Schoharie County ARC Teams Up with SALT for NYSID WORKS Project
Volunteers from the Schoharie County Chapter NYSARC, Inc. and Schoharie Area Long Term (SALT) teamed with members of the Schoharie Promotional Association on September 17 for a day of service as part of a statewide NYSID WORKS!, A Community “Thank You” Event. Coordinated by the New York State Industries for the Disabled, Inc. (NYSID), this day of service was organized in appreciation for the thousands of job opportunities created by New York State for New Yorkers with disabilities. Each of the more than 20 participating NYSID member agencies and corporate partners chose a local non-profit in need of a small beautification project. Through these joint, statewide community service projects, member agencies, corporate partners and NYSID sent a unified, heartfelt message of gratitude to legislators, business and community leaders across New York State for creating employment opportunities for New Yorkers with disabilities.
In Schoharie, volunteers from the three organizations spent the day clearing brush, downed trees, and debris from the future site of the “Lilies of the Schoharie Valley Walking Path and Garden”. The Garden is located on approximately three acres of village owned land, once known as Fox's Dorf, and it is the historic entrance to the Village of Schoharie. It is close to the Fox Creek covered bridge, which presently attracts many passersby for its ideal photo opportunities. The plan drawn up by the Promotional Association is to create a gravel path, winding through the area for all to enjoy. Volunteers have been assisting in clearing the area and will eventually plant lily varieties throughout the park. Once completed, the Promotional Association intends to host a lily festival each year to attract people to the beautiful Schoharie Valley. Additionally, the Promotional Association will be approaching the three local churches to create a small labyrinth for quiet reflection in the lily park. According to organizers, this project ‘will be a community effort and one that the community can share for years to come.’
A Celebration 50 Years in the Making....
Schoharie County ARC celebrated its 50th Anniversary in a big way on September 19th. SUNY Cobleskill's ballroom was host to over 230 guests who enjoyed an evening of live music by the band, "Flame," and DJ Patrick del Rosario; as well as a sit down dinner catered by CAS; a live auction featuring Doug Cater and a silent auction that filled the entire ballroom. Lydia Kulbida, News 10 News anchor, graciously emceed the event. ARC Executive Director, Tony Alvarez received a citation from NYS Assemblyman Peter D. Lopez for his outstanding contributions to the Human Services Field in creating opportunities for people with developmental disabilities. NYSARC Executive Director, Steve Krol presented this prestigious award to Tony.
SONIC of Latham Presents Check From June Benefit
To Schoharie County ARC
The fundraiser held on June 28th at the SONIC Restaurant located at 701 Troy-Schenectady Road in Latham raised over $1700 to benefit the Schoharie County ARC. SONIC's management presented a check to ARC Executive Director Tony Alvarez on Monday, July 6th during the restaurant's Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies.
Schoharie County ARC Thanks Local Businesses for Continued Support Over The Last 50 years, Looks to Future Partnerships
The Schoharie County ARC Foundation hosted a ‘Celebratory Breakfast’ on June 19th to recognize the Schoharie County ARC’s 50th Anniversary in supporting people with developmental disabilities, and their families. The breakfast was held on the ARC Campus and was an opportunity to recognize the valued role Schoharie County ARC plays in the Community and the importance of its partnership with the business community in achieving its successful tenure in Schoharie County. Speakers included Schoharie County ARC Board President, Betsy Matthias; ARC Executive Director, Tony Alvarez; John and Sue DeSanto; Al D’Alauro; and County Clerk Bill Cherry.
Mr. Cherry delivered a speech on the socio-economic impact of the Schoharie County ARC in our community, including the employment of over 300 staff members; service and support to over 328 individuals; as well as the impact of the overall expenditures within the County to include personnel costs; maintenance and repairs; food, supplies, and materials; utilities; specialized equipment and supplies; transportation; and other miscellaneous expenditures. The Schoharie County ARC estimated the organization’s impact to be a $28.3 million a year investment into local economy.
