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WCI Newsletter: February 19th, 2016

Message From The Vice President of Operations

Joe DonatiIt is my great pleasure to be able to thank WCI for all of the support that was given to me in the last 5 years. During that time, I was encouraged to participate in a certificate program at Suffolk University in Nonprofit Management that included taking 5 graduate level courses on Fridays from September 2011 to June 2012. In this program I was encouraged to learn more about how to be a successful manager within a nonprofit and to apply it to my current work here at WCI. At the time that I started the program, I was the Division Head for Deaf Supports and had been at WCI for 12 years. WCI decided to bring back the Vice President of Operations position during this time and it made me interested in furthering my professional development. I applied for the job and was very fortunate to become successful to be hired into the position as well as later completing the certificate program at Suffolk.

The certificate program was a great push to get me to continue my education and gave me 12 credits towards a Masters Degree in Public Administration. However, I did choose to take a break following the completion of the program. There were many significant challenges in my personal life that I needed to focus on, but that did not derail my goal to complete the degree. I had the tremendous fortune during that time to be a part of a team here at WCI with some of the most wonderful people I know. They always let me know that they would take care of anything I needed and I never needed to worry. I have to say, there was never a truer statement said and words can’t express my gratitude. This overwhelming support system made me feel that I could get back on track and get the rest of the credits needed. I went back to Suffolk in the Summer of 2014 and took 2 courses each semester until I completed the remaining 10 classes needed for my degree. I finished in the Fall of 2015 and I now currently have a Masters in Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management. It was a great deal of work and time to go to the classes, do the homework and to also be able to do my job on top of taking care of my family. I could not have done it without the help of my family at home and my family at WCI. Once again, thank you WCI for being there to push me to grow and providing me the support needed to help me to succeed!

WCI’s Development Committee of the Board of Directors supports mini-grants through its Fundraising efforts. They are entitled, “Mission In Action Grants.” One grantDSC_0238 awarded this year is the creation of a Culture Club. This month in Culture Club, the topic was Cajun culture! Mardi Gras just passed two days prior, so the Life Skills program had its own Fat Tuesday celebration. Participants made and wore masks while enjoying the festivities and snacks. One group made deviled eggs and hush puppies for everyone to enjoy. The only thing we had to worry about was getting eaten up by the paper alligators made for the celebration! Everyone had a fantastic time, learned about a culture & are now looking forward to the next meeting! Come join us for one of our next meetings! We will keep you posted on the date and time or contact James Hammond at:


Office Space Renovations & Expansion

AIndustrial-Construction-Signs-43488BBHPLYALU-bas expressed in our last E-Newsletter, WCI is expanding its Main Office Space at 135 Beaver Street. This will allow sufficient space for our IT Department, newly hired staff as well as provide
additional Conference Room space. However, we have designated this new space for Operations & IT. Therefore, people will be located in different offices within the Main office. See the Front Office Staff when you visit the office.

Phase 1 of this move is taking place on Monday, February 29th and staff will be settling in throughout the week of 3/1 to 3/4. Residential Operations, including Joe Donati, VP of Operations, Paula Dunn-Meadows & Sally Roach, Residential Division Heads, our Residential Directors along with Nick Salem, IT Director, & his IT staff, will move into their new space beginning on 3/1. We request that everyone not frequent our Beaver Street Main Office Space during this week! Please do feel free to contact any of them by phone or email to connect with them. At the same time our Human Resources staff are relocating next to the Finance Office. If you have a Payroll or Recruitment need, please contact Human Resources directly.

Phase 2 of our renovations affects the front Administrative Office beginning on March 15th through April 1st. No one will be able to enter the front entrance of WCI during this period. We will have the Alternate Side Entrance available on the right side of the building as an entry point during this 2-week period. Please see further details in future emails & E-Newsletters as the renovations are being completed.


DSPs Who Have Passed MAP On The First Attempt

One of the most challenging courses our Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) must pass is the Medication Administration Program (MAP) course which allows our staff to administer medications or teach our Individuals to self-administer medications depending on their needs. It not only teaches medications and their side effects, but also diagnoses, medical conditions and the documentation that is required as a result. This is a 16-hour course including pre & post-tests. It is a significant amount of classroom training & studying that our DSPs must do to complete the course. It is important for the Individuals health, well-being and safety. Given the complicated nature of the material, many do not pass on the 1st attempt. We want to congratulate the following DSPs for passing on the 1st attempt: Tony Toury-Jones (Ellison Park); Michael Wellie (Ellison Park); Elizabeth Namakula (PHR); Julian Cadavid Ruiz (Deaf Employment); Devon Hostetler (Barbara Terrace); Farhia Abdi (Clark Lane & Berkley Street).


FY’17 Budget ASK For People With Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities

Please “Take Action” by clicking here to ask your Representative & Senator to contact the Chairs of Ways & Means to add in the additional funding needed for Residential Supports; Employment/Day Supports & Turning 22 for our existing Individuals who need this funding to maintain their services. Thank you!


Super Bowl 50 ads feature people with disabilities

States Developing Alternatives To Sheltered Workshops

Greyhound Agrees to Pay Passengers With Disabilities It Discriminated Against

Beach Town Declares Itself an Autism-Friendly Travel Destination

Mainstreaming Effort Prompts Outcry From Teachers

Around the world in a wheelchair

Following Sundance Win, Autism Documentary To Hit Theaters

Tim Tebow Hosts Prom Across The World For People With Special Needs

First Lady Michelle Obama: Let’s Change the Conversation Around Mental Health

Coworkers Find Sweet Way to Put Man With Autism at Ease on His First Day

Also remember to check out the all new and our Social Media feeds! Please like, share, and subscribe to our feeds to keep up to date on WCI and community events, interesting articles and videos, and updates on political happenings that affect the lives of our Individuals and their families!

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