Born and raised in New Jersey, Jessica Listwa is the middle child and a sibling of a sister with cerebral palsy and intellectual disability. Her sister's special needs fueled her passion to help this community and is now a pediatric dentist in the central/northern Jersey area.
She received her Doctor of Dental Medicine Degree from University of Pennsylvania. She completed her Pediatric Residency at the University Of Connecticut School Of Dental Medicine/Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. As dental care is extremely difficult for this population, her aim was to be a dentist that can at least help and treat the special needs population in her community.
After discovering the lack of resources and information on oral health for this community, Jessica founded a website (exceptionalsmiles.org) dedicated to helping families and caregivers of someone with special needs navigate oral health and hygiene techniques and issues. Currently, she is getting more involved with the special olympics special smiles campaign in NJ to help the special olympics athletes with their oral health needs.
Louis, an adult sibling who is married with one child, talks with Cheryl Crick, Coordinator of Family Advocacy at The Arc of New Jersey Family Institute, and discusses what life was like growing up alongside a sister with severe epilepsy.
Adult sibling Christine talks with Cheryl Crick, Coordinator of Family Advocacy at The Arc of New Jersey Family Institute, and discusses what life was like growing up alongside a sister with a developmental disability.
Boxwood Junction: www.boxwoodjunction.org
Identical twins Kirsten and Kara talk with Cheryl Crick, Coordinator of Family Advocacy at The Arc of New Jersey Family Institute, and discuss what life was like growing up alongside a younger sister with a developmental disability.
SIBS NJ: www.sibsnj.org
Lisa Ford speaks with Dr. Laurie Appel from FURever As Friends.
FURever As Friends is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization of dedicated volunteers based in Gloucester, Salem, Camden and Cumberland Counties in New Jersey who love to give back to the community with the help of their certified pets. The services that we provide enhance the bond between people and pets in a nurturing environment and are specifically designed to offer unconditional love and pet-assisted therapy to people of all ages in a variety of different settings.
Lisa Ford speaks with Tracy Vargas the founder of Learning For Tomorrow NJ. The organization's goal is to provide learners the opportunity for independence and success. Technology plays a large roll in society today and the possibilities that it offers to learners with various needs is only beginning to be identified. Assistive technology, along with behavioral/social supports can prove to be very impactful skills leading to a fulfilling life of independence.
Tracy Vargas Contact Information:
Lisa Ford speaks with Mary McGeary, Director of New Jersey's State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). SHIP provides free help to New Jersey Medicare beneficiaries who have problems with, or questions about their health insurance.
To learn more about about the program, visit www.state.nj.us/humanservices/doas/services/ship.
Lisa Ford speaks with Kenya Eason Mcmillan, Community Outreach Coordinator at All Metro Healthcare, to learn more about about the program.
For more information, please visit http://www.all-metro.com/.
Lisa Ford speaks with Dan McManmon, President of The College Internship Program (CIP), as he explains how their program assists young adults with learning differences to succeed in college, employment, and independent living.
For more information, visit www.cipworldwide.org.