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A visit with dolphins becomes

a life-changing experience


A wish come true resulted in a life-changing experience for Delilah Davis.

Delilah, who lives in the Arc of Steuben's Wayland residence, revealed during her person-centered planning that she has always wanted to have a close encounter with dolphins, Darla Naples, her Medicaid Service Coordinator, set the wheels in motion to make Delilah's wish come true.

Darla submitted a wish request through the Arc of Steuben's Arc Star Wish program. Delilah's wish was approved and she, Darla and Delilah's husband took a trip to MarineLand. She not only got to see the park's dolphin show, but also was the volunteer picked out of the audience to participate in the show. She also got to feed and pet the dolphins after the show ended.

That experience had a profound impact on Delilah.

In order to be able to go on the trip, Delilah had to improve her health. She attended extra dialysis sessions and altered her diet in order to make her wish come true.

Delilah did not return to her old habits, however, after the trip was over. She's continued her dialysis and has changed her eating habits. As a result she's lost more than 40 pounds. She's also using her CPAP at night.

"There is a big difference between now and when I went to Niagara Falls," Davis said. "I'm proud of that."

Delilah's story is just one example of how donations to the Arc of Steuben Foundation change lives through the Arc Star Wish program. The programs provides the opportunity for people served by the Arc of Steuben to have once-in-a-lifetime experiences that wouldn't otherwise be possible.

The wish program also pays for medical equipment not covered by insurance.

Athletic club looking for athletes, volunteers

The Bandits Training Club is looking for athletes and volunteers.

The training club, which is affiliated with Special Olympics New York, is looking for athletes with intellectual and developmental disabilities of all athletic abilities. Ric Miller, training club coordinator for the Bandits, said the club is not just for athletes interested in competing in the Special Olympics. Ric said that people who are looking to have fun and socialize are also welcome.

"We're not going to push people to compete," Ric said. "I'm more interested in teaching them to love the sport and moving them toward more inclusive events."

The Bandits train and compete in three seasons. The spring/summer season runs from now until mid-June. The summer/fall season starts in mid-July and runs through mid-October and the fall/winter season begins in mid-November and runs through mid-February.

The Bandits currently have teams for track and field, basketball, bocce, bowling, floor hockey and softball. Ric said the club could offer other sports if there is enough interest.

"We are committed to find new opportunities to provide for people within our local community to become involved," Ric said. "If you are interested in an athletic opportunity that we are not currently participating in please contact us and we will begin looking for a way to get you involved."

Ric said volunteers are also needed to work with the athletes. He said multiple volunteer opportunities exist, including coaching, mentoring, team sports, event volunteer and event planning. There is no minimum time commitment for volunteers. They can give as much or as little time as they choose.

Volunteers also don't have to be proficient in a sport. Ric said he will find a role for any volunteer willing to give their time.

For more information on participating or volunteering, visit the Bandits' website at www.banditstrainingclub.com or email Ric at banditstrainingclub@yahoo.com

West Street Relocation Team

named Arc of Steuben

Team of the Quarter

The West Street Relocation Team of Kaitlin Alfred, Billy Doell, Glenn Forsythe, Brad Longwell, Larry Reed, Dennis Nichols, Julie Ormsby, Kristin Vance, Ray Lecceardone, Mary K Beaver, Vicki Huels, Lesa Didas, Amy Payne and Karen Andrus was named the Arc of Steuben's Team of the Quarter for the first quarter of 2015.

The team was nominated because its quick action prevented a potentially dangerous situation. In the early morning of Jan. 17 the alarm at the West Street residence went off. An investigation revealed it was the house's carbon monoxide detector. The Direct Service Professionals (DSPs) on duty called 911 and began evacuating the home.

The residents and DSPs on duty were assessed for symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning by EMTs. When one of the staff was diagnosed with needing oxygen the other DSP on duty began making the necessary phone calls to the gas company and Arc of Steuben personnel.

The staff member was informed the residents of the home would not be able to stay in the house. At that point associates began the process of making arrangements to relocate the residents to other Arc of Steuben homes.

Fortunately the house was cleared and declared safe for re-entry shortly after the relocation planning process began. One associate and one resident of the home were taken to the emergecy room for follow-up care. As the residents began re-entering, associates made sure everybody was calm and taken care of before the residents returned to bed. Additional staff members were called in to cover for the associate who was taken to the hospital.

