Home Culture Jersey City’s Annual Autism Acceptance Gala — GET TICKETS

Jersey City’s Annual Autism Acceptance Gala — GET TICKETS

by Hoboken Girl Team
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Having a good time while advocating for everyone to have a place in our local community is something we always wholeheartedly support. The 7th Annual Autism Acceptance Gala is slated to return this fall on September 8th, supporting local non-profit Whole Spectrum Autism. Founded in 2016 by Sherry Singh, Whole Spectrum Autism champions autism acceptance and inclusion by facilitating community engagement and serving as a voice for families whose loved ones are on the spectrum. Keep reading to learn more about the organization and the upcoming gala to raise autism awareness and acceptance in Hudson County + beyond.

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All About This Year’s Gala

The 7th Annual Autism Acceptance Gala will be held on Thursday, September 8th at The Ashford, located at 145 Newark Avenue in Jersey City. The event will take place from 6PM to 10PM and feature food, drinks, music, dancing, + more. While this is the seventh year of the event, it will be the first year Whole Spectrum Autism is hosting a VIP Champagne Reception from 5PM to 6PM which will include an awards ceremony to honor a few key supporters.

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buy tickets

This year’s event will feature both a silent auction + live auction, with something for everyone provided by RYCO Fundraising. Auction items will include experiences, special items, and dream vacation packages — like a stay at a private villa in Costa Rica, court side Knicks tickets, celebrity chef dinners, and hand-signed guitars.

Thanks to the amazing community in Hudson County, tickets to the gala sell out every year — so make sure to get yours early. All proceeds benefit Whole Spectrum Autism Autism. General Admission + VIP tickets for the gala event are available for purchase with various sponsorship opportunities for local businesses and individuals who wish to be more involved with Whole Spectrum Autism. Funds from sponsorships allow families with a child or loved one on the spectrum to attend for free. Sponsored seats can be reserved by completing the online registration form.

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Autism Awareness in the Community + Workplace

Sherry Singh is the CEO and acting Board President of Whole Spectrum Autism. She established the non-profit in February 2016, aiming to bring awareness to the community and give individuals on the autism spectrum a place to find support. The core team at Whole Spectrum Autism also includes Rachel Sieg, the Executive Director; Nicole Talavera, who handles administration; and Ivet Bandirma, who consults on various projects.

“We host and encourage autism-friendly and inclusive events, and we partner with organizations that serve individuals on the spectrum and their families so that together, we can build more equitable and inclusive communities,” Sherry told Hoboken Girl. “We advocate for families whose adult children with autism have aged out of the system of services so that they can continue to receive support.”

Without the right tools and education, it can be impossible for a community to serve each and every member equitably. Sherry + her team are working to change that.

“Children and adults on the autism spectrum are so individual in terms of needs and ability to interact that most often we only see those who are on the ‘higher’ end of the spectrum because they are more adaptable to environments outside the home,” Sherry mentioned. “There is, however, an entire population of families who are unable to partake in community life because we just do not provide a safe community space for their loved ones and for them.”

Autism acceptance means that families with loved ones on the spectrum feel comfortable in public spaces and at events because neuro-diverse behaviors such as vocalizing or stimming have been normalized. Inclusivity is not just a matter of culture or race – it’s a matter of critically looking at how to enrich community engagement by serving the needs of the many, not just the few. And it requires the commitment of the many to make it a reality.

Which is where our local community comes in. When you know better, you do better — so Whole Spectrum Autism has been working behind the scenes to develop educational tools to use in professional settings that will help raise awareness in the workplace.

“We are preparing to launch our educational program to train and instruct professionals and paraprofessionals who interface with individuals on the spectrum,” Sherry shared. “We have reached out to our local government to initiate this training for our Department of Public Safety, followed by all other City departments. Our goal is to provide them with practical, research-based methods and techniques that enrich and expand the services they provide.”

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learn more

The 7th Annual Autism Acceptance Gala will be held on Thursday, September 8th at 6PM at The Ashford, located at 145 Newark Avenue in Jersey City. 

Whole Spectrum Autism is located at 194 Newark Avenue, 2nd Floor in Jersey City. You can reach out to office@wholespectrumautism.org with any questions.

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