Prom is one of high schools most anticipated events of the year, but for some of those with developmental disabilities, its a time that might make them feel left out.
That's why Community Access unlimited (CAU), a non-profit group dedicated to youth and adults with disabilities, has put together their own prom every year for the past decade.
“It’s more meaningful because they come together as a group,” said Rolando Zorrilla, assistant executive director of developmental disabilities services at CAU. “Everyone is welcome.”
Not only are all members of CAU invited to attend prom every year, but as an effort to encourage community integration, it's also open to the public.
Mark Bloom and Marcella Truppa, a long-time CAU couple, have attend prom every year for 10 years.
According to Bloom, all of CAU's important prom details such as food, the DJ , and location are decided on by a member-based committee beginning around March each year. Members also put together their song suggestions for the DJ.
Bloom said his favorite part of the night is speaking with new members and making sure they're enjoying themselves. He also likes to catch up with older members that he hasn't seen in a while.
Over 100 members attended this year's prom which was held on June 13 at the Peterstown Community Center in Elizabeth.