AHRC New York City

News

Laura J. Kennedy Elected President of NYSARC, Inc.

laura

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.

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AHRC NYC Celebrates National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month

On October 2, 2014, AHRC New York City’s Employment and Business Services Department held an event at the New York Stock Exchange, celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). The event also recognized the many partnerships AHRC NYC has with businesses across the city that employ the people we support.

Stock Exchange

With a playful theme based on a popular board game, the event encouraged attendees to raise their chances of obtaining raffle prizes by engaging with Account Executives from AHRC NYC’s Employment and Business Services department, visiting invited business representatives, and other networking activities.

gathering

Speaking to an audience made up of representatives from various New York-area businesses, Mike Decker, Chief Operating Officer, noted the vast changes seen in the field of services for people with disabilities during its 66 years of existence.

Mike Decker

“Our founders had high aspirations,” he said, “but never would have dreamed that from humble beginnings we would have people working at the New York Stock Exchange.”

Steve Towler, Associate Executive Director, explained how Employment and Business Services has grown from a single job placement in the Bronx 28 years ago, to in 2014 helping over 1,500 people with disabilities to secure employment.

Steve

“When a person goes out to work for the first time it is a life-changing event,” he said. “Having a job is one of the big parts of citizenship, and having that opportunity is something that is valued by Americans across the country.”

Edwardo

Salvatore Moran, Associate Director of Employment and Business Services, explained the great achievements of Edwardo Lopez, a porter working through Hudson River Services who recently received NYSID’s William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Award.

Steve addressing crowd

A number of AHRC New York City’s business partners were recognized for providing excellent employment opportunities to many of the people we support, including:

Alliance Bright Star Couriers
American Maintenance
Forest City Ratner
Buffalo Wild Wings – Times Square; College of Staten Island Recreation Department
Jeffrey Greenberg
Kmart – Bronx
NetCost Market
New York Queens Hospital
Pintchik, Inc.
Restaurant Associates at the New York Stock Exchange
The Barclays Center Levy Restaurants
Weeks Lerman Group LLC

Barclays

Several of the honorees expressed their appreciation for the partnership they have with AHRC NYC. “We’re happy to be part of the village that it takes [to employ people with disabilities],” a representative from the Barclays Center said. “We think it’s a moral obligation to help people with disabilities lead productive lives.”
A representative from Weeks Lerman Group said “In this crazy business world we live in, this is the one feel-good part. I’m grateful that AHRC gives us the opportunity to get involved.”

In perhaps the most heartfelt moment of the evening, Matt Pintchik, owner of a hardware store in Parks Slope, explained how he was approached almost 20 years ago by Howard Golden, a former borough president of Brooklyn, and asked if he would hire a person with special needs. Matt readily agreed, and Kenny, his longtime employee, has “become a member of our extended family at Pintchik…”

Matt_Pintchik

Matt provided a testimonial to the challenges faced by parents of people with disabilities and the importance of employment, as his young son Jack, (who was present) has a disability.  “What does a parent worry about?” asked Matt. “They worry if there will be place for their child to be involved, to be part of society, to be able to contribute. And it comes from the bottom of our hearts. We don’t have 100 employees, we have Kenny. And I can tell you how special he is and how much he looks forward every day to come to work.”

EBS Team

We proudly thank the staff of AHRC New York City’s Employment and Business Services for creating such a wonderful event to show their appreciation of these employers.

AHRC New York City Receives CQL Accreditation!!!!!

It is with great pride and pleasure that AHRC New York City announces that today, September  19th, 2014, we have received official accreditation from the Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL)! We are gratified that an outside organization of distinction has recognized our commitment to providing excellent services and supports for people with developmental disabilities!

CQL is an international not-for-profit organization dedicated to the definition, promotion, measurement, and improvement of personal and communal quality of life for people with disabilities, people with mental illness, and older adults. For 40 years, CQL has been a leader in developing measures and indicators of quality in services and supports, and has partnered with public and private organizations offering consultation, training, and accreditation to agencies and systems that demonstrate quality in supporting people with disabilities.

AHRC New York City’s CQL Accreditation was the culmination of a four day visit to AHRC by three CQL professionals. The CQL team met with self-advocates, administrative and front-line staff working in different capacities throughout the organization, board members, and other stakeholders. They visited several programs and conducted a thorough audit of who we are and what we do at AHRC. The CQL staff made it clear that they were very impressed with the work in pursuit of person-centered excellence that they found at AHRC New York City!

In receiving CQL Accreditation, AHRC New York City has demonstrated our commitment to person-centered excellence, basic assurances, personal outcome measures (POMs), and other areas that have all led up to this wonderful day in our organization‘s history. It is not commonplace that an organization as large and complex as ours has attained this milestone. We want to take this opportunity to thank all of the AHRC staff who ensure that people we support are not only happy and healthy, but also have input into what they do and where they do it; and, to thank AHRC staff for working hard to ensure that each person’s vision and dreams for how they want to live their lives are supported. We are an extremely diverse organization in so many ways, yet we have come together as a cohesive unit to achieve this goal.  In the coming months we seek to continue our successful initiatives and as always will look for ways to strive to continuously improve our services and supports.

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