Access to Early Intervention shouldn't depend on your zip code!
The Inspired Community Project is the only educator founded, data-based, holistic empowerment early intervention program in NYC. We not only want to provide empirically sound therapeutic services to children with disabilities, but we want to support community members into special education careers, financial literacy and wellness support. We don't just want to provide a service, we want to enrich and empower the entire community.
Who we are.
The Inspired Community Project, Inc was founded under the idea that special education instruction, resources and career opportunities should be equally accessible across all people, communities, and boroughs. We are a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization, all donations are fully tax-deductable.
"New York City is one of the most diverse cities in the world with the most segregated and inequitable education systems in the country."
Who we are is a collection of education professionals who have worked in the special education community for 15 years+, mostly working with children on the spectrum. The Inspired Community Project was founded after viewing the gross inequity between not only boroughs but zip codes. The Bronx has the highest early intervention referral rate in the city but the lowest participation rate in the city.
We want to graduate at least 40 Registered Behavior Technicians per year by providing high-quality, paid, hands-on training and support through the certification process and then supporting them in placements with insurance-based agencies or give them opportunities to grow within our organization. We will provide at least 36,000 hours of Applied Behavior Analysis, currently the Bronx has the lowest participation in early intervention services due to the lack of professionals in the Bronx. We know the only way to make a sustainable strong special education community is to support families on becoming fierce advocates for their children and their community, we hope to engage at least 30% of our families in advocacy coaching. We are working on partnerships with Bronx based community organizations, colleges and universities to create internship placements for their relevant programs, providing local opportunities for those in the Bronx seeking degrees in the education and therapeutic fields.
"Every year we will impact over 300 Bronx residents. We will serve at least 100 students, and we will support at least 40 Bronx community members into new career certifications."
Why now? Why the Bronx?
Prior to the pandemic, 25% of children found eligible for early intervention (EI) services in New York State had to wait for EI services, losing valuable opportunities to address developmental delays due to lack of available trained professionals. In the Bronx, 39% of children found eligible for EI services did not receive them by the 30-day legal deadline—more than in any other borough in NYC, or district state-wide. In fall 2019, the social service agency University Settlement, which employed EI therapists speaking 11 different languages and provided EI services to 350 children in the Bronx and Manhattan, closed its EI program, and since then many more organizations have closed their doors. These neighborhoods where children who are referred for EI evaluations are least likely to receive evaluations are consistently low-income communities of color. In the Bronx, nearly one in five children referred for an EI evaluation due to a concern about a possible developmental delay or disability never receive an evaluation. On average, 88% of children referred for EI evaluations in these neighborhoods were Black or Hispanic. We need to go back to the community model of care. We train the community members, in the community to serve the community.
If you've made it this far then you understand how important this mission is, and you believe in our holistic approach to uplifting the community. We have the plan, the programming, even the professionals ready to get started! What we need now is your support to gather our security deposit.
It’s hard to obtain funding, especially start-up funding, as most foundations, corporations and organizations want to see proof of concept. They want to see how you have been operating for the last 1-3 years and they rely and thrive off of established relationships. Through my many years in the NYC education scene I have been so very fortunate to work with, become connected to, or be introduced to wonderful advocates and supporters who are very excited to support The Inspired Community Project.
"We are in a unique situation for a nonprofit as we are looking for front loaded support in order to move into our “unicorn” of a space for this September, however our program once open will be sustained on our direct service, partnerships and other revenue streams."
Most nonprofits are seeking long-term donors, legacy giving, major annual gifts and the sorts, and they need them for sustainability. We need enough support in the idea of establishing holistic and self-supporting special education programs that funders/donors/supporters are willing to help raise enough money to move into our space. Early Intervention is a long-time, data supported, and empirically replicated program that has almost 30 years in the books. We also know that the Bronx has the highest early intervention referral rate, but the lowest participation rate due to a lack of trained professionals. The data tells us how we will be successful, our experience tells us why we will be successful. We are a collection of advocates, educators, special needs parents and allies that know when you empower the people in the community to serve the community, everyone wins, and we can't wait for you to be a part of it!