AHRC New York City


In Memory of Michael Goldfarb


Michael Goldfarb, AHRC New York City’s Executive Director from 1975-2011, sadly passed away in his sleep on October 19, 2014. Michael led AHRC NYC for 36 years and his tireless efforts to improve the lives of people we serve completely transformed the agency and indeed the entire field of serving those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. When he assumed leadership of AHRC NYC in 1975, the organization had 200 employees and a $2 million annual budget; nearly 40 years later, AHRC NYC now employs over 4,000 people and has an annual budget exceeding $240 million. This remarkable growth is due in large part to the vision and dedication of a man who helmed the agency through parts of five separate decades-Michael Goldfarb.

Prior to joining AHRC, Michael was Executive Director of Brooklyn Psychiatric Centers and before that Executive Director of the Coalition of Voluntary Mental Health and Mental Retardation Agencies. For many years he also taught at the prestigious Columbia University School of Public Health. Upon becoming AHRC NYC’s Executive Director, Michael expanded the organizations scope to encompass entirely new kinds of services and opportunities for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. These include residences of many sizes and specialties in all five boroughs; employment opportunities in a variety of fields; services for individuals with traumatic brain injuries; and the opening of Camp Anne and the Katy Isaacson & Elaine Gordon Lodge.

Michael dedicated his work to improving the lives of the people we serve. AHRC’s growth and accomplishments over the past forty years could not have happened without him. Yet during his retirement speech in 2011, Michael made sure to give credit to the staff that he believed were the true heroes. “As far as I’m concerned,” he said, “you are the giants, and you did me…a great favor by being here and creating this organization. Building an agency isn’t like building a widget. You don’t move a screw here and a cog there. It’s the energy of very odd and committed and caring people in some kind of a chemical mix that makes it work. You guys know how to do it better than anybody. So, for all of you, for the people bigger than me, I thank you so much, because you’ve made us what we are. And it was a pleasure to step back and say ‘do it your way’ because yours is probably the better and smarter way anyway. But thank you for everything, and thank you for working at AHRC.

Michael’s family asks that any memorial donations be made to AHRC New York City. Funeral arrangements will be private, but there will probably be a public memorial service later. On behalf of the entire AHRC New York City organization we extend our deepest condolences to Michael’s family and promise that we will strive to continue his legacy into the future.

Laura J. Kennedy Elected President of NYSARC, Inc.


Laura J. Kennedy, who has served as President of AHRC New York City’s Board of Directors for the past three years, has just been elected as the President of NYSARC, Inc. during its 65th Annual Convention in Albany, NY.  We proudly congratulate Laura, and thank her for the many years of service she has provided to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and their families… Laura will also continue in her role as President of AHRC New York City until her term ends in June 2015.

Senator Carlucci & Advocates Celebrate New Law To Protect People with Special Needs

CONGERS, NY Oct. 15, 2014 – Today Senator David Carlucci celebrated the signing of new legislation into law that will protect people with special needs. The primary purpose of the bill is to protect people with disabilities during an interview with the Justice Center, a law enforcement agency and advocate for people with special needs.

While the Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs was given all the powers of a law enforcement agency, it was not required to take into account the special needs of the people who it is charged with protecting during the course of an interview.

Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) said, “Creating common sense protections for people with special needs will ensure the rights of individuals being interviewed by the Justice Center are protected. I want to commend the leaders of our community for identifying this issue and working with me to get this bill signed into law.”

The law will require that the Justice Center review the individual’s clinical characteristics prior to interviewing the individual to make sure that an interview with strangers would not present a danger (be clinically contraindicated) and, for example, trigger behavioral or psychiatric issues.

Marc Brandt, head of NYSARC, Inc., the nation’s largest family governed nonprofit serving people with developmental disabilities, said “The new law provides commonsense protections for people with disabilities who are interviewed by the Justice Center in such a manner as to protect them and the Justice Center’s investigatory process.  Our Arc chapters across the State thank Senator Carlucci for sponsoring this very important bill and making sure it was signed into law.”

Carmine Machionda, Director of ARC Rockland said, “I want to thank Senator Carlucci for working with us to pass these important protections into law. This new law fills a gap that was missing with the Justice Center and will ensure new protections are added to support people with special needs during investigations.”

Ric Schwartz, Director of Sullivan County ARC said, “Working with Senator Carlucci we were able to address a major concern advocates had with the Justice Center. This new law will provide common sense protections while not destroying the integrity of investigations.”.

Susan Miller, ARC of Sullivan Board President said, “Working to protect the rights of people with special needs like my brother is critical. I want to thank Senator Carlucci for working to pass this common sense piece of legislation into law.”

OPWDD Announces Front Door Training for MSCs and Other Staff from Provider Agencies

OPWDD has announced 5 Front Door Trainings for MSCs and other agency staff, which will take place in each of the 5 boroughs of New York City.  You can learn more about dates and locations HERE.



AHRC New York City’s Family Education Series

Strategies and techniques for parents of children
and adults with developmental disabilities that
can be used anywhere

DESCRIPTION: Managing challenging behaviors can be one of the most
stressful aspects of parenting. This workshop will focus on
providing families with practical strategies they can use at home
to help decrease unwanted behaviors. Preventative, alternative
skill-building reinforcement and desensitization strategies will
all be addressed. Research has supported the use of these
approaches for a wide range of challenging behaviors in both
children and adults. Parents, guardians and professionals will
leave with a greater understanding of why challenging
behaviors may occur and how families can successfully
intervene at home.

PRERSENTED BYMary Donahue, Ph.D., Director of Psychology for Adult Day Services and the Educational Services, AHRC New York City

DATE: Thursday, November 13, 2014

TIME: 6:00-8:00 pm


AHRC New York City’s Cyril Weinberg Adult Center
32-03 39th Avenue Long Island City, NY 11101

Directions: Directions: Q to 39th Avenue (Beebe Avenue) or Q101 to Northern Boulevard/39th Avenue


To register call Jennifer Amendola at 212-895-3446 or Donna Gifford at 212-780-2713

You can also email: jennifer.amendola@ahrcnyc.org or donna.gifford@ahrcnyc.org