Last month, JESPY House participated in the first community Walk Bike Ride. The meeting, held in front of the town’s train station, was organized by South Orange and the South Orange police department. Representatives from participating organizations distributed information about the effort and handed out safety reflector clips and wrist bands.
JESPY House supports 260 adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities; helping them achieve independence in a range of areas, including work readiness and employment, recreational programming, and housing.
The Walk Bike Ride committee, recently created by the South Orange board of trustees, is charged with advocating for public safety throughout the township. Projects include surveying sidewalk improvements, adding bike lanes, creating a traffic-calming policy, and implementing mobility suggestions.
JESPY client Michael J., who was at the program, was appointed formally to Walk Bike Ride’s Pedestrian Safety subcommittee in February. The first JESPY client named to a South Orange Village committee, he provides insight about mobility challenges in the village.
Several other JESPY clients were at the meeting, as were Walk Bike Ride committee chair Julia Flath, committee member Alisa Aronson, Sgt. Nick Lonero, Officer Jason Rambally, JESPY executive director Audrey Winkler, and JESPY community relations and outreach supervisor Tara Roberts.
The giveaways were provided as part of the NJACP-JESPY Model Inclusive Healthy Communities grant program. The model, a partnership of the NJ Association of Community Providers, JESPY House, and SRS Strategic Associates, works to increase inclusivity in South Orange for all residents and visitors. The grant program is funded by the NJ Department of Health’s division of disability services to create more inclusive healthy communities.