Governor's Office of Youth, Faith and Family

Governor's Office of Youth, Faith and Family

NEW: Governor Announces $100,000 For Organizations Supporting Kids With Special Needs

PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey announced today a $100,000 grant from the AZ Coronavirus Relief Fund to programs across the state supporting Arizona kids with special needs who have been impacted by COVID-19. This funding will help these direct service agencies and essential health care facilities continue to meet the needs of Arizona kids and their families during COVID-19.

“We are working to make sure kids with special needs have access to treatment and support,” said Governor Ducey. “This funding will support organizations helping kids adjust to COVID-19 related disruptions and avoid regression in important skills by delivering treatment through telemedicine, conducting video check-ins and much more. My thanks to everyone who has generously donated to the AZ Coronavirus Relief Fund so we can get funding to those who need it most, and to everyone who has stepped up to help fellow Arizonans.”

Funding has been distributed to the following organizations that provide services to children with special needs:

  • Ability360
  • Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center
  • Southern Arizona Network for Down Syndrome
  • Arizona Recreation Center for the Handicapped (ARCH)

The funding will help these organizations continue to adapt and offer new services amid the pandemic, including: conducting video conference check-ins; implementing safety and health precautions to prepare for reopening; delivering in-home treatment through telemedicine and remote supervision; offering coaching for parents and support programs for newly-diagnosed families; providing laptops, communication devices, therapy equipment and medical equipment for children with special needs; and more. 

“We at Ability360 are most grateful to the AZ Coronavirus Relief Fund and Governor Ducey’s Arizona Together initiative. We are thrilled to be able to support young students who have disabilities and their families during this difficult crisis,” said Phil Pangrazio, President & CEO of Ability360. “The stay-at-home order creates difficult challenges for students with disabilities to both learn and stay active and healthy. We are committed to helping parents overcome these challenges and to keeping their children safe and on track with their health, wellness and development needs.” 

“The generous contributions from our community, as well as the Arizona Coronavirus Relief Fund, support the continuation and expansion of our efforts to helping us reach those who otherwise couldn’t receive support during this time," said Dr. Daniel Openden, president and CEO of the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center. "We are filled with overwhelming gratitude for this crucial funding, directly supporting individuals with autism and their families and ensuring that their treatment and progress continues through this pandemic."

“It is important for kids with special needs to maintain a consistent routine, with limited disruption to their daily lives, so we appreciate the Governor’s initiative in providing these funds during the stay-at-home order, so that we can continue to provide a safe haven for these kids to stay, learn and play,” said Kip Murray, founding Executive Director of the Arizona Recreation Center for the Handicapped (ARCH). 

“We would like to express our most heartfelt gratitude to Governor Ducey, his office, and the administrators and donors of the Arizona Together COVID-19 Relief Fund,” said Chelsea Hansen, Executive Director of the Southern Arizona Network for Down Syndrome. “These funds directly support families in our Southern Arizona Down syndrome community by helping to fill the educational gap that has been left during these unprecedented times, allowing us to continue to provide the education that’s even more imperative for individuals with Down syndrome who are far more likely to regress on skills that they have worked so hard to achieve.”

The AZ Coronavirus Relief Fund was established by Governor Ducey as part of the Arizona Together Initiative to provide financial support to non-profit organizations serving Arizonans most in need statewide. The fund has collected more than $8.2 million to date. Arizonans can visit ArizonaTogether.org to learn more, donate and find volunteer opportunities.

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