Autism Law Enforcement Education Coalition's Project Director Bill Cannata and Certified ALEC Trainer, Sgt. Ryan Roettger win Fan Favorite AND $40,000 grant from the Changing Lives Fund! Cpt. Cannata and Sgt. Roettger presented to a full house at the JFK Memorial Library in Boston. Their proposal was selected out of over 100 applications to present with six other organizations in a "Shark Tank" style pitch to a panel of judges. The audience was able to pick a "Fan Favorite" which was the ALEC project. With a $40,000 award from the Changing Lives Fund, ALEC will implement a train the trainer model in New England and recruit additional certified ALEC trainers who have family members with autism and other intellectual/developmental disabilities.
Here is the press release. ALEC was among only three other awardees from all over the US:
Northeast Arc announced winners of the 2nd "The Arc Tank" competition created to positively disrupt conventional methods of providing services to persons with disabilities. Winners were selected by judges after hearing their pitches at an event held yesterday at John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, partner in the initiative. Winning proposals received awards from the Changing Lives Fund established through a $1 milliondonation from Steven P. Rosenthal, founder of West Shore, LLC.
Winners: The Arc South of Norfolk's Autism Law Enforcement Education Coalition (ALEC), Westwood, Mass.; Stronger Communities through Open and Organized Transportation (SCOOT) by New Star, Chicago, Illinois; Virtual Reality Functional Communication Activities & Training Seminars by the Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, California.
ALEC was awarded $40,000 for its project, SCOOT was awarded $70,000 for its proposal, and the Virtual Reality Functional Communication Activities & Training Seminars was awarded $90,000 for its initiative.
"The second year of the Arc Tank has shown that there are great ideas among innovative, outside-the-box creators who have joined our quest to positively disrupt the conventional methods of providing services to persons with disabilities," said Jo Ann Simons, CEO of Northeast Arc. "With Steven Rosenthal's vision and philanthropy, and now with another three proposals to be funded, we are well on our way to shaking up the status quo and will be making change happen for individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism."
Each of the 2018 Arc Tank 2.0 winners addresses a crucial challenge facing the disability community.
ALEC is a program that offers specialized training to first responders so they can more effectively interact with the disability community. First responders can access critical training from their peers who have personal and professional experience with individuals with intellectual disabilities. The goal is to provide additional tools to use in assessing the risk of a situation to promote safety and reduce risk of injury.
With its funding, SCOOT will develop a mobile app to provide ridesharing transportation for persons with disabilities. The project is unique because rideshare drivers will be Direct Support Professionals, allowing families to be comfortable that the driver transporting their loved ones understands the special needs of their riders.
Virtual Reality Functional Communication Activities & Training Seminars introduces innovative virtual reality technology to increase access to services promoting social integration and self-advocacy in children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities. The virtual reality component allows parents or caregivers to better prepare an autistic child to cope with a trip through the airport, dinner at a restaurant, use of public transportation and other challenging first-time experiences.
Panel of judges:
- Matthew Kennedy - Founder, Kennedy Merchant Partners
- Ralph James, Entrepreneur, higher education administrator, philanthropist
- Shirley Leung – Interim Editorial Page Editor, Columnist, Boston Globe
- Quincy Miller – President, Eastern Bank
- Matthew Millett – Security Officer II, Department of Youth Services, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
- Marylou Sudders – Sec. Health & Human Services, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Judges received support from David Chang, entrepreneur and active angel investor.