Silvia Haas is a passionate, dynamic woman and longtime advocate for the special needs community. In 2011, she was named Executive Director of OCA: Opportunity, Community, Ability, Inc. where she leads the efforts to enable individuals with special needs the opportunity to maximize their abilities in the community.
Dedicated to meeting the educational and recreational needs of children, in 1989 Silvia received her Bachelor of Applied Science degree in both Early Childhood and Elementary Education from the University of South Florida. She went on to receive her Certification for Physical Education Teaching and Coaching at the University of Central Florida and became a Physical Education Instructor in both the public and private school sectors.
As a wife and parent of 3 sons, one with special needs, she along with 3 colleagues recognized that individuals with special needs lacked opportunities to experience typical childhood activities outside of school. These 4 colleagues, now known as the ‘Founding Sisters’ came together in 2008 to change that and formed OCA.
Today, under the board of directors and Silvia’s direction, OCA services more than 325 families with programs such as Special Olympics Training, Summer Day Camp, After School, Adult Vocational Training, Early Intervention, Social Skills Events, Applied Behavior Therapy and Respite. Silvia is also focusing on making OCA’s vision a reality; to create a place where individuals with special needs can work, live and play.