FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                          Wednesday, February 20, 2019


The Lebanon Police Department and the Special Needs Support Center (SNSC) announce the launch of a new Special Needs Registry, a program to help emergency responders identify and respond to vulnerable residents with special needs.

This is a voluntary program in which special needs community members of any age, or their family members, submit information such as triggers, special accommodations, emergency contacts and a photograph. The information is entered into a database in which Lebanon Police Officers and Dispatch Team have access.  The registry is an expansion of an existing database which identifies community members who have Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

“SNSC is proud to be assisting with the Special Needs Registry,” said Laura Perez, SNSC Executive Director. “In addition to the challenges facing any parent, parents with children with disabilities have additional concerns such as impaired communication, wandering, tendency to avoid eye contact, or other behaviors that can appear suspicious without prior knowledge. Our vision for this project is to support positive relationship development and improved interactions between emergency responders and community members with disabilities.”

“This project helps us achieve our mission to protect life and to assist the public-at-large in a manner consistent with the rights and dignity of all persons,” said Police Chief Richard Mello. “The Special Needs Registry will help usrapidly and safely respond in the event that a citizen with special needs requires assistance.”

To register for the Lebanon Special Needs Registry:

  • Complete the simple form at this link https://snsc-uv.org/resources/#special-needs-registry;
  • Call the Lebanon Police Department at 603-448-1212 and request an officer be dispatched to your residence to assist you in completing the form; or
  • Call the Special Needs Support Center at 603-448-6311 and a team member will help you complete the form over the phone or in the office.

In light of the separation of children from their parents or other caregivers and the living conditions of the detained children and threats of further deportation and family separation, a statement from SNSC’s spoke people, the Executive Director and Board President follows.


For 40 years the Special Needs Support Center (SNSC) has proudly stood up for the rights of vulnerable children. Our core belief is that ALL children deserve to be happy, healthy, and safe.   

With this core belief in our hearts and minds, we denounce the practice of separating immigrant children from their families and urge our government to cease this activity which is unconscionable and causes irreparable harm to young lives.

This is not a political statement on immigration policy.  This is an appeal to elevate the inalienable right of all children to be safe.

We invite you- regardless of your political leanings- to join us in speaking out against family separation at our borders and to call for humane treatment of immigrant children currently being held in detention centers.

A special thank you to Kent Johnson, CEO Highlights for Children, for inspiring our message.

Laura Perez                                                            Jo-Anne Unruh
Executive Director                                                   Board President






Lebanon, NH….. This July, Opera North takes its first steps in its partnership with the National Park Service to develop a new national park for the arts on the grounds of the historic Blow Me Down Farm in Cornish, NH. Blow Me Down Farm, located on the banks of the Connecticut River, is part of the original Cornish Colony and features breathtaking views of Mt. Ascutney and the river.

Their first production – Singers and Swingers – features the Opera North orchestra and singers, along with professional circus artists who have performed with the likes of Cirque du Soleil and the Big Apple Circus. This wonderful mash-up of opera and circus will take place under a big top tent and is the perfect summer afternoon or evening outing. Feel free to bring a blankets and a picnic to enjoy before the performance.

Key to their vision for Blow Me Down Farm is a park for the arts that is welcome and accessible to all. In collaboration with the Special Needs Support Center, Opera North is proud to host a Sensory Sensitive and Accessible Arts experience on Saturday, July 14, 2018 at 2pm.

Come check out their sensory-friendly accommodations!

  • Front row seats available for children and adults with disabilities, and their families. (Seating is limited, so contact SNSC to reserve your seats).
  • SNSC staff and volunteers will be on hand to share information and raise awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorders. So, feel free to stim, dance, sing, and move around as needed. Fun!
  • Need a break? Stop by SNSC’s Mobile Sensory Station with light and sound therapy and other sensory equipment.

Additionally, Blow Me Down Farm will have designed accessible parking spaces, a drop-off zone near the entryway, and accessible restrooms.

The Special Needs Support Center helps children and adults with special needs, and their families, meet their unique challenges through advocacy and program support. Children and families served by SNSC are more productive, have greater independence, and are empowered to contribute to their communities.

For more information on SNSC programs, go to www.snsc.org.

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The Special Needs Support Center (SNSC) has received a $79,490 grant from the Canaday Family Charitable Trust.  The grant is to be dispersed over three years and will help SNSC further their mission of helping children and adults with special needs, and their families, meet their unique challenges through advocacy and program support.

“Our Parent Educational Support and Advocacy Program brings power and voice to all parents, especially the more than 80% of parents we serve who live below the poverty line,” said Executive Director Laura Perez. “This generous funding from the Canaday Family will help us support students, parents, and school teams in formulating plans to help all children, regardless of their special needs, access their education.”

SNSC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and relies upon the generous support of individuals, businesses, and philanthropic organizations like the Canaday Family Charitable Trust to operate their programs.