On the following Monday the Arc of Steuben staff discussed what actions needed to be taken to prevent the situation from happening again. Members of the Facilities team replaced the hot water tank that had created the issue.

Also nominated were the Wellness Committee, for the planning and execution of the agency's annual Wellness Fair, and the Facilities Department, for shoveling off the roof of the Industrial Park facility after it was determined the building was in danger of sustaining structural damage due to the weight of the snow.

Hazlitt named Arc of Steuben's

Instructor of the Month


Dr. Rose Hazlitt has been named the Arc of Steuben's Instructor of the Month for April.

Rose, the Arc of Steuben's Behavior Intervention Coordinator, was nominated for the Behavior Theory training she recently provided at the agency's Belle Haven home.

"She got through several hours of material in just a few hours," said the nomination letter, which was submitted by Caitlin VanDuser. "Rose thoroughly explained the process in which plans are made and all the steps that are taken to come up with the plan. It was very helpful to hear her side of the process and not just ours. It helped us understand how she comes up with these plans and why it is the most beneficial for the individual."

Also nominated was Eliza Miller. Eliza, who works in the Quality Enhancement department, was nominated for a recent Personal Allowance training she provided.

Nichols named Associate of the Month

for April



Dennis Nichols has been named the Arc of Steuben's Associate of the Month for April.

Dennis, the Arc of Steuben's Director of Facilities, was nominated for his dedication and quick action when the heavy snow over the winter caused structural problems with the roof over a suite of offices at the Arc of Steuben's Industrial Park campus.

According to the nomination letter, Nichols' first thought was the safety of the people served by the Arc of Steuben and the associates affected by the damaged roof. He called upon and received expert advice and created a relocation plan for the staff members.

"He used his local knowledge base to enlist the aid of an area contractor who came right away to add braces and arrest any further degradation of the situation," the nomination letter, written by Tom Andrus, said. "Throughout the entire episode Dennis acted with great aplomb and never let his demeanor show anything but confidence that the problem was addressable This helped allay the fears of everyone and was a benefit to all involved."

Also nominated for Associate of the Month were Roxie White, Administration and Records, and Melissa Graves, Finance.

The Spring 2015 Newsletter is now available

Just in time for spring, the Spring 2015 Newsletter is now available. This issue has information on the agency's Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL) certification, the Pathway to Employment program and the great things the people we serve and our associates are doing.

To read the newest version of our newsletter, click here.


Arc of Steuben becomes the only agency in Steuben County to receive CQL accreditation

The Arc of Steuben has received accreditation from the Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL). The accreditation runs through 2018.

CQL has been the preeminent organization for more than 40 years in defining, measuring and improving the quality of life for all people, including those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Arc of Steuben becomes the only human services agency within Steuben County to receive the CQL Person-Centered Excellence Accreditation. Only 28 agencies in New York State have received this prestigious accreditation.

The person-centered philosophy championed by CQL and embracede by the Arc of Steuben places the people receiving services in control. The programs and services they participate in are not dictated by what others think is best for them. With guidance from their Circle of Support, the people with intellectual and developmental disabilities make decisions based on their interests, passions, dreams and desires.

"Accreditation establishes a partnership with an organization with more than 40 years of leadership and peer-reviewed research focused on increasing people's quality of life," said Jean Jensen, the Arc of Steuben's Chief Strategy Officer.

As part of the accreditation process, the Arc of Steuben undertook a top-to-bottom evaluation to determine how well the agency conformed to CQL's standards for person-centeredness.

The agency also held a two-day intensive series of meetings that included members of the leadership team, associates from different departments throughout the agency, members of the board of directors and people who receive services from the organization. The group examined what the agency does well, areas it could improve and specific steps to enact these improvements.

Arc of Steuben Executive Director Bernie Burns said the evaluation techniques that were part of the CQL accreditation process give the Arc of Steuben another set of tools in the agency's quest for continuous improvement.

We at the Arc are committed to the people we support," Bernie said. "With the assistance of CQL, we now know how we can get better at what we do."

NEW LENDING LIBRARY is Searchable and User Friendly!          

 The complete catalog for the Arc of Steuben’s Lending Library is now on the website.  The library is searchable by category, with the categories listed on Books_small.jpgthe page.  You can also use the Search field to search by title, author, topic or type of media (book, cd, dvd, game, etc.).

 To use the library catalog select the Resources menu above and click on Lending Library, or click here.

Working at the Arc of Steuben has been the most rewarding job I have ever had. ”