By Alanna Hendren, Executive Director of Developmental Disabilities Association

Being stuck in solitary confinement gives me a lot of extra time to think, so I spend a lot of time thinking about you and how grateful I am that DDA staff have stepped up during this COVID pandemic to ensure our job continues to get done.

I am grateful to everyone in Residential Services who are in the trenches and keeping everyone as healthy as possible.  I’m thankful for our Community Services – Day Programs, Respite, Home Share, Family Support and Employment Services – for adapting their supports to the reality of social distancing with Outreach and other service models – even food deliveries. They are still getting people jobs – stocking shelves in grocery stores. Starworks is packaging hand sanitizer and masks for healthcare workers.

I think of how fortunate we are to have Infant Development Program staff who can adapt to teleconsultations and child care staff, who continue to provide supports for essential service workers at hospitals and elsewhere.  Our Accounting Department continues to pay our bills, process incoming revenue, wrap up fiscal year-end and prepare for our annual audit – not so easy working from home. With so many people working remotely, I am very grateful to our IT department for keeping our computer systems running and keeping us all connected

It appears that current Public Health regulations about social distancing will continue in place, at least for the month of April, but likely later. It sounds like everyone has adjusted to this new normal though, living the mission of DDA every day in spite of the obstacles we face. Although I feel a bit disconnected working remotely, I am hearing many great stories about the ways you have adapted to this massive change in the way we are living and working.

I sincerely thank and appreciate everyone who remains on the front lines, putting the welfare of others above yourselves. Now everyone can see what heroes you have always been.

I hope everyone stays safe and you are finding new ways to enjoy spring.

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