Janet Channer
Mon, February 04, 2019
Many good things came to the world in 1994: Nelson Mandela was elected President of South Africa, The Beastie Boys were on fire with the release of “Sabotage,” The Lion King and Forest Gump were giants in the box office, the Sony PlayStation was born, and a wonderful woman named Janet Channer left her career in banking to begin working with people with disabilities at YAI’s Foothill Residence in Queens.
Elizabeth Asen
Wed, November 07, 2018
This is what I know. On Saturday, October 27, people attended services at Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill suburb of Pittsburgh. Of the nearly 100 attendees, 11 people would not witness that night’s sunset, the symbol of the end of the Jewish Sabbath. In the ensuing days, I turned on the news and stared at pictures of the people who lost their lives. When David and Cecil Rosenthal, two brothers who attended Shabbat services weekly, appeared on the screen, I paused. Cecil, 59, and...
Video still of a man smiling directly at the camera
Mon, June 25, 2018
The best way to learn more about YAI and our programs, housing, and services is to see them in action. Through these videos, explore what YAI is all about with a look into the lives of the people we support as well as our residential options, day programs, and approach of person-centered thinking. Using this introduction to YAI, discover more about what it means to work toward our mission of living, loving, working, and learning.
Headshot of Consuelo Senior, Assistant Coordinator of Sex Education
Tue, March 27, 2018
Sexuality refers to the total expression of who you are as a human being. Our sexuality begins in the womb and ends at death. (Freud, 1986) Everyone is a sexual being, babies, children, teens, adults and the elderly. Sexuality is therefore experienced throughout the developmental lifespan. So why is social-sexual education for people on the autism spectrum and with other developmental disabilities (DD), still taboo? The American Academy of Pediatrics states, “Sexual development is a...
3 people
Tue, September 13, 2016
If you see Charles Hunter and Ellen Coren enjoying a meal together in Queens or just window shopping at the mall, chances are YAI's Stephen Middleton, a Direct Support Professional, will be there, too.
Photograph of Mary Lou
Tue, July 05, 2016
It didn't take long for Jennifer Segreti, Assistant Supervisor at YAI's Woodycrest IRA, to realize she had to make this happen. Mary Lou Odell, a person Jennifer supports at the home, is a huge fan of The Monkees, a rock'n'roll band from the 1960s who also had their own television sitcom. The Monkees were coming to New York City as part of their 50th anniversary tour.
Photograph of Danielle
Thu, June 02, 2016
Danielle Angiolillo kept it hidden under her bed at YAI’s Rye Brook Residence. Her artwork was private; she just did not think it was special. For years, she would share her drawings only with family. That is, until a YAI staff member took interest in Danielle’s talent. While seeking certification as a Person-Centered Planner, YAI’s Betsy Williams had a conversation with Danielle to develop a person-centered plan.
jobi and parents
Fri, May 13, 2016
"After all the things I've been through, this is one of the most rewarding things I've done in my 25 years of practice." — Kurt Widmaier Widmaier, the court-appointed guardian for Johnathan Elias, had just assisted his move from a residential school in Yonkers to YAI's Deer Park Residence, which opened Monday, in Long Island.
Mon, April 02, 2012
When trees begin to blossom and warm weather rolls in I start to get really excited for summer. Not for the beach or extravagant vacations. This means that summer camp is near and for years and years that meant packing a trunk crammed with nalgene bottles, as many socks as it could hold, crazy costumes and lots of sunblock and heading to the woods. As a child, this was usually for 2 or 3 weeks at a time, as a teenager a month, and as a counselor and group leader for 10 glorious weeks during...
Tue, April 17, 2012
Person: “What do you do for a living?” Me: “I am an Occupational Therapist.” Person: “Oh … you help people get jobs?” or “That is basically a Physical Therapist right?” or “Can I get a massage?” This conversation plays out more frequently than I would prefer to admit. So, because April is Occupational Therapy Month, I am celebrating with a clarification of what OT is and what we do here at the Center for Specialty Therapy. I can think of no better way to explain OT than through the words of our...


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