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NY Direct Access & Housing Employment Application for People with Disabilities

  • Published: 2015-04-14 : Special Citizens Futures Unlimited, Inc. (jessica.zufall@specialcitizens.org).
  • Synopsis: Housing and employment database to identify housing and employment vacancies directly to the recipient of services.

Main Document

Quote: "This model mandates an application like TOUCH where people with disabilities, their families and advocates can be at the center of planning and choices so that each person may truly self-direct the course of their lives."

Special Citizens Futures Unlimited, Inc. (SCFU) is proud to announce the release of its new TOUCH application: www.touchnys.org. The TOUCH or Therapeutic Outreach Uniting Community Health application is the first ever-statewide housing and employment database working directly with state government agencies to identify housing and employment vacancies directly to the person who will be the recipient of services.

All New York State providers will be able to create a profile and upload their vacancy opportunities. The provider will be able to have direct access to the person who is seeking services and work directly with that person from start to finish on their placement process.

There are four major aspects of TOUCH that include

1) the User Dashboard,

2) Housing Search,

3) Employment Opportunities

4) Provider Information.

The TOUCH User Dashboard allows you to stay on top of news we curate for you, watch over your most productive job search terms, view your saved job and housing information and to learn about providers in your region. The dashboard has been designed to be a central location to access everything we have to offer in TOUCH.

"As the developer of the TOUCH application, my work with the system evolved into a greater understanding of the requirements of people with developmental disabilities. The experience took me well beyond the normal software development project and it was, and continues to be, an amazing experience," says, Gerry Libertelli, Senior TOUCH Developer. Gerry Libertelli is an Entrepreneur, Startup Manager, and Technology innovator whose expertise focuses on deploying systems and software in startup environments. He specializes in Software Architecture and Development, Social Media Management, Network Integration, and general technology management. Libertelli has built and managed over 200 web-based applications for companies such as Dow Jones, ToysRUs, Tudor Investments, The Robin Hood Foundation and countless venture funded startups. He has also built and cultivated two startups himself in the technology consulting business, with both of them ending in transactions to larger acquirers. He brings a background spanning 17 years in Internet technology development to the TOUCH team and is the principal developer of our application framework.

"All states are moving towards person-centered service models," says, Jessica Zufall, CEO of Special Citizens. "This model mandates an application like TOUCH where people with disabilities, their families and advocates can be at the center of planning and choices so that each person may truly self-direct the course of their lives," she added. The TOUCH application is a highly replicable model and the TOUCH group is currently working on a demonstration package that other states can apply to provide the same direct access for people with disabilities and their families.

"On Wednesday, April 15, 2015, the application will be ready for everyone to use" says, Alex DiMaio, Statewide TOUCH Coordinator. "The interface is highly user friendly and the TOUCH group is confident in the manner in which the direct access will change peoples lives. No more guesswork, no more unanswered questions and no more navigating an arduous landscape," he added. To register visit www.touchnys.org You can also follow our release on Facebook at Facebook.com/touchnys

Since 1976, Special Citizens has been committed to the development and delivery of a comprehensive, integrated system of services, which has as its primary purpose the promotion and attainment of independence, inclusion, individuality and productivity for adults and children with Autism. For more information about SCFU, please visit www.specialcitizens.org or on Facebook at Facebook.com/specialcitizens

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