Over 70 guests were in attendance. The Schoharie County ARC plans to continue its 50th Anniversary Celebration with a Legacy of Love/Golden Gala event on Saturday, Sept. 19th at SUNY Cobleskill’s Ballroom.
Executive Director Alvarez Issues Letter to ARC Community Regarding Highlights of Ongoing Inititiatives in Transformation of Services
Schoharie County ARC Executive Director, Anthony Alvarez, delivered a letter to ARC staff and community regarding ongoing intitiatives as services transform to meet the increasing demands of technology; as well as the changes at the State and Federal levels as to how services are provided to people with developmental disabilities.
To read this letter in it's entirety, please click here: /arc/assets/File/April 22nd letter to ARC Stakeholders.pdf
Toe Path Industries Issues Letter to Families About Proposed Closures To Work Centers for the Developmentally Disabled
Please Help Us Advocate For Choice in Employment Opportunities and To Keep Work Centers Open
The Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) is currently accepting public comments on a federal plan to transform employment supports for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities- limiting the choices people with disabilities have in terms of work and work programs. This has the potential to leave thousands of people without work programming and to eliminate choice for these individuals.
To read the letter in its entirety or for more information on how you can help us advocate, please click here: /arc/assets/File/Center%20Closure.pdf
To read the Public Notice from OPWDD regarding the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Settings Transition Plan, please click here: /arc/assets/File/20150326174024792.pdf
To read the proposed S.3893 "Employment First Choice Act" to ensure that an individual with developmental disabilities in a nonintegrated setting shall have the right to remain in such a setting under certain circumstance, introduced by Senator Catharine Young (57th SD), please click here: /arc/assets/File/20150326174000841.pdf
To read NYSARC's Position Statement as the written testimony of NYSARC Executive Director, Steven Kroll, please click here: /arc/assets/File/20150326174041439.pdf
The Justice Center Issues Guidance on Reporting, Investigations for Individuals and Families
The Justice Center has issued the attached guide “Justice Center Reporting and Investigations Guidance for Individuals and Families”. Additional information regarding the Individual and Family Support Unit can be found at the following link http://www.justicecenter.ny.gov/individual-and-family-support-ifsu.
We're 50 Years Strong!
Celebrating 50 Years of Support, Service and Advocacy to People with Intellectual and Other Developmental Disabilities
Schoharie County ARC was founded on March 2, 1965 by a group of parents looking for better opportunities for their developmentally disabled children. The group came together in a small church in Central Bridge, NY. Today, we serve nearly 325 people through a variety of supports and services. We employ nearly 325 direct care professionals who are committed to helping people realize their fullest potential and to live and work inclusively in our community.The Schoharie County ARC will celebrate our Golden Anniversary wit
h a special 'Legacy of Love' Gala/ Dinner on Sept. 19th at SUNY Cobleskill. Watch here for more details. The article below appeared in the Schenectady Gazette on March 10, 1965.
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The ARC of the US Launches Center for Future Planning Website
We are delighted to announce that The Arc’s Center for Future Planning launched its website (http://futureplanning.thearc.org) last month. The website is the Center’s first big step in supporting and encouraging families and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) to plan for the future. Having a plan is important especially after the parent or caregiver can no longer provide support.
The Center hosts a monthly webinar targeted at educating chapter staff and others on future planning topics.
Red Rose Productions Irish Step Dancers Performed at the Annual Schoharie County ARC Holiday Party.
Members of the Red Rose Project Irish Step Dancing Group entertained attendees at the Schoharie County ARC Holiday Party.
The group has been learning Irish Step Dance under the direction of Kate and Brigid Watson They meet weekly to learn new steps and dance routines.
The Red Rose Project is a project initiated by friends and family of the Schoharie County ARC. The mission is to provide an outlet for creative expression for individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities through theatrical, musical and artistic performance. The group is supported by the Schoharie County ARC Foundation and a NYSARC Trust Services Recreation Grant. The group includes people of all ages and abilities. For more information on getting involved with the Red Rose Project, please call Larry Addams at (518) 295-8130 ext. 319.
