Nataliya and Shelley

A Dream Come True

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Meet Nataliya Fetsyak, a Registered Nurse at the Arc of Monroe. She immigrated from the Ukraine in 2010 with her husband and three kids, the youngest child being only eight months old. She arrived not knowing any English, but she was fulfilling her dream to live in America and provide a better life for her children. In the Ukraine, Nataliya was an elementary school teacher and her husband an engineer. They lived in a small town, in a one bedroom apartment, along with their grandmother. They were considered wealthy because they had a car. But life there did not suit …

Delaina Fico

Autism and Mental Health: Dual Diagnosis

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JR is 28 years old. He lives with his mother and younger brother, has a part time janitorial job at the local YMCA.  He loves “girls”, watching YouTube videos, and following March Madness. After graduating high school, he gained volunteer experience and vocational training. He stays home two days per week so that he can have enough time to attend his appointments and volunteer with Meals on Wheels. JR is formally diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Mild Intellectual Disability. He meets some of the diagnostic criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder, but has never been diagnosed. He …

Groups of people smiling

What I’m Thankful For: Lindsey’s Perspective

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Calming the nerves of a friend after an interview with a video camera and lights shining on him, Justin gives a fist bump to Steve and says: “You did an awesome job!” Later, when Carley sees me, she smiles and excitedly asks: “Lindsey, I’m so happy to see you, are you coming to the park with us later today?” This is what I am thankful for… these moments of genuine thankfulness and encouragement that people we support at The Arc and the staff that work here provide so openly and willingly. As part of my job as Director of Marketing, …


Ken’s Choice

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Ken Marshall is a very friendly and personable 70 year old man living with a disability in Fairport, NY.  Prior to living in his current home, Ken lived with his wife of 20 years in various supportive apartments in Rochester and working a variety of jobs in the community through sheltered employment services.  Ken has always taken pride in his ability to be on his own with support.  He has had no contact with family for a long while, but over the years has developed relationships with close friends he considers family. Ken’s choice Several years after Ken’s wife passed, …

What Giving Tuesday Means to the Arc of Monroe

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Today is Giving Tuesday.   You already know the difference that The Arc of Monroe has made in so many lives.  We are so thankful for you, and for our incredible Rochester community, but we still need your help.  There are three things that we ask you to continue to do. One, please spread the word about the good work that we are doing at The Arc.  Programs like Job Path train people on transferable job skills.  Community Habilitation helps people maintain a home, learn public transportation, and become as independent as possible by building daily living and social skills.  Our …

Shelley VanLare

Alzheimer’s, IDD and Caregivers

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November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.  Caregivers who understand the disease process of dementia or Alzheimer’s are better able to provide an environment that helps the person live as full a life as possible, while keeping the stress level at a minimum. Practical Tips Remember that everyday activities become more challenging and confusing to a person with dementia. Daily Living Maintain old routines and make bathing relaxing – not a rush! Simplify the task by assisting as much as necessary. Don’t expect participation – even if yesterday they were willing.  Every day is different. Assure safety to avoid falls. The person may …

Election Day, November 6, 2018

Make Voting a Priority

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It’s mid-term election time!  Are you going to the polls tomorrow November 6th?  It takes time and research and, yes, it’s a real responsibility, but it’s our chance to really participate in our government. In the last mid-terms only 42% of registered voters participated. Let’s change that this year! We need you to help make a difference tomorrow. Why Vote? This is your chance to make your voice heard.  We are lucky to live in a democracy where we have the opportunity to choose our representatives. Who you vote for can affect your bank account, your rights, your health, and so …

Amanda’s Love for Life

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Amanda Vito is someone you should know.  She has been enrolled in services at the Arc of Monroe for fourteen years!  She is involved with Community Arts Connection, Job Path, Special Olympics and is employed at the Bay View YMCA.  Amanda leads her life with a smile on her face, lighting up any room she’s in. Day Services Community Arts Connection allows Amanda personal expression through the arts.  She enjoys creating watercolors and pastels, with a particular focus on flowers which she was inspired to paint after a trip to Hawaii with her family.  You will find many of her …

Marcus, Employment and NDEAM

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In honor of  NDEAM (National Disability Employment Awareness Month) we introduce Marcus who is employed at Hart’s Local Grocers in Rochester, NY. What is NDEAM? NDEAM celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities and educates about the value of a workforce inclusive of their skills and talents. On the job On his first day of work Marcus remarks that everyone at Hart’s was very welcoming and says they treat him like family. A Job Coach or Employment Specialist, like Ashley, from Job Path will help with job hunting, resume writing, and interview skills.  Ashley helped Marcus find a job that …

Steve Neelin

Why volunteer?

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Meet Steve Neelin who is an avid volunteer in the Rochester community.  Volunteering is a significant part of his life.  He enjoys helping people and encourages everyone to get involved with a non-profit and make a difference. Steve volunteers with the Special Olympics locally, initially getting involved through work.  The first woman he coached participated in the adaptive games.  “She stole my heart and I’ve been hooked ever since,” says Steve.  For 18 years he has coached soccer, basketball, track, softball, and floor hockey.  He is still volunteers with Special Olympics today. Getting involved Steve’s involvement with the Special Olympics inevitably led …