Message from our Founder and CEO
Each school year presents some extraordinary opportunities for the continued expansion of our programs and services. We have been working diligently of late to ensure that the Common Core Standards have been implemented and integrated throughout our curriculum.
The Calvin Klein Vocational Training program is expanding at the Richmond Hill High School and at the retail store in Huntington to include additional internships for our students. The internships will include travel training and provide students with customer service training opportunities. We are also networking in the Queens community to identify additional appropriate sites to expand our internship program into the local community. Some of our high school students completed the training program at the Calvin Klein store in Huntington and are seeking employment opportunities. This year, two groups of students will be traveling to the store to continue to develop their retail and customer service skills. We hope to expand our Retail training program to our Adult Services opportunities--more to come on that in the near future.
As our children become young adults, we need to focus not only on their future educational experiences but their jobs and careers. In addition to our Life Skills and Vocational Training Programs at the high school, it is important to plan for adult programs and services to meet their needs after they graduate. We have been approved to provide not only day habilitation and prevocational programs but residential facilities that will become more important as our children strive to become independent adults. We are providing the structural supports that will allow our students to continue from infancy through their adulthood at SLCD. Our children’s future is bright because we are all committed to the same goal – their achievement.
Our newest program, ABLE Community and Residential Services (ACS) provides day habilitation and residential services on Long Island and in Queens. We presently have six minivans transporting adults with developmental disabilities into integrated community sites to volunteer in different work settings. At the Richmond Hill facility, we will be opening a jobs training center, and it is our goal to open a jobs training site on Long Island.
Although the economic times pose great challenges financially for programmatic supports we must never allow ourselves to be deterred from achieving our ultimate goal. Just as we have said “language first” when our children were small, we must strive towards “independence at last” now that they are becoming adults.
Ellenmorris Tiegerman, Ph.D.
Founder and CEO