Welcome back to Jewish Community Services’ quarterly newsletter for individuals with disabilities, their family members, their caregivers, and the community that supports our programs. In our September edition, we are excited to bring JCS news, policy updates, resources for families, fall events and programs, words from our residents and staff, and more to YOU – our JCS family! 
Serving the needs of our clients and community is the top priority for Jewish Community Services. We remain committed to doing so in a safe and responsible way during COVID.  

Based upon the most current federal, state, and local guidelines, as well as information from our community health partners, JCS is working in conjunction with The Associated on plans for safely resuming in-person services at our Park Heights and Owings Mills offices. 

We will continue to share updates on those plans and the safety protocols that will be in place to protect the health and well-being of our staff, clients, and community as they become available. You can also visit our website, jcsbalt.org, for the latest news and announcements.
Recovery Action Plans Being Developed

Since early July, the Developmental Disabilities Coalition has met twice weekly with key members of the Maryland Department of Health and the Department of Disabilities. The goal of these meetings is to share information about the needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families, and providers while we work together as a community to recover from the ravages of the pandemic.

The Coalition is currently reviewing timelines and developing needed action plans to ensure that people supported through the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) are not negatively impacted as Appendix K* waiver flexibilities unwind. Read more. 

* Appendix K offers family members of individuals receiving services the opportunity to be the “staff” for their loved ones. Those family members could be hired by providers as Appendix K employees to work on the goals and outcomes that their “regular” personal supports staff would normally help their loved ones to learn. 

CDC Launches Toolkit for Individuals with Disabilities and Their Caregivers
To address the unique challenges of the pandemic for people with intellectual and development disabilities, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created a toolkit with communication resources explaining how individuals and caregivers can protect themselves from the virus.

“People with intellectual and developmental disabilities can experience communication barriers that make it harder for them to understand and act on crucial health guidance,” said Karen Remley, MD, director of CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. “The aim of these materials is to help people with IDD, their parents and other caregivers share critical information with their loved ones about COVID-19 and what to expect when getting a COVID-19 test or vaccine and explain how to stay safe if they are not vaccinated.” 

Check out the Toolkit for information on: getting tested and getting the vaccine, wearing a mask, social distancing, and hand washing.
Sukkot in the Sukkah
Sept 23; 12:00 pm OR 1:00 pm 
Park Heights JCC
Join old and new friends for lunch in the Sukkah. Dessert will be provided.
Meaningful Day Activities 
Various days and times 

Book club, fun and fitness, cooking, games, movies, and more! Enjoy enriching activities throughout the week with new and old friends.
Discovering Your Path 
By Jamie Leboe, Career Coach with ESS, Ignite Career Center of JCS 
Now with a service called Discovery, individuals who have diagnosed developmental disabilities and receive DDA funding can discover what their interests and abilities are and how they align with a great job. Read more. 

A New Kind of Parenting in the COVID World 
By Karen Holt, Support Services Coordinator for Supported Living Program, JCS and Marci Baranauskas, parent of individual in Supported Living Program 
During COVID, service providers like JCS were faced with the challenges of helping individuals thrive and their family members cope with their own shifting work and financial responsibilities. Enter Appendix K. Read more. 
Coming Out on the Other Side 
By Sharmaine Palmer, RN 
When COVID came along, we had to change the way in which we did almost everything – from providing virtual care to advocating with doctors to shopping for necessities, even walking dogs. In addition, we challenged families to meet their own needs with our support. Read more. 
Meet Victor Avidor
Job Coach, Employment Support Services
“I have worked as a Job Coach in Employment Support Services at JCS for over five years now. It has been and continues to be an immensely rewarding experience on both a professional and personal level for me. The clients that my colleagues and I assist face a variety of emotional and physical challenges to employment and that's where we come in. We provide computer and office skills training, effective resume writing, job interview sessions, virtual learning, and on-site job coaching for our clients who are actively employed. The people that we serve come from different age groups and all walks of life. Getting to know these people and becoming such an important part of their lives gives me a real sense of purpose and pride, especially when my clients succeed in their quest for that seemingly elusive job; their success is my success.  

Things are not always easy - sometimes clients take one step forward and two steps back due to psychological and other factors. That said, ‘slow and steady wins the race.’ An overwhelming majority of ESS clients under our guidance and supervision ultimately achieve job offers and employment placement. I am blessed with having exceptional coworkers, supervisors, and management. It is both an honor and privilege to work with these truly altruistic, selfless individuals, as well as to represent JCS in the Baltimore area and beyond!”
Meet Beth 

“When COVID was at its peak, I only felt comfortable going to drive thru windows for food. I didn’t go to medical appointments or my job at JCS, delivering Employment Support Services schedules directly to homes. When things began to open up, I started going to my medical appointments, but I still didn’t feel OK going to any stores/groceries or going to my job. When I was finally vaccinated, I felt safe going to more places like the bank and restaurants. For work, I was able to deliver schedules, but only in mailboxes. I wasn’t able to interact with people at their front door, which made me very unhappy. With the future so uncertain, I hope I will still be able to go to restaurants, which I really enjoy.
September 12-18 is
Direct Support Professionals
Recognition Week

During this global health crisis, we have witnessed our DSPs adapting to new rules, protocols, and systems of supporting the people for whom they care.

Without end, they place the needs and the safety of those they serve before their own. 

For this unceasing dedication, we say THANK YOU

Check out the JCS Facebook page for #DSPRW2021 highlights!
Jewish Apple Cake

Ingredients – 3 cups of flour, 2.5 cups of sugar, 1 cup vegetable oil, 4 eggs (unbeaten), .5 teaspoon of salt, 3 teaspoons of baking powder, .33 cups of orange juice, 2.5 teaspoons of vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 6 apples, .5 cup of any nut (optional) 

Directions – (1) grease and flour a tube/13x9/two 8x8 pan, (2) in a bowl, beat until smooth the flour, sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, salt, baking powder, orange juice, and vanilla extract, (3) in a different bowl, mix the apples, cinnamon, 3 teaspoons of sugar, and .5 cup of nuts, (4) pour a thin layer of the batter into the pan(s), then a layer of the apple mixture, then repeat, ending with a layer of apples on top, (5) bake at 350* for 1-1.5 hours, (6) taste and enjoy! 

JCS provides a range of community-based services for individuals with disabilities and their families through supported living, residential services, and employment support services.  
Our mission is to enable people with differing abilities to live, learn, work, and otherwise participate as full members of their Jewish and general communities. We are dedicated to ensuring all individuals have the same opportunities that are open to other community members; that is, the ability and support to live a dignified lifestyle with opportunities for growth, friendship, recreation, and choice. 
Learn more at jcsbalt.org/disabilities.