Dear Arc/proAbility community,
Over the past few weeks, there have been significant developments in the global, national, and local responses to the ongoing spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Here at The Arc of Bristol County/proAbility, everything we do is in an effort to create a more supportive and inclusive world for people with disabilities, and that will never change. During times such as these, we all feel the isolation that people with disabilities often feel on a daily basis. That is why it is so important for all of us to take care of each other during this challenging time, and remain focused on our efforts to create a more inclusive world for people of all abilities. Together, we will get through this and will be a stronger organization once things settle down.
These challenging times are forcing us to consider how we serve and support more than 2,600 individuals with disabilities across 34 communities in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. We are fortunate to have a dedicated Board, Leadership and Staff that are committed to work hard to ensure the needs of those we serve are our highest priority and the safety of everyone. Despite the unprecedented circumstances, we remain optimistic that our community will navigate these uncertain times with a spirit of empathy and understanding.
This is an ever-evolving situation, and our efforts will continue to adapt as needed. Our focus, however, will never shift from providing the utmost support and care to the individuals and families supported by our organization. To facilitate social distancing and prioritize the health and safety of our community, the The Arc of Bristol County Leadership team has made the decision to adapt, cancel or postpone the following programs/initiatives/events (subject to CDC, national and state guidelines). Further details will be forthcoming.
- Day/Employment Programs – All Day/Employment programs are postponed until further notice- staff are maintaining contact with individuals who live with family members or alone
- Most In-home visits by all programs have been postponed until further notice, staff are maintaining regular contact with each family via phone or video conference
- Family Support staff are contacting families to address critical needs and provide emergency supplies
- Individual Support and Community Supports- staff are contacting everyone living independently daily and ensuring that everyone has adequate food, supplies and medications
- Recreation – All recreation activities are postponed until further notice; the next quarter calendar has been suspended and will be released at a further date
- All Arc/proAbility buildings and residences – No visitor access until further notice
- Opportunity Drawing- Postponed. We thank all of you who have provided a donation towards our drawing. At this time, we have postponed the drawing month from April to June, tentatively. We will provide further updates as the drawing dates come closer and we thank you for your support to our Project Rec-Connect program.
Please know that we are closely monitoring this rapidly-evolving situation and will work diligently to ensure that we have the right plans and resources in place, in adherence to the expert guidance and recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and State & Local public health authorities.
For information specific to the coronavirus and the most up-to-date information on the situation, please visit www.cdc.gov. Additionally, please check our website for suggestions for dealing with (COVID-19) stress/anxiety. These documents are available in both English and Spanish, and may be particularly helpful in better explaining the current public health situation to the individuals we support or anyone looking for the complexities of dealing with this virus to be broken down into more understandable terms.
Please be sure to visit our website and Facebook page as this situation continues to change.
Wishing you all the best of health.
President & CEO