Jackson National Community Fund Sets the Stage for Inclusion

<p>Read how Jackson National Community Fund Sets the Stage for Inclusion</p>

How the Jackson National Community Fund Sets the Stage for Inclusion.

It is not uncommon for individuals with disabilities and/or their families to experience hesitance or anxiety when considering whether to attend a community event. The worry that the child’s behavior might be unpredictable or disruptive can lead families to the decision that it is easier to just stay home. With a new grant from Jackson National Community Fund, the Vanderbilt Kennedy Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD) will work with the Nashville Children’s Theater to improve comfort levels and encourage attendance from families who, typically, might miss the opportunity to experience the wonder of live theater.

“We are very grateful that Jackson believes in the TRIAD Community Engagement Program’s mission to support organizations in building capacity for inclusion of individuals with autism spectrum disorder,” said TRIAD’s Organizational Outreach Coordinator Lauren Weaver. “With their support, we are able to provide training in evidence-based practices to the Nashville Children’s Theater, so they can fulfill their commitment to offering sensory-friendly performances and making inclusive practices a priority.”

TRIAD will collaborate to provide staff training, modify existing performances and programs in the 2014-15 season, and develop evidence-based supports and resources for use by guests. By providing this type of support, TRIAD is developing a dynamic network to help families feel comfortable navigating their own community.

“The Jackson employees serving on the grant review committee saw the TRIAD program as an opportunity to support children with autism spectrum disorders by including them in all that our community offers,” said Jackson Corporate Social Responsibility Manager Corinne Bergeron. “This program is a great example of a unique partnership with many different nonprofits serving youth that will benefit the entire community. It fits strongly within our focus area.”

Jackson employees also will support the TRIAD and Nashville Children’s Theatre partnership by attending the sensory-friendly performances to assist with the pre-performance activities for the children in attendance.

“This allows employees the opportunity to participate,” added Bergeron. “In the last year, our employees have contributed more than 1500 hours of service to the community. Volunteering is an important part of our corporate culture, and we are pleased to move forward to welcome more patrons of the arts.”

For more on the TRIAD Community Engagement Initiative, see

For more on the Jackson National Community Fund, see

For more on the Nashville Children’s Theater, see www.nashvillechildrenstheatre.org/

Last Updated: 10/1/2014 3:45:59 PM

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