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CHSC Featured at Norwalk Autism Acceptance Month Celebration

Students and staff from CHSC’s Asperger Syndrome Adult Transition (ASAT) program attended an Autism Acceptance Month celebration on the Norwalk Town Green on April 7.

The event was organized by Jeff Spahr, Deputy Corporation Counsel for the City of Norwalk. Jeff’s son attends Chapel Haven’s ASAT program.

Patrick Doyle, an ASAT graduate who lives now in the ASAT community, gave remarks at the event and talked about how ASAT has helped him to become more social and to have an independent life.

“Chapel Haven has helped me a lot. Before, I wasn’t very social or independent. But now, I’m able to live on my own, work easily, and I’ve also made a lot of friends,” Doyle said.

Jeff has been organizing the annual event for many years. “Acceptance comes from a place of understanding. Acceptance looks at commonalities that are shared and the strength inherent in diversity. Acceptance says, ‘You are you and that’s pretty awesome. I’m me and I’m pretty awesome. Acceptance recognizes the existence of neurodiversity and that’s a good thing,” Spahr said.

Other programs highlighted at the event included STAR, Inc., Ability Beyond and Abilis. Veronica Lenzen and Jessica Ireland spoke for the Norwalk Public Schools.

The event was covered by the Norwalk Hour. Read the story here

To see Patrick’s remarks at the event, click here

To learn more about Chapel Haven’s ASAT program, click here

CHSC featured in media for World Down Syndrome Awareness Day

Chapel Haven Schleifer Center was featured by Fox 61 News and the New Haven Independent during a celebration on March 21, 2022 of World Down Syndrome Awareness Day.

Fox 61 News broadcast live for three hours during the celebration.

Click here to see a story and video by Julia LeBlanc of Fox 61 News

World Down Syndrome Day celebrated at Chapel Haven Schleifer Center

Click here to see coverage by the New Haven Independent

Chapel Haven Parades Down Whalley Avenue

Click here to see some of the live coverage by Fox 61:

Making art for World Down Syndrome day

“Silly socks” parade through Westville

CareerAbility featured in New Haven Business Journal

Chapel Haven Schleifer Center was recently featured in New Haven Business Journal with an article about our CareerAbility program.

Read the story here

Reporter Jean Falbo-Sosnovich interviewed CareerAbility Executive Director Danielle Chiaraluce, Career Development Manager Sarah Elsdon, and two of our adults who are employed in competitive jobs, Michael Petruso and Brenna McWilliams. She also interviewed JCC of GNH Executive Director Scott Cohen and Defibtech Human Resources Director Chrissy Falcha.

Mike, 36, has been working at the Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Greater New Haven’s fitness center since 2019.

“It’s an awesome environment to be in; I wipe down the fitness equipment, I keep on top of the latest information about the center’s fitness programs and take head counts,” Petruso said. “I’ve always wanted to turn my love of physical fitness into a career.”

Brenna moved from Maryland to attend Chapel Haven. She now works at Defibtech in Branford, assembling automated external defibrillators, which are portable medical devices designed to jump-start a person’s heart.

Brenna said the work is meaningful to her and before the job training, she had no idea she was interested in manufacturing.

“I’m really glad I went to Chapel Haven because they gave me opportunities to explore career options until I found something I loved,” McWilliams said. “I really like getting paid, too.”

We are proud of CareerAbility and our incredible track record in finding meaningful employment and opportunities for our adults!

According to Chiaraluce, in 2020-2021, 88% of CareerAbility’s clients were placed in competitive employment, compared to the national average of 18%.

Over the past two years, all adults placed by CareerAbility have retained their jobs six months or more, compared with the national average of 62%. Since 2017, 94% of adults placed by CareerAbility still remain in their jobs, exceeding one-year retention rates.

For more information about CareerAbility, contact Danielle Chiaraluce at