When the State Shut Down, Advocacy Opened A Door

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck last year, the coronavirus ravaged services for people with disabilities leaving many at risk. The unprecedented shutdown of New York’s disability service delivery system brought unprecedented losses for individuals with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities (I/DD).

In a fortnight and without warning, people with I/DD lost the services that supported their being included in their communities.  This left them isolated and unable to fully understand or manage without the necessary physical, emotional, and behavioral supports. 

Care Design NY Care Manager Dyanna described the devastating impact this had on individuals she supports, like Sunny.  She stated, “when the day supports were closed, individuals were isolated in their place of residence.  They lost the familiar structure of their vocational, community, and day habilitation programs that provided them with a meaningful way to spend their day.  Families struggled to fill the gaps for their day supports.” 

Experts have described how the increased isolation and stress contributed to a higher risk of violence and abuse.  Care Managers, like Dyanna, worked tirelessly to identify the necessary accommodation and supports. 

Sunny and his entire dedicated team pulled together to find a solution. Dyanna describes the extra-ordinary effort by Sunny, his parents, medical team, and his employer to accommodate his schedule and provide support for his recovery and growth.

Care Design NY Care Manager, Dyanna, Care Manager Supervisor, Jamie, with Sunny’s parents materialized a full-time opportunity in Staten Island at Lifestyles for the Disabled.  Their highly trained staff helps to foster independence and promote community involvement through recreational, occupational, and service opportunities. 

Sunny and his family are very happy with this new program and grateful for the new door that was opened through this incredible advocacy, teamwork and collaboration!

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