REACH will initially service families in the Empire State
Yachad, the Orthodox Union’s division for individuals with disabilities in the Jewish community, has announced the launch of REACH, a new Jewish communal resource and referral service for individuals with disabilities and their families. The program will initially serve the New York region, although the group plans to scale operations to accommodate families throughout the United States over time.
REACH aims to provide an organized and centralized referral service for individuals with learning, intellectual, and/or developmental disabilities in the Jewish community for services specific to their needs. These include various government-funded programs, special education, therapies, social and recreational programs, and legal services, among others. The referrals will be data driven and based on criteria and preferences provided by the party seeking the referral.
“Our community has long been in need of an extensive referral network for individuals with disabilities and their families. The efforts of the Yachad team will represent a significant and invaluable contribution in addressing that need,” said Orthodox Union President Moishe Bane.
“Yachad provides so many important services and programs to families in our community. This is yet another example of the cutting-edge leadership they are bringing to these families,” said Orthodox Union Executive Vice President Rabbi Moshe Hauer.
“In the past, families of those with disabilities had to rely on reaching out to second- and third-degree connections only to learn that the referral wasn’t related to their immediate need. Our hope in creating one centralized system is to be able to give the most accurate referral based on the caller’s specific disabilities, needs, and circumstances – no matter whether that is a Yachad program or another one,” said Yachad International Director Avrohom Adler.
REACH operates as a centralized database for services and referrals that is accessed by phone. The phone lines are manned by a trained team of professionals at Yachad’s headquarters. A staffer will take the time to understand the caller’s needs, while inputting relevant data into the database, which will then develop the most appropriate referrals. After the inquiry, the caller will receive an email with the suggestions, including names, contact information, and websites for further information. Those looking for assistance in finding the right types of services can access the service by calling 1-877-Reach-52 (732-2452). The database service is free to utilize.