Support for Refugee and Immigrant Families

Recent world events have been unsettling and heartbreaking, especially for refugee and immigrant families. At the start of the year, 1,500 Afghani refugees arrived in Massachusetts for relocation. The invasion of Ukraine resulted in more than 2 million refugees fleeing the country in the past weeks. Currently, there are also 20k Ukrainian families living in Massachusetts, and research indicates that the rates of PTSD (50-90%) and major depressive disorder (6-40%) in refugee children and adolescents are exceptionally high. This makes it all but certain that these populations will include families of children who have disabilities. Given this insight, it is our responsibility to act to ensure the fulfillment of our mission including these most vulnerable of communities.

Through generous grant donations, the Special Needs Advocacy Network offers refugee and immigrant families free admission to our upcoming workshops. More information regarding this opportunity can be found here. Their April 12th workshop, “Advocacy for Multilingual, Multicultural, and Immigrant Learners with Disabilities with Attorney Tere Ramos,” may be of particular interest to refugee and immigrant families. This workshop is being offered in 16 different languages, including Arabic, Bengali, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Dutch, English, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tamil, Indonesian (Bahasa), Polish, and Vietnamese.

To enable the greatest reach, the workshop will be rebroadcast at a later date. The Special Needs Advocacy Network are also investigating options to provide the workshop on-demand. Their full list of all upcoming programs and events can be found here. Their outreach to the refugee and recent immigrant communities has just begun including working to connect with Ascentria Care Alliance, Ansaar of Worcester, and Center Makor. Through these connections, they hope to work together to find a way to provide access in other languages and to learn more about how they can provide more meaningful support.

Allison Green
Boston Tutoring Services

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