Diana and Robert wearing almost matching outfits sit on the couch together
Wed, December 23, 2020
When Jeff Burke started a new job at YAI as a Floater in March of 2019, he was optimistic for the year ahead. His job required him to fill in at whatever program needed extra staff. He’d find himself in Brooklyn one day and in the Bronx the next. But there was no way to predict that by March of the following year, he would contract the novel coronavirus that had begun to hit New York.
Front page of the Fall 2020 Self Advocates Newsletter
Wed, September 30, 2020
This quarter's highlights include: Virtual Central Park Challenge | Black Lives Matter Protests and Disabilities | Effects of COVID-19 | Interview with Naomi Ortiz| and more...
person sitting at a table with headphones on, looking at a laptop. There are many certificates on the wall behind them
Wed, September 30, 2020
For months we’ve marveled at the successes—and suffered through the failures—of in-person activities translated to a virtual format. At YAI, the virtual Central Park Challenge toppled fundraising expectations without a single footstep in the park itself. But what some event producers and political campaigns have managed to do beautifully has tripped up universities, religious organizations, and dramatists. The question: how can we duplicate a genuinely human experience in a digital sphere?
Two people wearing masks sit on a bench outside. One is holding a flyer about COVID testing
Fri, September 25, 2020
Sometimes people on the margins aren’t first on the list to receive information that others take for granted. According to a 2010 study published in Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness , most emergency preparedness strategies fail to ensure that vulnerable receive necessary information during a crisis.
Map of world, many countries are colored red to show where people tuned in to YAI online events
Mon, August 31, 2020
Because of the pandemic, YAI rethought its traditionally frenetic calendar of springtime events this year to reach the digital sphere. The results, which surprised many, helped deliver new perspectives on disabilities to international audiences.
child sitting at a desk looking at a laptop
Thu, August 27, 2020
Not even the pandemic can stop the back-to-school spirit from energizing YAI’s two affiliate schools. Though online learning took parents and students by surprise in March, a summer of preparation has brought focus to virtual learning platforms at the International Academy of Hope (iHOPE) and Manhattan Star Academy (MSA).
Heart and Mind Both Needed to Mitigate Spread of COVID-19
Fri, June 26, 2020
For YAI, which operates more than 140 residences across the metropolitan area, containing the virus demanded not only decisive action but amplified support to compensate for upheaval in the lives of people who appreciate a routine. One resident of YAI’s Cobble Hill residence, where eight older adults have lived for more than 20 years, moved from illness back to health with the benefits of both.
A burning candle in foreground with blurred burning candles behind it in on a black background
Wed, May 27, 2020
No more hugs or visits from loved ones. A total disruption of daily activities. Housemates who left and will never come back. These are just a few of the difficult changes that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) supported by YAI are experiencing through the coronavirus pandemic.
Group of people stand in front of bunting flags on wall and a table with food and a purple table cloth
Tue, May 26, 2020
A longstanding bilingual program at YAI in Queens has reinvented itself to better serve families of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) in need during the COVID-19 crisis. The program caters to native Spanish speakers, providing instruction on the use of English-based resources such as OPWDD online portals or immigration documents.
Jordan stands outside hardware store with a flatbed cart
Wed, April 29, 2020
As Americans get used to thinking in terms of “essential” and “non-essential” roles, two members of YAI’s supported employment workforce have soldiered on through the COVID-19 crisis. Housemates Richard Clolery and Jordan Kraus live in a supported apartment in East Meadow, Long Island. They have stepped up to the challenges of the pandemic, providing essential services to people experiencing the stress of this public health emergency.


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