PC ALL seeks to provide programs for special-needs adults
March 11, 2016
Joan Bush’s 26-year-old daughter with autism and mild cerebral palsy flourished with the help of a large support system in Long Island, New York. Her daughter attended a program five days a week that allowed her to volunteer in the community, study current events and participate in dozens of other activities.
Since Park City is home to the National Ability Center, Bush figured similar support services existed. But when she began looking to move to Park City, she was surprised to find that the area is lacking in programs for special-needs adults who have aged out of the Park City Learning Center’s program after turning 22.
That’s why Bush became involved with Park City Adult Lifelong Learning (PC ALL), an organization that is hoping to change the landscape in Summit County for people with disabilities. PC ALL hopes to develop programs that young special-needs adults can participate in five days a week.
"There’s not something like this here," said Bush, who is a candidate to become executive director for PC ALL. "That just illustrates what a need there is for a program like PC ALL and how well received it will be by the community."
The group, which is set to file for non-profit status, formed last year and is making a push to get the community on board with its mission. It recently held an open house at the Sheldon Richins Building and received enthusiastic feedback from several community leaders and organizations, Bush said.
"People want to know when they can start and where they can sign up — they are ready," she said. "Everyone is fired up and so enthusiastic. Hopefully we can bring this all to fruition in a very short time and have these kids involved and the community involved."
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Nancy Delacenserie has been one of the leaders of PC ALL since the beginning. She said the group has spent much of the last year completing the necessary paperwork to become a 501(c)(3) non-profit — it had not yet filed for such a designation with the IRS — and now is setting out to spread the word throughout Park City. Many in the community are not aware a large demand for special-needs services exists, she said, but she is confident residents will support the organization.
"I think this is a great place but the community just doesn’t know about us yet," Delacenserie said. "We have our work cut out for us in terms of just educating."
PC ALL is also in the early stages of fundraising and exploring grants it may be eligible for.
"We can’t really file any applications until we get that 501(c)(3) letter, but there’s no reason why we can’t get it all ready to put in the mail as soon as that letter comes back from the IRS," Delacenserie said. "That’s what we’ll be putting a lot of energy into in the next couple months."
Leigh Beem, another parent leading the organization, said PC ALL is hopeful it can start offering two- or three-day-a-week programs shortly after it receives non-profit status, with an expansion to five days a week coming soon after. The group is eager to get its participants out in the community.
"We want them to help out with the community and become a valuable member of the community," he said. "It’s a two-way street — they can give to the community and the community can give to them. There are so many opportunities, with the different organizations and activities that go on in Park City."
For more information about PC ALL, contact Beem at firstname.lastname@example.org.