NYSARC Trust Services Recreation Grant Benefits Wellness and Red Rose Project
NYSARC Trust Services Board has approved a remainder fund grant of $10,000 per chapter to provide recreational opportunities for people they support. Last year the Schoharie County Chapter of NYSARC Inc. (Schoharie County ARC) received a similar grant from NYSARC Trust Services.
Part of the grant was applied to our Wellness Together Programs (including memberships to the Duanesburg Area Community Center and Weight Watchers Programs for people served by the Schoharie County ARC). The remaining portion was applied to Red Rose Productions to cover costs associated with their talent show (including venue, pre-performance classes and rehearsals, as well as local artist fees). Both of these programs promoted community inclusion and increased recreational opportunities.
Schoharie County ARC plans to use the funds in the same fashion this year. In addition, remainder fund grants totally $1,660,500 were awarded to support NYSARC guardianship programs statewide. A total of $2,207,880 in remainder grants were awarded in 2014 to support recreation and guardianship statewide. NYSARC Trust Services administers supplemental needs trusts that enable people with disabilities to remain in their home and community while retaining Medicaid services and other government benefits. Information is available on how NYSARC Trust Services may benefit you: our website www.nysarctrustservices.org , phone 1-518-439-8323, toll free phone 1-800-735-8924 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Families Cannot Be Caregivers Forever..... TAKE ACTION!!!!
On Nov. 21, Gov. Cuomo vetoed four bills representing critical issues to people with developmental disabilities and their families. The vetoes were a disappointment but they represent a beginning rather than an ending. With the Governor’s budget proposal due the end of next month, the vetoes represent an opportunity. In response, NYSARC has partnered with its sister organizations that serve people with developmental disabilities statewide to reach out to the media, the public... and, most importantly, connect with the Legislature and the Governor. They need to address the exploding crisis faced by families because New York State has effectively stopped developing new supports and services for people with developmental disabilities who are living at home with aging family members.
NYSARC has created an online advocacy platform for emailing and petitioning Gov. Cuomo, emailing your Legislator, and sharing your stories in advance of the State Budget proposal expected to be finalized Jan. 27, 2015. Please take a moment and participate in this important campaign.
TRANSPORTATION ALERT - SNOW CLOSINGS, DELAYED OPENINGS AND/OR SNOW ROUTES ONLY
The Schoharie County ARC is responsible for ensuring the safe transport of individuals to and from day programs. When the snow begins to fall and you need to determine the availability of transportation services or delays due to inclement weather, tune into one of the Capital District Clear Channel radio or TV stations. You may call the agency’s main phone number (518) 295-8130, to hear a recording about closings or delays. You are also encouraged to register with one of the local TV stations for closing alerts
There are four (4) options and announcements that may be made as a result of inclement weather and the delay or availability of transportation services:
l. "SCHOHARIE ARC IS OPEN, TRANSPORTATION IS DELAYED (1-2) HOURS."
2. "SCHOHARIE ARC IS OPEN - TRANSPORTATION ON SNOW ROUTES ONLY." Consumers, parents, guardians and family care providers always have the option of determining whether or not they chose to come to program
3. “SCHOHARIE ARC IS OPEN WITH NO TRANSPORTATION.” individuals may come into program but providers are responsible for ensuring transportation to and from the day program sites
4. "SCHOHARIE ARC IS CLOSED.” transportation will not be provided and day program supports will only be provided to people who reside in ARC residences.
If the determination is made to dismiss the day programs early, every effort will be made to contact care providers to ensure that someone is home when people arrive early. The information will also be entered in the School closing network and announced on the Capital District Clear Channel radio and TV stations. If you are registered, you will receive an alert with this information.
Please make every effort to assist individuals to and from buses, upon arrival at your place of residence, to ensure safety and prevention of accidents. We also ask for your support to ensure that driveways and walkways are clear of obstacles, ice and snow.