“The foundation seeks to fund innovative programs with clear, measurable goals for creating unique and significant improvements in the lives of children,” said Christine O’Donnell, the foundation’s contact.  “SNSC represents the type of work the Canaday Charitable Trust funds and we are very pleased to support their efforts.”

For more information, please contact SNSC at 603-448-6311 or on the web at www.snsc-uv.org

The Special Needs Support Center (SNSC) has received a $20,000 grant from Kettering Family Philanthropies.  The grant will help SNSC further their mission of helping children and adults with special needs, and their families, meet their unique challenges through advocacy and program support.

“Whether or not you or a loved one participates in our programs, we all benefit from SNSC’s role in building a more vibrant, healthy, and inclusive place to live, work, and play. This grant from the Kettering Family reaffirms the importance of our work and their faith in our performance,” said Executive Director Laura Perez.  “We are grateful they have joined us again as partners in making our programs available and accessible”.

SNSC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and relies upon the generous support of individuals, businesses, and philanthropic organizations like Kettering Family Philanthropies to operate their programs.

The Kettering Family Foundation was founded by Eugene W. Kettering, son of Charles F. Kettering, and his wife Virginia W. Kettering in 1956.  Today, the Foundation supports a broad range of charitable activities of interest to the Board of Trustees, which is composed of members of the Kettering Family.

For more information, please contact SNSC at 603-448-6311 or on the web at www.snsc-uv.org

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The Special Needs Support Center (SNSC) has received a $5,000 grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.  The grant will help SNSC further their mission of helping children and adults with special needs, and their families, meet their unique challenges through advocacy and program support.

“All of our programs support families and individuals with special needs to become empowered through learning, sharing and collaborating with each other. This grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation reaffirms the importance of our work and their faith in our performance,” said Executive Director Laura Perez.  “We are grateful they have joined us again as partners in making our programs available and accessible”.

SNSC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and relies upon the generous support of individuals, businesses, and philanthropic organizations like the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation to operate their programs.

The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation is New Hampshire’s statewide community foundation, founded in 1962 by and for the people of New Hampshire. The Foundation manages a growing collection of more than 1,800 funds created by generous individuals, families and businesses, and awards nearly $40 million in grants and scholarships every year. The Foundation works with generous and visionary citizens to maximize the power of their giving, supports great work happening in our communities and leads and collaborates on high-impact initiatives.

For more information, please contact SNSC at 603-448-6311 or on the web at www.snsc-uv.org

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The Special Needs Support Center (SNSC) has received a $3,000 grant from The HOPE (Hypertherm Owners’ Philanthropic Endeavors) Foundation.  The grant will help SNSC further their mission of helping children and adults with special needs, and their families, meet their unique challenges through advocacy and program support.

“All of our programs support families and individuals with special needs to become empowered through learning, sharing and collaborating with each other. This grant from the HOPE Foundation reaffirms the importance of our work and their faith in our performance,” said Executive Director Laura Perez.  “We are grateful they have joined us again as partners in making our programs available and accessible”.

SNSC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and relies upon the generous support of individuals, businesses, and philanthropic organizations like the HOPE Foundation to operate their programs.

The HOPE Foundation is the cornerstone to Hypertherm’s focus on Community Engagement. Established in 2010, the Foundation compliments the efforts of the Hypertherm Philanthropy Team by working to partner with nonprofit organizations and engage in activities that strengthen and create sustainable, positive change in the community and environment. The HOPE Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization.

For more information, please contact SNSC at 603-448-6311 or on the web at www.snsc-uv.org

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The Special Needs Support Center (SNSC) has received a $2,500 Nonprofit Capacity Building Grant from the Vermont Community Foundation (VCF). The grant funds will be used to support a strategic planning process later this year. SNSC will crystalize their mission, vision and goals for the future and develop the guiding foundational principals of the organization to guide their team towards successful pursuit the organization’s goals.

“All of our programs support individuals with special needs and their families to become empowered through learning, sharing and collaborating with each other. This grant from the Vermont Community Foundation is essential for SNSC as we work to develop strategic alignment with our mission, vision, values, goals, and community,” said Executive Director Laura Perez.  “We are grateful they have joined us as partners to strengthen our capacity which is essential to the continued success of our organization”.

SNSC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and relies upon the generous support of individuals, businesses, and philanthropic organizations like VCF to operate their programs.

The Nonprofit Capacity Building grant program at the Vermont Community Foundation provides support for the cost of consultants to facilitate discussions related to strategic planning, financial sustainability planning, or exploring a merger.

Since 1979 SNSC has helped children and adults with special needs, and their families, meet their unique challenges through advocacy and program support.

SNSC continues to raise funds to support their services.  To learn more about SNSC’s services, or contribute to their programs, go to www.snsc-uv.org or call 603-448-6311.