SANFORD, Maine – Recently Waban’s Executive Director, Neal Meltzer, discussed the organization’s impact on York County. Each year, the most important way Waban contributes back to the community is by providing an amazing 870,000 hours of services to children and adults with autism, intellectual/developmental, and other disabilities. Waban enhances these individuals lives by offering a comprehensive array of services that span a lifetime including early intervention, a therapeutic preschool through K-4 special purpose school, case management, adult day and employment services, adult residential programs, as well as its social enterprise document destruction company, Secure RMS.
Waban’s Fraser-Ford Child Development Center plays a key role in preparing children with autism for public school. With 1 in 68 children having this diagnosis, early intervention means better outcomes for children, their families, and ultimately for the public school. Through one-on-one instruction and intensive therapies, Waban’s special education specialists work with children between the ages 3 and 9 and their families to improve outcomes that lead to more success in an ongoing way. Meltzer commented, “Special education costs during grades K through 12 can decrease by as much as $15,000 per child who benefits from early intervention.”
Waban, a nonprofit organization that employs more than 450 people, is Sanford’s largest employer. More than 90 percent of the funds that Waban generates finds its way back into the economies of Sanford and York County through the organization’s payroll and its use of local vendors.
Meltzer summed up his remarks by noting, “Our success is due in part to the support we receive from our many caring employees and donors. I am proud of the work done by our dedicated and hard-working staff and grateful for the support of the community that helps make our work possible.”