Dear AHRC Families and Friends,
As always, I hope this email finds you safe and well. Staying in contact is vital, and I appreciate the many phone calls and letters you’ve shared with me, in particular the questions of when AHRC Nassau will resume a more typical service schedule, visits can begin to residences, and families can come together.
Please know that AHRC Nassau is required to follow guidelines issued by OPWDD, in concert with the New York State Department of Health. These agencies set the standards for how and when AHRC Nassau will initiate residential visits, day services, and other in-person activities. At present, we are following guidance issued in March 2020, as they remain in effect. Family members may choose to welcome loved ones into their own homes, yet the person would then need to remain away from the AHRC residence for an extended period of time, per OPWDD guidance.
We know separation heightens the challenges of both the person supported and their family member(s) and we continue to find creative ways to alleviate these stressors. We are prioritizing virtual visits and communications among family members and people we support in our residences. We are ensuring families have time, whenever needed, to come together through FaceTime, Zoom, telephone calls and letters.
We know this is not the same. Nothing can take the place of a hug or a meal shared with family. To advocate for changed OPWDD guidance, we recommend you share your perspective with them directly. When the guidelines are revised, we will share information as we receive it via email, our website and social media. You might consider signing up for OPWDD’s online updates and check the OPWDD website.
We are keenly aware of the impact this pandemic is having on the people we support, our families and our community. We, too, eagerly watch the updates on a state and county level to get a sense of how soon we may resume a more typical service schedule and return to a routine full of day services, events and other community activities.
During this uncertain time, we recognize the excellence and creativity of our team of direct support professionals, clinicians, and administrators who give their all to make sure that some things are always certain – AHRC’s Nassau’s safety, connection and exceptional service. Right now, your words of appreciation and thanks mean so much on Facebook and Instagram. However, the best way to show your support is to continue to assist with our advocacy efforts – letting senators know why the disability provisions in the latest stimulus bill matter. Please continue to send this letter! We do so not only for our agency, but for the good of all the chapters of The Arc New York.
I thank you for your patience and support in these challenging times. It is together, that we will come through this time stronger and more resilient than ever.
Be safe and well,
Stanfort J. Perry