Sharing a passion for gardening

Sharing a passion for gardening

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Sharing a passion for gardening

Gardening is a passion and skill for both Calvin and Deb, two of our
Pre-Vocational DSPs, that they have shared with everyone in the program.

Calvin and Deb have spent months working with people we support in Community Pre-Voc to plan out an indoor garden wall. The purpose of this indoor garden wall is to not only help teach people about horticulture and gardening practices, but also for it to be used for The Statler Foundation Culinary Arts Suite by planting, and eventually utilizing, various types of herbs.

In preparation for this, they both worked on teaching horticulture and gardening within their programs. Each Pre-Voc program has started their own personal indoor gardens to help teach people about the various ways to care for plants, flowers and herbs, the type of surroundings each needs, and various “foods” they may require. This is especially helpful when assisting people we support in deciding their areas of interest in the workforce but it is also teaching skills that everyone can do in their everyday lives at home and with family and friends.

We couldn’t be more thankful to Calvin and Deb for turning a very unusual time in our world into a fun, new and functional learning experience at Jefferson. Their creativity and passion has really shined through while creating this project!

DSP Deb stands in front of the indoor garden wall at our Jefferson Career Center.
One of our Community Pre-Voc groups shows off the new garden bed they planted outside
Calvin poses with one of the plants he helped introduce to Community Pre-Voc.

Graduation Day!

Graduation Day!

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Graduation Day!

Samer, a resident at one our Northtowns sites, recently achieved a huge milestone. Samer graduated from Autism Services Inc. (ASI) in late June, a goal he has been working for a long time.

To celebrate this moment, ASI hosted a drive-up graduation ceremony for each graduate. Teachers and staff from ASI were there with signs to welcome Samer and his staff when they arrived. Samer wore his cap and gown and was presented with his diploma. He was able to pose for graduation pictures in a specially decorated tent. Our staff also made congratulatory signs and decorated their van to celebrate Samer on his special day.

We are so proud of Samer’s hard work and all that he has achieved. Congratulations, Samer!

Samer received his diploma during his graduation ceremony.
Samer poses with his teachers and Community Services staff as they hold up signs of support and congratulations.
Samer receives a photo collage as part of his graduation ceremony.

Celebrating Disability Pride

Celebrating Disability Pride

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Celebrating Disability Pride

July is Disability Pride Month!

Community Services LOVES celebrating every1 for who they are and where they are at all months of the year, but July is special to us! We welcome any chance to celebrate our wonderfully diverse disability community.

So in July, we celebrate people of ALL abilities! And we bring attention to the progress made for equality and accessibility and the work that still needs to be done. While we celebrate the 31st anniversary of the passage of the ADA this year, we also remember that we have work to do to make the world accessible to all.

Happy Disability Pride Month!

Disability Pride Month graphic

Post State of Emergency COVID-19 Guidance

Post State of Emergency COVID-19 Guidance for OPWDD Certified, Operated, and/or Funded Facilities and Programs

Background: On May 19, 2021, consistent with the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), New York State (NYS) aligned the mandates for mask wearing and social distancing to eliminate requirements for most vaccinated individuals.

On June 25, 2021, the State of Emergency declared by Governor Andrew Cuomo, to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, was allowed to expire. All associated Executive Orders and most COVID-19 restrictions will also be lifted throughout the State.

Post-Emergency Guidance:
Providers of OPWDD certified, operated, and/or funded programs should resume all pre-pandemic activities in compliance with all applicable rules and regulations, which still may include any applicable COVID-19 rules, regulations, or guidance issued by OPWDD. Effective June 25, 2021, providers may operate programs at full capacity to extent possible, to resume unrestricted visitation at and community outings from residential facilities, and to remove capacity limitations during transportation if all individuals are vaccinated.

Providers who had been acting under Executive Order provisions related to background checks should immediately begin implementing pre-COVID background checks, consistent with Expiration of Interim Guidance Regarding the Criminal Background Check Process, issued June 24, 2021. Providers who have been utilizing abbreviated trainings, pursuant to Executive order flexibilities, should immediately resume all mandatory trainings requirements, consistent with OPWDD Updated Guidance Regarding Abbreviated/Refresher Training and Recertifications, updated on June 24, 2021. 

Ongoing COVID-19 Precautions: Consistent with CDC guidance, fully vaccinated people are no longer required to wear masks or maintain social distance in most places within NYS, including within OPWDD certified, operated and/or funded facilities and programs. However, individuals and staff will be required to wear masks, to the extent they can medically tolerate one, regardless of vaccination status, while being transported between OPWDD certified locations or transported as part of an OPWDD certified service (e.g. from a residence to a day program).

Per CDC guidance, individuals and staff who are unvaccinated are expected to continue to wear masks, if they can medically tolerate one, and maintain social distance to the extent possible at certified locations and/or when delivering or receiving certified services. Unvaccinated visitors to such locations must continue to wear masks and maintain social distance to the extent possible for the duration of the visit.

All high touch surfaces should continue to be cleaned and disinfected consistent with CDC guidelines. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/disinfecting-building-facility.html

Residential facilities with positive cases of COVID-19 should continue to adhere to the protocols contained in the document Management of Co-Circulation of Influenza and COVID-19 Infections, issued October 20, 2020.

Reporting Requirements:
OPWDD will continue to track positive cases of COVID-19 within its programs to monitor for trends and inform the need for any additional precautionary restrictions. As such, providers must continue to report positive COVID-19 cases to OPWDD, consistent with COVID-19 Notification and IRMA Reporting Requirements for OPWDD Providers, last issued on November 2, 2020.

All providers must continue to report vaccination status of individuals and staff via the Multi-Agency Vaccination Data Collection System.

Welcoming golfers back on the course

Welcoming golfers back on the course

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Welcoming golfers back on the course

Despite a little rain, our 8th Annual Chipping in for Community Services Golf Tournament was another success this year! We were thrilled to welcome golfers back to the beautiful Wanakah Country Club to hit the links and enjoy a nice dinner in the evening.
 
We would like to thank our Platinum Sponsor Parkview Health Services; our Gold Sponsor USI; our Silver Sponsor M&T Bank; and our Bronze Sponsors Allied Mechanical, Carmina Wood Morris DPC, Edgemere Development, Inc., Independent Health, KeyBank, and Rusiniak’s. We would also like to thank our wonderful volunteers for helping to make this a successful event!
 
Funds raised during the event will go directly to our programs to provide enhanced supports and new opportunities for the people we serve. Thank you to everyone for their generosity and support of our mission and the people we serve!