BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Each month, “WBZ Cares” highlights a worthy non-profit organization and tells the story of what that organization does for the community. This month WBZ is profiling Special Needs Arts Programs, Inc. (SNAP) which provides people with disabilities opportunities that celebrate each person's unique abilities while cultivating creative expression, building peer relationships, and fostering self-esteem through life-enhancing activities in the arts.
Special Needs Arts Programs, SNAP, through chorus and art, helps those with disabilities express themselves and encourages creativity.
“When individuals come to our program we really identify with them as a singer or as an artist and the disability part kinda falls a way. It’s really a peer-to-peer relationship because they have something to contribute. We want to hear their voice. We want to see their expression of art. There aren’t a lot of opportunities out there for people with special needs,” says Executive Director Heidi O'Mara.
O'Mara says those with disabilities are constantly learning, “People with special needs are just like anyone else. They’re dynamic, evolving people who are constantly picking up new skills, learn new techniques. So it really is a process and our whole point is to not underestimate ever someone with a special need because they do have unique talents and abilities.” She says arts programs help those with special needs express their feelings.
O'Mara commented, “I had one parent who said to me she doesn’t have a lot of conversations with her child, but when her child draws something or paints a picture that is when they really connect. And she said art really brings us together and enables us to have a conversation that we wouldn’t otherwise be connecting.”
WBZ NewsRadio1030's Doug Cope Reports