Nassau Legislature reinstates 2 special-needs programs at Nassau Community College
Special-needs students attending Nassau Community College and their families are breathing a sigh of relief Monday following the reinstatement of critical programs.
Jason Spiller, 19, is a special-needs student at Nassau Community College and is part of the ASPIRES program. That program helps students with special needs in every aspect of college life, from executive functioning to social skills.
Spiller, who has high-functioning autism, says it has been life-changing.
"They teach us different skills, interview skills, games to get to know each other better, it's so helpful, I love it," says Spiller.
It was heartbreaking for Spiller and many others to hear that NCC wanted to do away with that and the Achilles program due to financial issues.
But on Monday, the Nassau Legislature voted to reinstate the programs for the upcoming academic year.
"After extensive negotiations, and work with college administration, the parents and professors, those programs have been restored," says Legislature Presiding Officer Richard Nicolello.
The reaction has been a huge sigh of relief for students and their parents after fighting to keep the programs alive.
"Between social networking, regular media newspapers, getting the legislators involved, everyone pulling together to say we need support for this program," says Jeff Spiller, Jason's dad.
As for Jason Spiller, he's feeling thankful to continue his studies in September with the program still there.
"I want to say thank you to the legislators for helping the program get reinstated back to where it was originally," he says. "Without the program, without you helping us out, I don't know what we would do without it."