Fall 2021 News and Updates

Denise - CEO of SARAH Inc.

A Message from the CEO, Denise Daviau (previously Denise Henry)

Fall is upon us once again. As the days become shorter and the temperatures become cooler, we are reminded of the familiar ease in which we can embrace change together. It is important that during these times of change, we reflect on how we have grown and celebrate our successes. This summer our team remained focused on monitoring COVID-19 and updating policies to keep everyone safe, we expanded our services to Orange, Ct., we gained meaningful feedback from you all in our exploratory autism survey, and much more. In addition, this summer I have changed my surname back to my maiden name, which is Daviau (pronounced day-view).


Stay tuned for our next newsletter this winter, in which we will catch you up on all the great things that SARAH Inc. experiences this fall.

Catch Up On All Things Happening At SARAH Inc.!

Employment Services Expand to Orange, Connecticut

This month SARAH Inc.’s Employment Services Program officially expanded into Orange, Connecticut! Over the summer our team worked diligently with the town of Orange and a great group of adults to secure an expansion of our Transitional Services. We are excited about this opportunity and the town has been extremely welcoming. We already have a few community partners including the Orange Food Bank, the Orange Senior Center, and the Orange Parks and Recreation Center. This is a tremendous start for this expansion, and we are excited to see this program continue to grow.

SARAH Inc.’s Transitional Services Program uses a multifaceted approach to help adults with disabilities reach their employment goals. This is a 100% community-based program that gives us the opportunity to work with other companies throughout the state. We use a combination of community assessment sites, an online interactive training curriculum, and internships to help individuals learn the skills needed to quality for their ideal job. Within this program adults learn about all aspects required to find gainful employment. This includes resume building, full interview prep, transportation practice, and more. In addition, through internships with community partners these adults learn invaluable, hands on, job skills.

If you, or someone you know, are a business owner near Orange, Connecticut, and want to partner with SARAH Inc., please reach out directly to Stephanie Cona, Marketing and Communications Manager, at 860-399-1888 ext. 324. We are look forward to furthering our relationship with this community and helping individuals find meaningful connections to their local communities.

Additional Adult Services Updates

It was another summer filled with great memories for our Adult Services programs. Between volunteering out in the community, expanding our skillsets and interviewing for jobs, participating in art therapy, Equestrian, and nutrition classes: we certainly stayed busy! One of the highlights of our summer was certainly the third week of September (September 12th – September 18th), when we celebrated Direct Support Professional Week 2021 together. 

DSP Week 2021 was one for the books! SARAH Inc. would not be the agency we are today without our incredible direct support staff.

We were thankful for the opportunity to celebrate with our staff and show our appreciation. It was a week filled with giveaways, sweet surprises, and messages of gratitude from our leadership. We recognize the dedication and compassion that our direct support professionals demonstrate in their roles each day. The results of their hard work are directly reflected in the remarkable impact that is made in the lives of those we serve.

As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic created several unforeseen challenges. During this time of uncertainty, our direct support professionals stepped up and made a tremendous effort to continue delivering the high-quality services we are known for. Amid the many challenges that we faced this year, our agency was able to operate successfully, improve our services, and even grow our programs. None of this would have been possible without our direct support professionals. So once again, we say thank you!

Check out our videos celebrating our direct support professionals and all the memories we created this year. Featured in these videos are messages of appreciation from our managers, directors, board members, and our CEO. 

Part 1

Featured thank you clips in this video include:

April Bowman – Westbrook Program Manager
The Employment Management team & Jen Kostek – Director of Employment Services
Dan Brill – President of the SARAH Inc. Board of Directors

Part 2

Featured thank you clips in this video include:

Laura Fitzgerald – Madison Program Manager
George Reid-Perry – Sr. Director of Adult Services
Joseph Norris III. – Member of the SARAH Inc. Board of Directors

Part 3

Featured thank you clips in this video include:

Diana Acevedo – Community Supports Program Manager
Maria Edson – North Haven Program Manager
Terrell Goforth – Director of Enrichment Services
Denise Daviau – CEO

In addition, we are happy to announce some of our DSPs made it on this year’s ANCOR Virtual Kudos Board. This Kudos Board was a place in which multiple of our staff members were nominated and given a shout-outs for all of their work throughout the year.

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Nutrition Class - Coming Soon to Madison

After the success of the summer Nutrition class at our Westbrook program, we are excited to announce that Kara Pachniuk MS, CNS from Nourish and Nosh Nutrition will be returning to SARAH Inc. to host another nutrition class this fall for the adults in our Madison program. We cannot wait to welcome Kara to our Madison program, and we look forward to sharing more about the class in our next newsletter. Those who attend will learn all about nutrition, health, cooking, and living a balanced lifestyle. 