Thank you for your cooperation and if you have any questions or concerns regarding the availability of transportation services, delayed openings or closings, please call The Transportation Office at 295-8111 between 7:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M.
We Change Lives.... You Can Too!
Click this link to apply online: http://www.schohariearc.org/job-opportunities/
Cody Botha Named NYSID William B. Joslin Outstanding Performer
Cody Botha was named was recognized as an outstahnding performer through the New York State Industries for the Disabled (NYSID) 2014 William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Awards Program. Botha was one of 59 workers from across NYS -employed on NYSID Preferred source contracts- honored with this award.
Cody is employed with Toe Path Industries at Schoharie County ARC (a NYSID member agency). In the past two years, Cody has personally produced the door graphics for over a third of the 1,000 sets of vehicle markings produced and shipped by Toe Path Industries to the New York State Police.
"Cody is a very kind person. He's willing to work hard on our contract for the State Police and is great under pressure, making sure we get these products done by our deadlines. He continues to grow every day," says Work Center Supervisor, Maria Braender.
Cody is also responsible for for packaging orders for batteries sold by NYSID to State Agencies across New York.
Now Open NEW BEGINNINGS Thrift Store
Schoharie County ARC is pleased to announce the opening of our thrift store "Schoharie's NEW BEGINNINGS." Please stop down and visit us at 322 Main Street in Schoharie. Our thrift store hours will be Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Saturdays, 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. We will feature a variety of items including gently used clothing, home furnishings and more at affordable prices.
We are gladly accepting donations for our store (no mattresses or major appliances please).
For more information or to make donation arrangements, please call Amanda at (518) 295-8130, ext. 215.
Brooks Named To Board of Directors for Self Advocacy Association of New York State (SANYS)
Michael Brooks of Richmondville was recently elected to the Self Advocacy Association of New York State’s (SANYS) Board of Directors.
To be considered as a member representative to SANYS Board of Directors, individuals must be a member of a Self-Advocacy group, have one year of experience in a leadership role as an officer in the Self-Advocacy group, be recommended by the Self-Advocacy Association and must be willing to speak for themselves and others in public.
Cynthia Gilchrist, SANYS Capital/ Upper Hudson Valley Region Regional Coordinator, said she’s excited to have Michael start his tenure on October 1st. “ Over the years, I have seen Mike become a stronger self-advocate who speaks up for himself and others, provides presentations on bullying throughout the region, and represents his agency, Schoharie County ARC and SANYS at meetings concerning individuals with disabilities. His beliefs and dedication to self-advocacy will make him an asset to the SANYS Board.”
“I want to help people with disabilities live happy and fulfilled lives,” Brooks said. “I want people to always have someone to talk to when problems need to be addressed.”
Schoharie Central School Partners with Schoharie County ARC-
Learning Positive Approaches to Challenging Behaviors
The Schoharie Central School District Special Eduction Department took part in 'Creating Opportunities for Positive Relations' training at the Schoharie County ARC campus. Schoharie County ARC adopted this training as part of their regular New Hire Orientation several years ago. It is the basic foundation of philosophical views of supporting and educating people served by the organization.
Commonly referred to as COPR, 'Creating Opportunities for Positive Relations' training is provided by Schoharie County ARC Executive Director, Tony Alvarez, and ARC Administrators Terry Tetlak, Lauren Milavec and Linda Isles and focuses on positive means of dealing with challenging behaviors and includes an in-depth discussion on the ARC's approach to successfully educating people with developmental disabilities. A strong emphasis is placed on breaking down tasks and using positive reinforcement as the key to effective communication and educational success.
Aligning the teaching philosophies of both the ARC and Schoharie Central School enables the entities to provide continuity in educational supports. Currently, Schoharie County ARC provides transitional educational services (Student Transitional Education Program commonly referred to as S.T.E.P.) to Schoharie Central School students served by the Special Education Department.