Newsletter – February 2024

Vote the Spectrum™ Continues Blazing Trails

February was an energizing month for Vote the Spectrum, with workshops for champions to familiarize them with toolkits, as well as a mock election and visit from Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes. Together with officials from the Maricopa County Elections Office and Recorder’s Office, Secretary Fontes walked and talked us through voter registration and the voting process before answering questions. Valued collaborators leading on voter education, participation and broadening our spectrum of democracy also joined us from Ability360Disability Rights ArizonaRaising Special Kids and The Arc of Arizona.

Attendees included residents and family members from First Place–Phoenix and Arizona Autism Charter Schools students who tried out the voting booth. They also learned about a range of accommodations with a representative from Maricopa County Voter Assistance Services.

Developed by the First Place Global Leadership Institute, Vote the Spectrum is a nonpartisan voter education and registration movement empowering and amplifying the voices of people with autism and /or intellectual/developmental disabilities, those who care about them and anyone who appreciates the value of a healthy, inclusive democracy for everyone. Learn more at votethespectrum.org—and stay tuned for updates!

Charlie Brown Coming to a Theater (Stage) Near You!

Join us for the big night Saturday, March 16 at 7 p.m. at Phoenix Center for the Arts. Residents, Transition Academy students, staff and our theater friends and graduate students from Arizona State University’s Design & Arts Corps couldn’t be more excited. Huge thanks to our supportive community partner Arizona Commission on the Arts for making another invaluable life skills experience possible! Purchase your tickets here for $5 (plus fee).

February Divergent Digest

First Place–Phoenix’s February issue of the Divergent Digest is full of compelling content spotlighting Black History Month.

Community Life: Pink Dinner, Cupid’s Arrows and Floral Flair

With Valentine’s Day a not-so-distant February memory, Chef Titina was back with fun food activities—and a fabulous menu—for a “pink dinner” with residents and staff. Everyone donned pink aprons and sipped pink mocktails as they worked together to build the meal by spearing fruit and setting a lovely table. Everyone was tickled pink!

Taking aim on some real adventure, residents visited the local Papago Archery Range to receive a lesson or two from one of their friendly certified coaches. For many, it was the first time nocking and releasing an arrow—but they gave it a shot as they learned the finer points of archery and left their marks on the targets. 

Who’s ready to witness some fitness? Our longtime friends at the K2 Adventures Foundation, in collaboration with Results Only Fitness, recently put everyone through a full-body workout—and they shined like never before. (And that’s not just a reference to sweat!)

Residents just LOVE showing off their creativity—and Valentine’s Day gave them the perfect opportunity to let their talents blossom. After making fabulous floral wreaths for their apartment doors with Nicole Newman from K2 Adventures Foundation, they gathered in our popular new Space to Create with renowned artist Joe Ray and painted to their hearts’ content.

Board-certified music therapist Autumn McClintock turned the latest visit from Mind-Full Music Therapy Services into a mind bender. From her bag of tricks—and letters—she pulled out a variety of sources to create something called “chance music” to encourage creative spontaneity. Was it fun? By chance, it was!

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