Back to School and Mental Health

Health and Wellness

With the first few weeks of school behind us, I am reflecting on what it was like this time of year for my kids as they got ready to board school buses for their first day of class or move into dorms. During this back-to-school season, it’s normal for parents and kids to have mixed emotions of being both excited and scared, but so much has changed over the past two years. All of us can relate to how the pandemic caused widespread disruption to our lives and the lives of our children, especially as far as school is concerned. …

Chronic Pain and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD)

Health and Wellness

Studies have shown that pain has long been recognized to have a negative effect on emotional status, ability to work, social activities, interpersonal relationships, and functional ability and leads to the increased utilization of healthcare services. I chose this topic because it is personal to me. I have bone-on-bone arthritis in my hip, and my quality of life has been greatly effected because the pain is exhausting.  With that said, I am lucky because I have the tools to either ask for help or get help myself. Can you imagine having chronic pain and not being able to express your …

Dementia and People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD)

Health and Wellness

What is Dementia? Dementia is a general term for loss of memory, language, problem-solving and other thinking abilities that are severe enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia. Although it is well known that older people are at higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, it is less well known that individuals with intellectual disabilities, especially Down syndrome, are also at high risk of the disease, and research shows that people with IDD have a prevalence of dementia. What are some signs of Dementia? Early signs may include changes in health, and in …

Arc of Monroe Welcomes New Senior Director of Programs, Services and Housing Development

Staff Perspectives

Welcome to Neil Cavalieri, The Arc of Monroe’s new Senior Director of Programs, Services and Housing Development! Neil comes to The Arc with seven years of experience in the disability field, including working as a Direct Support Professional (DSP) and Residential Habilitation Counselor, as well as in residential management, community habilitation, and fiscal intermediary services. He also worked for three years in senior care overseeing both private pay and affordable housing. One of the priorities that The Arc of Monroe and other disability service providers currently have is finding and/or creating accessible housing for people to age in place well. …

Arc of Monroe Welcomes New Director of Community Services

Staff Perspectives

Welcome to Don Sinton, The Arc of Monroe’s new Director of Community Services! Don comes to The Arc with more than two decades of experience working with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), both in the Binghamton and Rochester areas. For more than 20 years, Don worked at Stepping Stone Learning Center, an inclusive program for kids with and without disabilities in integrated classrooms. Don’s experience in the IDD field mostly comes from working with young children and teens up to 21 years of age. “In this position, I am looking forward to managing the people within it and …

The Arc of Monroe Celebrates Disability Pride Month

Advocacy, Programs and Services

Every July, millions of Americans celebrate Disability Pride Month. The celebration began in 1990 when the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law. That same year, Boston held the first Disability Pride Day. The first official celebration of Disability Pride Month occurred in July 2015, which also marked the 25th anniversary of the ADA. Since then, cities across the country have celebrated Disability Pride Month with parades and other festivities. [1] Disability Pride Month is an opportunity for the disability community to celebrate its visibility and highlight accomplishments in a collective way. At The Arc of Monroe, everything …

Fairport Day Services Welcomes New Director

Staff Perspectives

Welcome to Dyanna Gregory, The Arc of Monroe’s new Director of Fairport Day Services! Dyanna joins the team with more than a decade of experience working with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Dyanna received a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology, as well as a Master’s Degree in Human Service Counseling. She previously worked as a Direct Support Professional (DSP) at Lifetime Assistance Inc. here in the Rochester area, a Medicaid Service Coordinator (MSC), and a Program Coordinator at a day habilitation program in the Bronx. After taking some time to stay home with her kids, Dyanna says she is …

Love Your Job! 3 Reasons I Love Working at The Arc of Monroe

Staff Perspectives

Love Your Job! 3 Reasons I Love Working at The Arc of Monroe Do you love what you are doing? Do you want to love what you do? Then maybe a career at The Arc of Monroe is for you. Here are 3 reasons Residential DSP, Toshia Rolle-Thompson, loves working at The Arc of Monroe. Why do you love working at The Arc? I love learning about the people we support and just seeing their faces light up when they accomplish something. It makes them feel good, and that makes me feel good knowing that I helped them to accomplish their goal. …

7 Tips for Protecting Skin While Supporting People with IDD

Health and Wellness

With the people we support at The Arc of Monroe getting older and having more medical complexities, one of the most important things we can do is protect their skin. Pressure ulcers (AKA “bedsores”) are a dangerous type of skin breakdown that can lead to infection, pain, or even death. They are caused by pressure on an area of skin that interferes with blood flow to the area causing the skin and underlying tissues to break down. A mild pressure ulcer may just look like redness or discoloration on the skin, but if left untreated, it can progress through the …

Risks and Benefits of Soaking up the Sun

Health and Wellness

Our Wonderful (but also dangerous) Sunshine I think we can all agree that the sunshine we get is not enough. We live in Rochester, NY after all. According to science, beautiful sunshine-filled days afford us with many benefits. Did you know that our bodies produce Vitamin D when we are exposed to sunlight? Vitamin D helps our body maintain calcium, and we have stronger bones as a result. Vitamin D is also critical for our immune system, and with consistent exposure to sunlight, we can help strengthen it and reduce the risk of illness. It’s not just in our head; …