April, 22, 2020 Update:

A Message to AHRC New York City Staff

Dear AHRC New York City Team Members:

We are now many weeks into our COVID-19 response. While we have suffered heartbreaking losses and have struggled through many challenges, your extraordinary devotion, care, and tireless efforts to support people with disabilities and their families, and each other, has been unprecedented.

As we continue to navigate the weeks ahead, let’s pause and celebrate the enormous power of team diversity. We are all different in so many ways, but these differences are grounded in the recognition that we share a common purpose. In our work with people with disabilities, this is one of the most essential and optimistic ways of embracing our common humanity. Disability can mean different, but we all know it does not mean less human. Our nation’s founding premise was that of equal rights and it must always be our North Star. Doing our best to keep the people we support safe from the coronavirus is not just a programmatic or clinical effort, it is grounded in the basic human rights of the people we support.

In a previous message, I mentioned our active efforts to acquire the resources necessary to enable a strong response to the coronavirus. I am pleased to say that we have been successful in acquiring substantial amounts of personal protective equipment (PPE). All staff members working in any of our programs now have access to PPE. If, for any reason, you have concerns about PPE availability, please let your department head know immediately. As you know, masks or protective face coverings should be worn outside of programs or residences as well.

So, while we cannot predict when the coronavirus crisis will settle down, we can find some comfort in that we are truly all in this together and, because of that, our bonds will be even further strengthened as we learn together, plan together, and rebuild together.

If the response to the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that together we are truly better and can overcome unimaginable obstacles if we stay the course.

Finally, we will be scheduling a virtual Town Hall in the immediate future and are asking that you send any questions or comments to jennifer.amendola@ahrcnyc.org in advance, so that I can address them during the meeting.

Thank you for staying the course!

Stay Well,

Marco