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Event at Oceanside Library encourages opportunities for all


Representatives of the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce and the Asperger Syndrome & High Functioning Autism Association presented “A business opportunity: Hiring persons with asperger syndrome and autism” at the Oceanside Library on April 25.

The event featured keynote speakers, including people who have been diagnosed with autism and aspergers, and encouraged the community to provide business opportunities for those dealing with the developmental disorders.

“The event was fantastic,” Chamber of Commerce Treasurer Leslie Braun said, “and we were so impressed that with the proper tools and with the proper coaching that it could be the smartest decision businesses ever make to hire someone on the spectrum.”

Braun added that the chamber was so impressed by the presentation that its leaders plan to offer free membership in 2020 to any business that hires someone on the spectrum.

One of the speakers at the event was Debra Solomon, a professional coach and the founder of Spectrum Strategies, which is a collaboration of 30 experts in asperger syndrome and related conditions, which has officers in New York City. Solomon is a graduate of Syracuse University with a degree in business and sales administration and is a certified life and career coach. She said her goal is to create a level playing field for people on the spectrum by providing the support and tools necessary to build a strong foundation for their future.

Author Judy Cohen also spoke about her book, “Succeeding with Autism: Hear My Voice,” which focuses on a young man who finds success while dealing with autism. Cohen is a professor of education at Adelphi University and has a doctorate in literacy education, with a specialization in special education. She also works as an attorney and a child advocate in school districts and courts.

To join or to learn more about the chamber, visit oceansidechamber.org.