A Letter From the Director of Long Island Speech Services
Dear Eden II Friends & Family,
I hope that you and yours are well during this very difficult time. I have been inspired by our agency's "Connections Online" and welcome the opportunity to participate as well. As my colleagues before me wrote, we miss all of our students, participants and their families very much and cannot wait until we can all be together "non-virtually!" Our speech department has done a phenomenal job continuing to provide speech services to our students and their families in a variety of ways. Lauren, Catherine and Nicole create and conduct daily virtual speech therapy sessions to all of our students who are able to participate in this manner. The number of students attending virtual speech sessions continues to increase due to the speech staff working with the students and their families and teaching them the necessary skills to participate. Sessions may begin for a short period of time and are systematically increased as the students demonstrate progress learning and participating virtually. The speech pathologists also provide their students and families with daily mailings and Google postings of a variety of language-based educational curriculum and materials. They are truly "one woman shows" when it comes to creating and conducting daily virtual lessons, providing hard copy and online materials, and collecting data, etc., without assistance in those areas. All of this continues to be done with a smile. While their schedules are set, they do not hesitate to respond to families with any issues outside the school day. They are not only working very hard but doing so far above and beyond what could ever be expected and I extend heartfelt thanks and appreciation to our speech pathologists at Genesis.
Last, and most certainly not least, is my sincere gratitude to our speech coordinator, Mary Borcherding. Mary is the consummate professional under any circumstances including this difficult one. She continues to demonstrate excellent leadership to our speech staff; she leads by example. Mary not only assists with mentoring our staff, she provides virtual speech therapy services to some of our students as well as providing materials via mail and online. Mary and I also take the lead in organizing, developing and offering webinars and conferences on behalf of our agency, now all conducted virtually. Along with our colleagues, presentations include a variety of topics designed to educate attendees in evidence-based teaching interventions to improve the lives of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) while also providing much needed revenue to our agency. We offer American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) continuing education units (CEUs) for speech-language pathologists who attend our presentations which helps to increase attendance at our events. In addition to the several virtual conferences and webinars already conducted since the onset of the pandemic, our 4th annual Behavior Analysts and Speech Pathologists conference is scheduled for June 4, 2020. Rather than cancel this annual event, we have converted it into a virtual conference with several of our Genesis colleagues presenting along with us. We are looking forward to another successful conference! In addition, I will be conducting two webinars in June.
We have always conducted webinars and conferences throughout the year but now, during this difficult time, we are making an effort to increase the number of them we conduct virtually. We are very fortunate to have Mary, Lauren, Catherine and Nicole as an essential part of our Genesis family and team. Thank you ladies for continuing to rise to the occasion. You are appreciated more than these words can express. In closing, I would be remiss if I did not also thank Genesis's Associate Executive Director, Mary McDonald, along with our agency's executives, who continue to exhibit strong leadership and guidance to all of us during this stressful time. I am looking forward to really "seeing" all of you in person, sooner rather than later.
All the best,
Jan Downey, MA, CCC-SLP
Director of Long Island Speech Services
Special Delivery From Our Amazon Wishlist!
Thank you to those who have purchased items from our residential wishlist to help keep the participants in our group homes engaged and entertained while they practice social distancing. Our Long Island homes were excited to receive their gifts!
Since 2016, Eden II has partnered with a number of amazing local restaurants to help raise funds for our programs and services, through our "Dine Out 4 Autism" initiative. We were unable to hold the event this year due to Covid-19, but we are asking you to help these businesses that need us now more than ever.
Please consider ordering take out or delivery from any of the locations listed in the link below. We are not asking for donations from any of these establishments, we simply want to show them they have our support in these tough times.
Send photos of your meals to email@example.com so we can share with these restaurants and show them we care!
Wanting to give back in an effort to spread community partnership, our Dix Hills and Cambon staff pooled their money together to send meals to local residential programs. The "pay it forward" idea was spearheaded by three Long Island staff members: Residential Manager, Rachel Smith; Residential Operations Coordinator, Nikki Leach; Direct Support Professional, Tiffany Baker.
Nikki shared, "There are about 800 residential programs on Long Island. Eden II represents 2 of those 800. Although we are a small part of the big picture, Tiffany, Rachel and myself thought that we could put some positivity out in the atmosphere. We know first hand how hard it is to get up every morning to put your life on the line. People don't look at us as the "frontline", but we know we are. Social distancing is not possible for us-we are always hands on. With that being said, we decided to start a pay it forward. We collected $5 from staff and sent meals to another residential program in an agency outside of our own to let then know that we are in this together! Between the Cambon and Dix Hills houses, we were able to send four meals out to four different residential programs. SCO Family of Services, HIA, Dominican Village and Life's WORC."
Help Us #Fight4TheFrontlines on 5/22
This Friday, May 22nd, the Human Services Council (HSC) will be focusing on calling for more budgetary support for human services organizations on social media. We are joining with them for A Day Without Human Services!
On Friday, 5/22, change your Twitter profile photo to theFight for the Frontline logo and your Twitter banner picture to a Fight for the Frontlines banner– and ask your colleagues, friends, and family to join in as well. Consider leaving your banner and logo up for a few days to help spread the message.
If you do not see your name listed please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We apologize in advance for any missing names.
Samia El Moslimany
Toni Ann Pabon
Ben von Doussa
Ronan is doing a great job practicing wearing a mask out in public so he can be safe while social distancing!
Thanks to Keith Ward and Little Miracles for the thoughtful well wishes sent to SIUH Radiology South!
Montel Williams giving a shoutout to our staff that are working tirelessly to care for our participants!
Sarah taking a walk in the park and practicing safe social distancing while wearing her mask. Good work, Sarah!
Thank you Sarah Collins for supporting Ho'brah Taco Joint!
Sarah shares, "Had ourselves a feast tonight! Everything was beyond delicious and the margaritas hit the spot on a beautiful day! So glad to support our local businesses that always support the Eden II family."
Our residential staff are working around the clock to take care of our participants, and are doing an amazing job! We currently have supplies for all of our locations that need them, but with a surge in demand, we are being proactive and looking to increase our current supply. If you or someone you know have any of the following items available to donate, please contact email@example.com to arrange a dropoff.
Powder free exam gloves
Medical isolation gowns
Chemical splash goggles
Hand sanitizer wipes
Surface sanitizer wipes
N95 face masks
Thank you to those who have generously donated PPE for our staff:
Amy Hume Bellisano on behalf of The Woodbridge Center
Brooklyn Home Foundation
Sabrina Rose Dallas
Dr. Ryan Galligan
Audrey Hassuer & other
Dr. Jane Howard
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis
Shelley Chi Mawhinney, Metuchen
Making Waves Foundation
Nassau/Suffolk Autism Society of America
Rab's Country Lanes
Rescuing Families, Inc.
Staten Island Elected Officials
Staten Island Glove & Safety
Oscar Valera, Metuchen
Amazon Smile is a free and easy way to help support Eden II. Simply select Eden II as the charity of your choice, and Amazon will donate a percentage of every purchase made back to Eden II when you shop through Amazon Smile. Click here to select Eden II.