Newsletter – January 2024

Getting to the Heart of the Matter Through the Arts & Humanities

First Place returned to Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West for an unforgettable evening with special guests, including renowned photographer Blair Bunting, violinist Laura Nadine, film producers Caren Zucker and John Schaffer and artist Calvin Shin. Guests learned about workforce/workplace development initiatives, positive results through a five-year collaboration between The Precisionists Inc. and SRP, and ways they can become involved in building a more supportive community through resources like the In A Different Key Toolkit for Autism Understanding. It takes us all! Let us know how you’d like to get involved.

February Save-the-Date: Vote the Spectrum Workshop

Join us for the first Vote the Spectrum Workshop at First Place–Phoenix on Feb. 27. Guided by the principle that democracy must respect the rights and freedoms of all, the First Place Global Leadership Institute has launched Vote the Spectrum (VTS), an Arizona-based voting initiative informing and activating our community to include individuals with autism and other neurodiversities, along with family members, educators, employers, healthcare professionals, neighbors—and all people who care.

To learn more and get involved, join us on Tuesday, Feb. 27 for our first Vote the Spectrum Workshop from 4–6 p.m. at First Place–Phoenix, 3001 N. Third Street.

Hear from Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes and other valued collaborators as we work together to empower champions with the tools, resources and sites needed to reach our respective communities and stakeholders to achieve our goal of registering 10,000 voters this year.

Learn what First Place AZ, Maricopa County, the State of Arizona and leading organizations like The ArcDisability Rights Arizona and Raising Special Kids can do for you. Experience standard and accessible voting booths, helpful educational tools—and much more! Register here. We look forward to seeing you next month!

Resident Wins “Best in Show” at Dogtopia

Kudos to First Place–Phoenix resident Whitney, who received the January Employee of the Month unanimous honor at her local Dogtopia location. As a canine coach at one of First Place’s more popular supportive vocational partners, Whitney’s duties include controlling a large open-play area for dogs and teaching basic commands, as well as keeping an eye on pup behaviors and addressing any issues that come up. Asked why she was chosen, she made no bones about it: “I’m really good with dogs.” Congrats, Whitney!

Bridging the Healthcare Gap: Next Listening Session in Tucson

The First Place Global Leadership Institute has the lofty goal of creating a healthcare equity model where no one goes untreated or is medically misunderstood because of autism and/or other intellectual and developmental disabilities (A/I/DD) in Arizona and beyond. This requires lots of collaboration among various aligned stakeholders.

Thanks to the NARBHA Institute, Francis Family Foundation and Make WavesFirst Place Global Leadership Institute (GLI) is hosting a free public Listening Session at the Community Foundation Campus in Tucson on Friday, Feb. 2 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Please join us as we bring together key organizations involved in the healthcare system and acknowledge the complex needs of adults with A/I/DD. Sessions will be facilitated by Maureen Casey, director of the Colonel Harland Sanders Center for Applied Research and The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Center for Public Policy at the GLI, along with various other First Place leaders. The NARBHA Institute is committed to “the integration of physical and behavioral health and community reinvestment to illuminate and strengthen health equity.” Reserve your spot. We look forward to seeing you!

Community Life: Push-Ups, Pasta & Princes

Check out what residents were up to this month, including jousting, fitness and ever-popular cooking!

  • Residents committed to starting 2024 off on the right foot (and leg and arm) with their participation in a recent #workoutwednesday in our on-site GoodLife Fitness room. Staff led them through various exercises using different types of equipment. As the saying goes, “Every day is a good day to work out.” You got this!
  • When Chef Titina is in the First Place–Phoenix culinary teaching kitchen, she doesn’t always have residents do things the easy way. On her most recent visit to First Place–Phoenix, she and her regular fans made pasta the old-fashioned way: by hand. Mama mia!
  • Who needs forks and spoons when there are swords and lances? That’s what First Place–Phoenix residents discovered when they recently traveled back to the Middle Ages for jousting, swordsmanship, jousting and dinner at Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament. It was a knight they’ll never forget!

All Aboard: Unique Drawing Keeps First Place Moving

Are First Place–Phoenix residents riffing off that amazing Bob Case Illustration? With Bob’s permission, residents enjoyed a chance at self-expression by coloring a black and white image and creating their own versions from the original Bob produced in kind exclusively for First Place AZ. The timeless image, introduced during the First Place Global Leadership’s 12th Symposium last fall, represents our steady movement forward by encouraging others to join us. Are you all aboard?

Join Us for a Virtual Tour

During monthly virtual tours, you’ll learn about the First Place–Phoenix Apartments and Transition Academy, which is currently enrolling for the 2024 class. Learn about community life, employment, and health and wellness programs, as well as state-of-the-art amenities that include a workout room, sports pool, reading lounge, culinary teaching kitchen—and our friendly, knowledgeable 24/7 concierges. Register today—and see firsthand why “We’re the place for that.®” Register here.

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