is a former judicial law clerk to the Honorable Judge Marguerite Simon and Judge Peter Doyne in the Chancery and Probate Divisions of the Bergen County Superior Court. Melanie graduated from the University of Maryland-College Park where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice. She received her law degree from Seton Hall Law School where she was a president of the Student Honor Council. Melanie is a member of Congregation Beth Israel in Scotch Plains and has been a member of the JCC of Central New Jersey for eight years.
Dana Rosenbloom has a Master’s degree in Infant and Parent Development and Early Intervention and has been working with children and families for over 15 years. Dana’s Kids provides home and web-based parent education, play and behavior therapy, special education and case coordination services. Dana is also available for parent workshops, support groups and professional development. To learn more about Dana and Dana’s Kids please visit www.DanasKids.com. You can also follow Dana on Facebook: DanasKids and Twitter: DanasKids
Karen Hoover OTD, OTR is the co-owner of The Therapy Garage in Westfield, a private pediatric therapy clinic. She is also an Assistant Professor at Seton Hall University. Karen earned her Masters in OT from Columbia University and her clinical doctorate in OT from Chatham University. Karen initially worked in adult physical rehabilitation at Staten Island University Hospital and Kessler Institute. She later changed the focus of her practice to pediatrics and has worked with children in local school districts and private clinics for 20 years. Additionally, Karen has taught in OTA and MOT programs for 20 years. Karen has presented on the topic of autism, inter-professional education, and scissor skill development on both the state and national level
Josh Bornstein, M. Ed has spent over 10 years working in schools as a secondary special education teacher and transition specialist. He currently works as the Director of Special Projects for the Union County Educational Services Commission (UCESC) where he oversees all transition and work readiness programs operated by the Commission. In 2016, Josh coordinated the launch of one of the first Project SEARCH programs in the state of New Jersey at Overlook Medical Center in Summit. Seven out of nine of the interns in the first cohort are now competitively employed including four students at Overlook. That same year, Josh launched the Work Readiness Academy, a comprehensive transition program based in Westfield, NJ that serves students, ages 18-21 from across the County who need support with planning for a meaningful and productive life after high school. Over the past few years, Mr. Bornstein has also been responsible for working closely with several districts across Union County to develop innovative and cost effective models for community-based instruction focused on employment readiness. Josh also serves as co-chair of the Disabilities Issues sub-committee for the Union County Workforce Development Board. He was previously a special education teacher at Lamberts Mill Academy in Westfield, NJ and at the Margaret F. Gifford School in Weston, MA. He received his Master’s Degree in Special Education from the University of Massachusetts at Boston at the Institute for Community Inclusion. He is certified as a teacher, supervisor and principal in the state of New Jersey.
Hillary Freeman, Esq. is deeply committed to her work representing people with disabilities and their families. As the sister of a man with autism, she is able to combine personal experience with her legal training to help families advocate for services and support. She has experience representing clients in special education and Section 504 issues, higher education issues including accommodations on high stakes testing and graduate school admissions tests, guardianship matters, estate planning and adult services. She was named a Rising Star℠ by Super Lawyers & Magazine for 2013, 2014 and 2015. She recently has been honored with Robin Sims Trailblazer Award in 2015. She holds a JD from Widener University School of Law and practices in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Hillary is a member of Council of Parent and Attorney Advocates (COPAA), has been awarded the Community Partnership Award from the Family Resource Network and Family Support Center of New Jersey (2012); she is former Vice President of Learning Disabilities Association of New Jersey, member of ASCEND: Asperger & Autism Alliance for Greater Philadelphia: Executive Board (2010-Present), Learning Disabilities Association of New Jersey (Professional Advisory Board) (2009-2012), Quest Autism Programs: Human Rights Committee (2009-2010), New Jersey State Bar Association, Elder and Disability Law Section (2008-present), Member of International Dyslexia Association (2006-present) and Member of COSAC/Autism New Jersey (2005-present). Send her an email at Hillary@freemanlawoffices.com.