ADAPT Community Network is being honored with a 2022 Award of Excellence by CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership. The international designation recognizes the organization’s exemplary virtual services and programs for people supported, families, staff, and other stakeholders throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. ADAPT’s virtual initiatives helped build bridges and keep people connected throughout periods of isolation, quarantine, and social distancing.
“While the pandemic has been a trying time for everyone, it has hit people with disabilities who receive services especially hard,” says Mary Kay Rizzolo, President and CEO of CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership. “The fact that ADAPT dedicated significant staffing and resources to developing virtual services speaks volumes about what their organization stands for.”
As a result of the safety measures related to the pandemic, roughly 1,100 people with disabilities who receive supports from ADAPT no longer had access to the traditional in-person services and programs they would regularly experience. As a proactive response to the unprecedented situation, ADAPT created a virtual platform so that people could continue to maintain and strengthen relationships with friends, family, and support staff. This platform also offered a virtual catalog of diverse programming and training about rights, advocacy, sports, health and wellness, and more.
“We are very proud of the virtual platform, and the creativity of all involved in bringing into life. What started as a way to keep people connected during the pandemic, has grown into opportunities for people to take control and make more choices that suit their interests and goals,” says Edward Matthews, CEO of ADAPT Community Network.
In conceptualizing and rolling out the platform, people receiving services from ADAPT played an integral role in its development. This approach helped build a sense of investment among all stakeholders and ensure that programs are continually expanded in an ever-growing catalogue. The organization also incorporated the concepts of Universal Design for Learning to maximize teaching strategies and learning outcomes based on scientific methodology.
“Bringing in people supported to help develop these virtual offerings is a testament to ADAPT’s focus on person-centered services,” adds Rizzolo.
Considering the limitations in having the technology needed for such a platform, ADAPT provided more than 200 devices so that people supported and families could utilize the virtual services and programs. To date, the virtual platform has empowered hundreds of people receiving services to participate in thousands of activities.
Going forward, the virtual platform will present additional options for people supported and families to take part in services in a post-pandemic world. From dealing with severe weather to confronting serious illness, the virtual offerings provide people with ways to utilize programs they may not have been able to prior to the onset of COVID-19.
About ADAPT Community Network
ADAPT Community Network is a leading non-profit organization and a pioneer in providing cutting-edge programs and services that improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. For 75 years, ADAPT has created a more inclusive world for children and adults with a variety of disabilities. The organization is driven by its mission of “empowering people through innovative solutions, one person at a time.”
ADAPT’s 100 comprehensive programs include education, health, technology, residential, and recreational services for over 20,000 individuals with disabilities and their families annually. Accessible public education for all, community living for children and adults, advancement in assistive technology, and creating opportunities for employment, mark just some of the organization’s achievements in serving New Yorkers with disabilities.
About the CQL Awards of Excellence
The CQL Awards of Excellence recognize individuals, organizations, and/or systems that exemplify the very best in human services for people with disabilities. The 2022 award recipients were selected among numerous submissions by entities that have achieved CQL Accreditation and/or CQL Certification. Since the CQL Awards of Excellence was first established in 2015, there have been just over a dozen recipients of this prestigious designation.
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Since 1969, CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership has been a leader in working with human service organizations and systems to continuously define, measure, and improve quality of life and quality of services for youth, adults, and older adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and psychiatric disabilities. CQL offers accreditation, training, certification, research, and consultation services to agencies that share our vision of dignity, opportunity, and community for all people.