We always cringe just a little bit when we get a random reach out that says, “We heard you are closing! We are worried about you!” It happened when we chose to move a year earlier than required to replace sheltered workshops with something more community inclusive and focused on individual goals and desires and there is no surprise that in the light of all the uncertainty, it is happening again.
First, let us say, we know it comes from a place of concern and we feel the love of our community in it. Secondly, let us say that it’s understandable that gaps get filled in when there are unknowns and 2020 may just go down in history as “The Year of Unknowns” and unprecedented events. So we understand those incorrect assumptions and we are forever grateful for those who reach out directly and ask us what’s up vs sharing those guesses in the community. That kind of buzz is hard on family, and friends and really hard on the people we support.
So let’s take a moment to effectively communicate a few things so no one has to fill in any gaps. ♥
What we do know for sure is that there will always be some people who are supported best in a day program setting and there are some people who will best be served in new ways, more closely connected to community support. We are here to support everyone in a way that aligns with individual needs and desires. We are closely engaged with everyone we support, and their individual needs and desires are driving us to considering some cool new options for our agency (opening new businesses and enhancing our Employment Department are two examples of exciting initiatives being considered). We are engaging in important discussions with staff on all levels, encouraging everyone to share their input and perspectives.
We have been supporting people to live full lives, lives of dignity since 1967! We’ve pioneered support without the use of restraints. We’ve supported psychological needs, physical needs, medical needs, emotional needs, social needs, the need to connect, be seen, be heard, and feel valued from the very beginning. We have dedicated ourselves to empowering the most incredible people to joyous well-being, and that will never change. There will always be citizens in Delaware County with intellectual and development disabilities who need support. The people we support aren’t going anywhere and neither are we. Simply put… we could never simply, “shut down.”
So when you hear the buzz, you can know confidently that The Arc of Delaware County is here and getting creative again because times are calling on us to do so. Together, we can navigate the uncertainty and challenges, and at the same time find excitement in anticipating new opportunities through the lens of innovation, creativity, and the dreams of the people we support! We are thankful every day for all that we are and all that we have that allows us to do what we do.