AHRC NYC’s Resource Library is the culmination of the collective efforts of employees from across multiple departments in the agency. The library contains dozens of documents, a shared calendar, and more that AHRC NYC employees can use to support people with I/DD or for professional development.
“The resource library is a SharePoint website that is available to anybody with AHRC NYC email account,” said Charles Umaña, Technology Deployment Specialist/Trainer with Day Services. “While the pandemic was the impetus for us to create this resource, it is still useful and applicable post-COVID. Everything in the resource library can be printed out and worked in day hab scenarios, so the resources have versatility and longevity.”
Charles and Sacha Amry, Director of Recreational Services, agreed that the resource library is an idea that had been talked about prior to the pandemic.
“When Betsy Lynam [Chief Program Officer] started about a year and a half ago, one of the things she mentioned was to have a synchronized calendar for all of the departments,” Sacha said. “We never got a chance to get it off the ground until the virus came.”
Resource Library Features
The library has four primary tabs—the home page, documents, a shared calendar of events, and a link to a refresher video created by Charles that contains step-by-step instructions for how to log in and most effectively use the library.
Documents are broken up into 16 categories including Art, Health & Wellness, Financial Literacy, and TEACCH. Documents include lessons, guides, videos, and activities that AHRC NYC in any department can use to create remote person-centered supports while in-person habilitation remains restricted. Most documents are offered as downloadable PDFs.
“There is a guide I worked on for staff members that covers how to do lessons that can be done through Zoom and creating groups within Zoom,” Charles said. He also highlighted the document “Recommended Apps Based on Valued Outcomes,” providing staff with the opportunity to use technology in a personalized way with those they support.
Hannah Cook-Davis is the Internship Coordinator for the Partnership for Inclusive Internship, a program run in close collaboration with the NYC Department of Social Services (DSS). She said that she has tried to model her virtual programming guides on previous workshops and activities she did with the Job Clubs run in each borough through Employment and Business Services.
“We’ve created guides for resume building, cover letters, and material for exploring work,” Hannah said. “The most rewarding has been being able to connect with community partners for mock interviews through Karen Zuckerman, Director of Community Partner Engagement. Our interns were so DSS-focused and now they are able to tap into these resources.”
Bringing Departments Together
The library is not only offering the opportunity for the sharing of tangible resources—it is also creating a way for employees to connect with new colleagues and programs.
“I view it as an internal, interdepartmental referring source for programs,” said Jason Conover, Sobriety Unit Manager with Family and Clinical Services. “I got to know other departments and I was able to deliver my grant program to the college programs because of this workgroup. I also shared a bunch of COVID-related resources I’ve gotten from the Department of Health.”
Sacha is most excited about the use of the calendar feature, saying “It will allow us to see what is happening around the agency even when things are more normal. Someone can advertise an upcoming art show, Recreation can show our upcoming trips, and Staff Training can share interesting workshops that people may want to take. We are sharing resources and making sure each department has a stakeholder in our workgroup.”
“I’ve built a new network of people that I can rely on and call upon if I need support,” Hannah said. “It’s been an interesting positive in this crazy, dark time. I feel like my program is so much stronger after we put our work together.”