TODAY: COVID-19 and Developmental Disabilities Forum

By Gina Macris, Developmental Disabilities News, contributing writer

Rhode Island’s developmental disabilities community will have a chance to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on services for adults who are intellectually or developmentally challenged during an online forum hosted by the Community Provider Network of Rhode Island (CPNRI) July 21.

The hour-long session, to be facilitated by Tina Spears, executive director of CPNRI, is designed as “an open conversation,” enabling participants to voice concerns and ask questions about what lies ahead for Rhode Islanders with developmental disabilities, according to an emailed invitation.

“We want to ensure everyone understands the current state of the system,” CPNRI organizers said. They also said they want to provide a forum for discussing “actions we can take to ensure the stability of our services moving forward,”

The on-line session, with a closed captioning option, will be Tuesday, July 21 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Pre-registration is required, as the on-line platform can accommodate no more than 100 participants. If the demand exceeds capacity, CPNRI said, it will host a second forum later in the summer to ensure that all interested participants are accommodated. To pre-register, please click on this link.

Gina Macris is a career journalist with 43 years’ experience as a reporter for the Providence Journal in Providence, RI. She retired in 2012. During her time at the newspaper, she wrote two series about her first-born son, Michael M. Smith. Both series won prizes from the New England Associated Press News Executives Association.  Michael, now in his 30s, appears on the cover page, in front of the Rhode Island State House. 

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