In 1976, a group of parents of Autistic adolescents came together to organize Special Citizens as a nonprofit organization. The organization began as a vehicle to advocate for ongoing adult programs for their children who had aged out of Special Education services with very little options for long-term housing or day programming.
The group of parents began their journey in 1977. Upon approval of a three-year grant from the then OMRDD, Special Citizens opened its first group home in Westchester (Cortlandt Intermediate Care Facility) on December 7, 1981.
We are committed to the development and delivery of a comprehensive, integrated system of services, which has as its primary purpose the promotion and attainment of independence, inclusion, individuality and productivity for adults and children with Autism.
Special Citizens has a workforce of over 200 employees supporting over 300 people with Autism Spectrum Disorders throughout New York City, The Bronx and Westchester County.
Special Citizens provides the following services:
Residential (Individual Residential Alternatives and Intermediate Care Facilities)
Day Habilitation (Site and Community Based Day Options)
Medicaid Service Coordination
Therapeutic Surf Camp for Children with Autism
Donate to SCFU Today!
Surf Camp for Kids with Autism
The Kristen Bednar Memorial Surf Camp for Children with Autism, previously the iMatter Surf Camp, was founded in 2007 by Jessica Guberman. It is a one-day free camp for children with Autism and their families where children surf one-on-one with a qualified instructor and reap the benefits of aquatic therapy. The camp takes place at Cupsogue Beach in Westhampton, NY. Click here to view the 2014 video from our 8th Annual Event!
Direct Support Professional Training
Need Training for your DSP's? We can do that for you! Check out the trainings we can customize for your workforce!
SCFU Receives Four-Year Accreditation with the Council on Quality and Leadership!!!
(September 30, 2014, New York, New York) Special Citizens Futures Unlimited, Inc. (SCFU) announced today that the agency has been awarded the four year Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL) Person-Centered Excellence Accreditation. Accreditation demonstrates that SCFU shares CQL’s vision and commitment to person-centered solutions to improve the quality of life for people receiving supports and services.
Person-Centered Excellence is an approach that provides people with intellectual and developmental disabilities the power to choose and direct the supports that make a difference in their lives. “We are so excited,” said Jessica Zufall, CEO of SCFU, “in my two years here at SCFU, there have been many exciting changes, all of which have brought us to this important milestone. I am so proud of my team and of the hard work that went into getting accredited. “ Zufall added: “This is just the beginning. SCFU will continue to aspire to the goals created during the accreditation process, including teaching the people we support new ways to dream.”
About Special Citizens
Special Citizens Futures Unlimited, Inc. (SCFU) is a New York-based nonprofit organization that has been supporting adults and children with Autism for over thirty years. SCFU is committed to the development and delivery of a comprehensive, integrated system of services, which has as its primary purpose the promotion and attainment of independence, inclusion, individuality and productivity for adults and children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Special Citizens has a workforce of over 200 employees supporting over 300 people with Autism Spectrum Disorders throughout New York City, The Bronx and Westchester County.
About the Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL)
For over 40 years, CQL has been a leader in working with human service organizations and systems to continuously define measure and improve the quality of life of all people. CQL offers consultation, accreditation, training and certification services to organizations and systems that share a vision of dignity, opportunity and community for all people.
Stay in touch with SCFU by following SCFU on Facebook at www.facebook.com/specialcitizens or through SCFU’s website at www.specialcitizens.org.
Our CEO's Message!
This past year, Special Citizens Futures Unlimited, Inc., has achieved a complete overhaul of our systems across the board.
In the face of severe budget cuts and rapid regulatory requirement changes, SCFU has operationalized all federal and New York State requirements and has created a leaner and more efficient workforce. We support our workforce through a diverse training and professional development department that embraces the Direct Support Professional movement including the adaptability of a portable skill set for every employee. Our Quality Improvement department has developed and implemented valuable internal auditing tools and a survey satisfaction process such as Quality of Life, Employee and Parent/Guardian surveys that allow the agency to trend data and constantly make needed service delivery improvements.
In the next year, SCFU looks forward to the following improvements and
• HIPPA/HITECH and Olmstead Act Implementation
• Implementation of PrecisionCare Software, Inc.
• Improved fundraising through two annual fundraisers
• Council on Quality Leadership Accreditation
I am thrilled to be entering my second year as the leader of this wonderful organization. On a daily basis I am grateful for our wonderful workforce and the dynamic group of people we have the privilege to support on a daily basis. You are the backbone to the organization, you are here for a reason and I hope that you are just as excited as I am to continue our good work together.
Jess Guberman, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer