Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Coming Together to Support Healthy Families

Lisa Wing has been volunteering at the Core Values Thrift Shop in Stamford, NY since December 2008. She takes pride in sorting the clothing, pricing them, and neatly putting them on display to be sold. But when asked what her favorite part about volunteering at Core Values has been, Lisa quickly replied, “Being around other people, being out in the community, and meeting Sandy, David and Rose.”

Kelly Gardepe, a Life Coach at The Arc of Delaware County who supports Lisa, explained, “Lisa has developed a special friendship with fellow volunteers David and Sandy Stevenson and Core Values Manager Rose Churchill. She was thrilled to be one of the honored guests at the Volunteer Recognition Dinner held at Brook’s BBQ in October. She looks forward to Fridays when we go to Core Values and she volunteers her time working side by side with her newfound friends.”

Lisa, together with the assistance and support of Sandy, Rose, and Kelly, was recently able to contribute to her community in another significant way. She collected baby clothes from the Core Values Thrift Shop and donated them to the Healthy Families Program of Delaware Opportunities. Healthy Families helps families gain knowledge about childhood development and age appropriate activities that enhance development; they also do referrals to other programs or agencies, depending on the needs of the families.

When Lisa presented her with the baby clothes, Rayeanne Stein, Family Assessment Worker for Delaware Opportunities’ Healthy Families Program, commented, “I just think it’s great there are people within our own community supporting each other and understanding that sometimes we all need a little help. Also, the network of different agencies working together for the greater good of the community is just awesome.”

Lisa Wing and Sandy Stevenson volunteering at Core Values Thrift Shop in Stamford, NY.

Lisa Wing presents a donation of baby clothes to Rayeanne Stein, Family Assessment Worker for Delaware Opportunities’ Healthy Families Program.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Flame on Good Morning America

Flame, who performed at a Delarc Staff Retreat a couple years ago and received rave reviews, was recently featured on Good Morning America.

Flame is a band from upstate New York and is made up of 11 people with disabilities. The band from Lexington Center, Fulton County Chapter, NYSARC, Inc., wants to change the world through music.

To view the Good Morning America video, click here:

To learn more about the band Flame, click here:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rosa's Law: "...what you call people is how you treat them."

U.S. Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Michael Enzi (R-WY) have introduced a bipartisan bill, “Rosa’s Law.” Modeled after a recently enacted law in the state of Maryland, this legislation would substitute the outdated, stigmatizing terms “mental retardation” and “mentally retarded” with the terms “intellectual disability” and “individual with an intellectual disability” in federal health, education and labor policy statutes.

In Senator Mikulski's statement to the U.S. Senate, she explains that the name Rosa is in reference to a young girl whose mother shared a compelling story of her family’s efforts to give Rosa an opportunity for an education and to be treated with respect and with dignity. When it was time to bring the bill before the Maryland General Assembly, Rosa's then 13-year-old brother spoke up for his sister and explained, "What you call people is how you treat them. What you call my sister is how you will treat her. If you believe she’s ‘retarded’ it invites taunting, stigma. It invites bullying and it also invites the slammed doors of being treated with respect and dignity."

To hear more about Rosa and her family, read Senator Mikulski’s statement to the U.S. Senate upon introduction of the bill at: http://mikulski.senate.gov/record.cfm?id=319975&.

What Are You Thankful For?

Arlene Goedel shared her feelings about working at Delarc with The Daily Star for their "What Are You Thankful For?" story.

Arlene wrote, "I have said this before, but believe me, I will say it again! Words cannot express how thankful I am to have found the Arc of Delaware County. To be among staff that care so much for people with disabilities is certainly something to be thankful for! To help those people acquire their hopes and dreams is truly a blessing. Every day is Thanksgiving at the Arc of Delaware County!"

When asked if her quote could be posted online and shared, Arlene responded, "Yes! Sometimes I just get so overwhelmed by what I feel working for the Arc, I just have to spread the word!!!"

Visit The Daily Star's website to view Arlene's quote by clicking the link below:


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Check out new Youtube Videos featuring Delarc Staff!

Several staff members recently shared what brought them to Delarc and what inspires them to continue working here. To see their stories, visit our YouTube site at http://www.youtube.com/user/ArcDelaware

These videos are being done as part of a major Employment Recruitment effort - please share them with others and help us to expand our Delarc Family. For info on current career opportunties with Delarc or a job application, visit our website careers page at http://www.delarc.org/careers.htm

Staff stories will continue to be captured and shared, so stay tuned for more!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

SUNY Delhi & Delarc Join Together

Seventeen students from Dr. Amber Tatnall's Psychology Courses will be participating in individualized Service Learning Projects at Delarc. For example, Kristen Guerriero, (pictured below, left, with Cheyenne) is studying to become a Speech Pathologist and will be working with Delarc Speech Pathologist and staff. You can follow the activities of the SUNY students on our Delarc Community Forum.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Delarc Fishing Trip

Folks served by Delarc were treated to fishing and friendship thanks to some great volunteers and neighbors. Those served by Delarc, along with Jim and Jeremiah Warren and the members of Trout Unlimited, joined at the Watkins Family Pond for an afternoon of fishing.

John Rucky proudly displaying his first catch of the day with volunteer Jeremiah Warren.

David Greenwood and volunteer Jim Warren check out David's big catch of the day.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Delarc Celebrates National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week

There aren’t many people who can say their job gives them an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. But at The Arc of Delaware County (Delarc), it is a daily occurrence.

Every day, Direct Support Professionals at Delarc work to enrich the quality of life of the people they serve and their families. They work to reach dreams, achieve independence, and create opportunities for people to become contributing members of their communities.

In recognition of the invaluable role of Direct Support Professionals (DSP) in enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities, the U.S. Senate unanimously voted to designate the week beginning September 14 as “National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week.” Sponsored by Senator Ben Nelson, this week honors these employees and the tremendous differences they make in other’s lives each day. It also provides a special opportunity to celebrate and recognize the direct support workforce for their dedication, hard work and commitment to serve those with disabilities.

Pam Walker, who provides food service training in Delarc’s cafeteria, shares, “All I’ve ever been was just a cook… and now I’m so much more. If you’re having a bad day and you come here, it’s not a bad day anymore. I’m thankful I got this job so I can help others do what I do. It’s a great joy.” Jerry D’Alto, a DSP at Delarc, added, “Helping people with disabilities achieve meaningful and fulfilling lives is the most rewarding work I can think of.”

Another DSP at Delarc, Lyndsay Young, explains, “For me, it’s all about making a difference in someone’s life. I get to watch their dreams come true and experience it with them. To help someone become successful is empowering in itself.”

Thursday, August 13, 2009

New Website Launched!

The Arc of Delaware County is pleased to announce the launching of its new website http://www.delarc.org/ The new site features a variety of videos, as well as links to a several tools you can use to stay connected and up to date on what is happening at Delarc, including joining Delarc's new Community Forum which offers a place to post questions, have discussions and network with others. You can also sign up to receive Delarc's new e-newsletter simply by entering your e-mail address in the space provided on the homepage. Visit our new website today and find out how you can stay connected!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Shout It From The Rooftops!

The Arc of Delaware County is totally committed to a positive, proactive approach in our care and treatment of people with disabilties. Unfortunately there are many agencies across the country that don't share our beliefs; please take a moment to check out the link below and you will see just one more example of such. We frequently hear of physical abuses and even deaths of people with disabilites because of the care and treatment they receive by the people whose care they are entrusted to. Though the information in the link is very troubling to hear, it's important for us to keep this in front of people - it's time for America to get their heads out of the sand and really know what is happening in this country to people with disabilities.

Our agency spends a great deal of time and engergy trying to spread the word that there is a better way; our CEO does trainings for any agency in the country who is willing to listen. We need your help though - together we can raise awareness and help people know there really is a better way. I encourage you to help us spread the word - share this information with everyone you know. I'll leave you with one thought:

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the
world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." ~ Margaret Mead

Link: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=101937985

Thank you,
Catherine Tweedie,
Director of Community Relations, Delarc

Friday, February 20, 2009

Delarc's Nominee for the 2009 DSP Award

Margaret Condon, Assistant House Manager at one of Delarc’s community residences, has been nominated for a National Direct Support Professional Recognition Award, sponsored by ANCOR (American Network of Community Options and Resources.) This award gives organizations such as Delarc the opportunity to recognize its direct support workforce for their dedication, hard work and commitment to serve those with disabilities. Winners of the award will receive national recognition and be featured in a special photo-packed supplement to LINKS, ANCOR's monthly electronic newsletter.

Margaret is a phenomenal woman with over 21 years experience in the field. She wholeheartedly believes in our agency’s mission and ensures quality of life for those we serve. She’s consistent with her positive approach and those she cares for thrive as they feel nurtured, loved, and supported in their decisions. They in turn want to show care and love to others.

For example, one of the people Margaret supports is a woman who had lived in institutions a majority of her life. She came to our agency 13 years ago with a long history of severe outbursts which included biting, often resulting in injury to herself and others. Margaret was determined to develop a positive relationship with her and to teach her to care and respect herself. Margaret showed her that she loved her unconditionally, despite setbacks and at times aggression taken out directly at her. She taught her how to make her needs known without aggressive action. Today, her aggressive behaviors have nearly vanished, as she has learned to talk things through and to care for herself, develop self-esteem, and to take pride in her accomplishments. She has friends at her day program, as well as in the community where she attends a local church regularly. As a result of Margaret’s unwavering dedication to her success, this woman has experienced a remarkable transformation in her quality of life.

Throughout her DSP career, Margaret has inspired others with her unwavering dedication to those we serve and her commitment to excellence. In her most recent promotion to Assistant House Manager, Margaret not only provides direct care support to those we serve, she also supports and mentors other DSPs. Additionally, Margaret has helped teach proactive behavior management strategies to other agencies serving people with disabilities, alongside our CEO and Executive Staff.

Not only is Margaret an excellent role model for others in the field of Human Services, she has also been an inspirational role model to her children, Meaghan and Brandon, now young adults following in their mother’s footsteps with DSP careers.

Whether at work or at home, Margaret is helping to mold the next generation of DSP’s and we couldn’t pick a better person for the job. For these reasons, and many others, we are honored to nominate Margaret Condon for the 2009 Direct Support Professional Recognition Award.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Thank You Message from Delarc Employee

This started out as a quick thank you note to George and turned into a reminder of what a huge impact so many people @ Delarc have had in my development. It's impossible to thank just one person, when we work for such a great agency. Thought you all would enjoy!

Hope Townsend
Program Director
The Arc of Delaware County
Community Living Skills, Arkville


Thank you very much for the recognition of CLS-Arkville’s growth, at the Admin. Meeting yesterday. I truly appreciate all that this wonderful organization has done to assist with my development.
I left the meeting thinking about all the support that has been provided to me and all the individual staff members who have assisted in my growth over the years. Each one of them should be deeply thanked and recognized. Without everyone’s support, none of this would have been possible. I drove home and then began making a list of everyone who deserves recognition. My list grew extremely rapidly.

Thanks to Molly L. and the CLS-Walton staff for my awesome start with Delaware County ARC. Thanks to my first supervisor at Del. ARC- Margaret Condon. The classroom support and training I am able to provide to staff was learned during my time at CLS-Walton. Also, I recognized my commitment to the organization while in Walton. Very early on, I noticed the tremendous support that all levels of staff members are willing to provide to each other.

Thanks to Lisa N. who motivated me to work hard to achieve. Lisa’s positive attitude and commitment to a challenging classroom/individual was very inspirational to me. This made me strive to be successful working with this same group.

Thanks to Christine F. Chris taught me leadership skills. She gave me a new level of self-confidence. Chris challenged me to be more independent with decision making and she trusted my judgments as a new supervisor.
Thanks to the Elm Street staff that I supervised. What a pleasant team! This group taught me a very important leadership lesson: never ask anyone to complete something you wouldn’t complete yourself. This group trusted my supervision and we all worked together to achieve.

Thanks to all the Program Directors. You have answered many questions for me, provided me with tools and are always willing to assist.

Thanks to Annette P. and Joe G. who always provided encouragement and fun to me during my residential years.

Thanks to Terri B. for all the trainings and work she has done with CLS-Arkville staff. Terri is the finest classroom trainer! Every time Terri provides training, staff are very appreciative.

Thanks to the current CLS-Arkville team. This team’s future is so promising. I get very excited when I think about Arkville’s potential. I witness lots of dedication and hard work daily. I also recognize each staff’s openness to new learning, especially while we prepare to meet 2009 OPTS milestones. What an exciting year it will be for all of us!
Thanks to all the individuals we serve. I have learned so much from them. They make my job fun and rewarding daily.
Thanks to my family for always supporting me, and my sometimes lengthy working hours. My son recently said, “He hopes when he gets older, he will like his job like I do.”

Thanks to the agency as a whole. When I interviewed for the Program Director position, I was asked what tools I felt I would need to be successful at CLS-Arkville. I responded time and support. I felt that I needed to train staff members in every classroom and provide a fresh start to the program. I needed to get to know everyone and build relationships with all. Del ARC has been committed to my success. Each program has given up their time to allow
Barbara to work with me and the CLS-team. I am certain that there is not another organization that would be able to or willing to devote their COO to one program for the length of time and energy that Barbara has put into our program development.

The biggest thanks goes to Barbara! She has been such an inspiration to me. She is so dedicated to my own and the program’s development. Barb has so many gifts. There has never been a day when I haven’t learned something new from Barb! All CLS-Arkville staff and I recognize and praise Barb for everything she has done and continues to do. Del ARC could have not selected a better person to support me and the CLS program. Barb deserves all the credit for CLS-Arkville’s success. Words can not express how grateful I am to Barb and Delaware County ARC.

Thanks to you George, and everyone else who has encouraged, trusted and supported me and my professional growth. I look forward to many more years with Del ARC.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

NYSARC Scholarship Nominee Announced

Congratulations to Helen Adams for being selected as The Arc of Delaware County's nominee for the NYSARC Jonathan Weingold Scholarship. Helen has worked at RFI for the past three years and is currently pursuing a degree in Human Services through Empire State College. Helen's application is being sent on to NYSARC where it will be considered among applications from across the state.

In a letter of recommendation, Delsa McEwan, Helen’s supervisor at RFI, shares, “Ms. Adams exhibits pride in the job she does, a teacher/direct care staff. Ms. Adams’ primary concern is the growth and success of those we serve. Her proactive approach and level of energy benefits the folks we serve. Ms. Adams has influenced and made a lasting impression on our folks and coworkers. Therefore, I am confident in stating Ms. Adams is an excellent candidate for the Jonathan Weingold Scholarship.”

Upon hearing of her selection as The Arc of Delaware County's nominee, Helen responded, “Thank you to everyone! I can’t say it's been easy and time is limited, but to serve the great people I work with everyday makes it all worth while.”

Delarc Celebrates Workforce

The Arc of Delaware County (Delarc) celebrated it’s workforce during a recent staff gathering. With over 200 employees, Delarc is one of the largest employers in Delaware County. Together, these staff help fulfill the agency’s mission of supporting people with disabilities in meeting the challenge of their individual disabilities with a growing sense of personal dignity, independence and productivity in an accepting and interactive community.

Special recognition was given to staff who reached milestone anniversaries during 2008 as follows: 5 years: Sherry Bush, Julie Conrow, Jessica Elam, Ron Galley, Heather Greene, Lisa Nunley, Kim Shaw, and Rebecca Townsend; 10 years: Karen Glasner, Tanya Hitt, Carlos Seidner, and Debra Sundstrom; 15 years: Terri Beers and Lynn Hoffman; 20 years: Bruce Mason, Doreen Oles, and Carl Vogel.

In addition, Delarc’s newest employees received a warm reception from their co-workers and were welcomed to the team.

Those hired since July include: (front) Meaghan Condon; (center row, left to right) Judy Conklin, Jodie Beach, Rebekah Ambrose, Anna Hitt, Genevieve D’Addario, and Wayne Kilmer; (back row, left to right) Gerry D’Alto, Colleen Johnson, Crystal Barlow, Jeff Bird, Dawn Butler, Paula Dooley, Lee diLorenzo, Teagra Hoyt, John Hall, Jessica Shelton, Rebekah White, Jeffrey Surgent, and Hillary Zujovic.