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Click here to read the Winter 2022 - 2023 Edition of Center Connections!

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.

Congratulations to our four CP State Award winners Deana Brooks, Kevin Church, Yvonne Harvard, and January Santos who were nominated by their peers at the Center for Disability Services for this statewide award. These four individuals represent the Mission based services provided each day at the Center, and provide care in their respective programs at a level worthy of statewide recognition. Deana is a registered nurse in adult services, Kevin is transition coordinator at the Langan School, Yvonne is a resident counselor in the residential division, and January is a registered nurse at St. Margaret's Center. These staff were nominated by their peers, and joined other staff throughout New York State in recognition of the work they do each day to improve the lives of the individuals we support in our programs and services. Four separate areas of our agency are represented, but ONE Mission is identified each day in these four dedicated staff, and the other staff around them, and that is what makes the Center the place Where People Get Better At Life.

On Tuesday, the Center For Disability Services hosted a ribbon cutting at our research and development arm, Health Innovations Incubator & Technology Center (HII Tech). Opened in 2019, HII Tech focuses on developing new products and defining best practices to improve quality of life for individuals with disabilities and older adults.

When I sat down to talk to this 91-year-old vibrant woman, Erna (she goes by Anne) D’Amore, about her relationship with the Center for Disability Services and her daughter Sharon, I was intrigued to hear her story.

Today, Assemblymember John McDonald, Assemblymember Patricia A. Fahy & Senator Neil D. Breslin presented the Center for Disability Services with a legislative Proclamation recognizing the Center’s tireless efforts to vaccinate those with intellectual and developmental disabilities and those who support this population. The Proclamation notes, “when COVID-19 vaccination efforts began, the Center for Disability Services stepped up as a vaccination site for the I/DD population.” CFDS “was able to streamline the registration process, making it easier for those in the I/DD population, as well as those who work with this population, to make appointments.” “Due to the CFDS’ work on the vaccination effort, over 6,500 vaccines and counting have been given to people who need it the most in our community,” the Proclamation says. Greg Sorrentino, President and CEO of the Center for Disability Services, said: “The Center for Disability Services has promoted, and provided, vital healthcare services for the I/DD population, and individuals with varying disabilities, for decades in a fully accessible health center. It was a natural fit for the Center to partner with the Capital Region Hub to lead the vaccination effort for this vulnerable population, so they can resume their programs and services, and continue being contributing members to our community.”