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The day-to-day work at the Center for Disability Services is rewarding, but on occasion, we witness something uplifting. This could be a child’s first step facilitated by aquatic therapy, an adult striking a new path to independence through job placement, or one of the other many triumphs witnessed in our programs and services. One such story is the incredibly heartwarming tale of Octavius, a young boy born with several obstacles before him, but none stronger than hope and determination.

Welcome to April! It’s the first full month of spring, so warmer weather finally begins its welcome return to upstate New York. The beautiful weather is a fitting backdrop for another reason why April is an important month for The Center for Disability Services and many of the individuals and families we support — April is World Autism Month!

Supporting individuals with Down syndrome and their families is an important part of the mission of the Center for Disability Services and its division, the Down Syndrome Aim High Resource Center. This Thursday, March 21, is World Down Syndrome Day — a day of global awareness about Down syndrome. This day helps individuals and communities learn more about Down syndrome.

Staff across the Center wore Green to kick off Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month and to show support of individuals with CP. The participation in #GoGreenforCP truly exemplified the dedication, commitment, spirit, and enthusiasm our team has in carrying the Center’s mission forward every day. Greg Sorrentino, President and CEO, and Rosemary Lorello, Chief Program Officer, walked around to greet staff and people we support. They would like to give a huge shout out and thank all our staff for the incredible work they do to support all individuals and for making the Center the place “Where People Get Better At Life”.

Billy Gilman, Grammy award nominee and finalist on The Voice, Chad Green, Pitcher for the New York Yankees, and Sterling Shepard, Wide Receiver for the New York Giants, toured St. Margaret's Center on Sunday, January 27th before their appearance at the #518gives Fundraiser. They signed autographs and took photos with the residents.

Hundreds of families continued a tradition or created a new one by attending the 27th annual North Country Festival of Trees, from November 29 to December 2. The busy event attracted many area residents and visitors as they welcomed the holiday season and supported Prospect Center, a division of the Center for Disability Services, through admission fees, special festival activities and purchases.

Santa Claus arrived at the Center for Disability Services during an unexpectedly heavy snowfall on December 13, which made his annual visit to the site even more festive. Santa and elves from the Albany Police Athletic League and the Albany Police Department surprised a lobby full of CloverPatch Preschool and Langan School students and a few adult program participants. Santa and his helpers handed out plush animals as gifts.

The Charles R. Wood Aquatic Therapy Center pool has now reopened at Prospect Center in Queensbury. On October 9, there was a celebration with Prospect Board Chairperson Carl Cedrone leading a ceremony to recognize donors, thank the community and show off the large scale marine life mural created by artist Brendan Clancy.

Employees from the Center for Disability Services were recently honored at the 2018 Cerebral Palsy of New York State awards dinner at the Saratoga City Center, as part of the organization’s annual conference, Imagine. CP of NYS Staff Recognition Awards were presented October 16. Recipients from the Center were Kara Brozowski, a Certified Teaching Assistant at the Langan School in Albany, Jim Farrell, a Resident Counselor at the Dixon Road Residence in Queensbury, Kim Thomas, a Direct Support Professional in the Center’s Adult Services at Smith Center and Ty Yates, a Direct Support Professional in Human Resources.

We are excited to announce that the Center for Disability Services and The ARC of Rensselaer County have been awarded a grant through New York State’s Statewide Health Care Facility Transformation Program! This will help us further enhance Center Health Care’s services to offer Telemedicine Alternatives to the Emergency Room and Urgent Care specialized for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities who live in Center and ARC Residences. With this grant money, the Center will be able to acquire telemedicine equipment for each Center and ARC house. The platform will enable direct access to telemedicine services as well as insuring patient privacy in compliance with HIPAA. . More details to follow!