KIDSTEPS Early Intervention Services

The KIDSTEPS Early Intervention program is designed to help parents support their child’s development and become their best advocate. Our program uses parent coaching and hands-on techniques to aid in a child’s development through the early stages of their lives. This summer we spoke to Neetra, a mother of a child in our program. We asked her how things were going and what are some of the lessons learned from being a part of our program. One of the biggest lessons learned for Neetra is knowing how to adjust to the needs of her daughter, Kynzley, in unfamiliar situations. 

One of the biggest take-aways for me, is that it is easier to change the environment than change a behavior. I have noticed this the most when I take Kynzley to unfamiliar places. When she get’s overwhelmed, it is much easier to take her out of the situation, and change her environment than try to get her to change how she is acting. I have learned to keep it comfortable for Kynzley.

Neetra shared a result of working with her therapist from KIDSTEPS, “I have identified ways to more easily introduce Kynzley to new places. I now try to introduce her to unfamiliar places by identifying things that are familiar to her before we go. Places such as the food store or CVS, I take the opportunity to tell her what we are doing before we go and tell her things she knows there, such as ‘we will get apples and bananas’. I have learned that we go at Kynzley’s pace and it is her pace that works for us all, not the pace we want her to go.

I have learned that each routine and activity is more of a journey than anything.

The partnership between the parent and their child’s therapist(s) is key in our Birth to Three program. For the family to achieve their goals, we work as a team to identify and support the milestones the family identifies as critical. We are grateful to know Neetra and Kynzley, and we are tremendously excited to see the growth and love that they share as a family.

To request a Birth to Three Early Intervention evaluation you can:
A) Call the toll-free intake phone number at Child Development Infoline 1-800-505-7000
B) Complete the online referral form on the Birth to Three System web site www.birth23.org
C) Download the referral form from the Birth to Three Website and Fax your referral to 1-800-571-6853

If you would like KIDSTEPS to provide the evaluation you must request us by name during the intake process. Otherwise, your child will be assigned to the program in your town that is next on rotation. Please contact the us at (860) 399-1888 ext. 324 if you have any questions.

Other Happenings at SARAH Inc.

One of the best aspects of our programs is our connection to our local communities. We take pride in having close relationships with dozens of community partners and this year we are looking for a way to give back. From October 11th to October 29th, we will be hosting our Helpful Harvest Food Drive. We are collecting a variety of non-perishable healthy food items and personal care items that will be donated to the Connecticut Food Bank.

To donate to the Helpful Harvest Food Drive, you can bring your items to one of our SARAH Inc. locations. 

We have three locations throughout Connecticut:

1620 Boston Post Road
Westbrook, CT 06498
(860) 399-1888

51 Boston Post Road, Unit #1
Madison, CT 06443
(203) 318-5206

North Haven
556 Washington Avenue
North Haven, CT 06473
(203) 234-0248

Here are some recommended food items and non-perishables. For the full list of suggested items, see our promotional flyer.

  • Canned Vegetables
  • Canned Tomatoes
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Canned Fruit
  • Apple Sauce
  • Whole Grain/Wheat Pasta
  • Brown/Wild Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Whole Grain Cereals
  • Popcorn
  • Peanut Butter and/or Jelly
  • Canned beans, tuna, chicken
  • Nuts or Seeds
  • Lite salad dressings
  • Vinegar

Breast Cancer Awareness Pink Tee Shirt Sales

October starts this week, and we are excited to announce that once again SARAH Inc. is going pink! We are bringing back our Breast Cancer Awareness Pink Tee Shirt sales! From now until November we are selling our limited-edition pink breast cancer tee shirts. These shirts are only $12 and quantities are limited so make sure you order now.

Please email us directly at scona@sarah-inc.org or call us at (860) 399-1888 ext. 324 to order yours today.  We will accept cash or credit card purchases.

All orders must be picked up at one of SARAH Inc.’s locations:

1620 Boston Post Road
Westbrook, CT 06498
(860) 399-1888

51 Boston Post Road, Unit #1
Madison, CT 06443
(203) 318-5206

North Haven
556 Washington Avenue
North Haven, CT 06473
(203) 234-0248

Thank You for Taking our Autism Services Survey

We want to give a tremendous thank you to everyone that helped with our Autism Services Survey, whether you took the time to answer the questions or just shared it in your networks. We are always looking for ways to improve the services we provide to the children and adults in our programs. Over the last year we have expanded the reach of our Autism Services, but we want to make sure we are providing the services most needed. So again – thank you for all your support with this survey and through the years here at SARAH Inc.

SARAH Solutions Podcast: Ninety-Nine Percent Effective


This summer we released the first ever sibling series on our show. The sibling series
focused on all aspects of growing up as/with a sibling with a disability. The success and interest of the series inspired us to reach out to our two friends Gabby and Amanda.

Over the next several weeks we will be posting shorts featuring these two sisters, and best friends, discussing the real-life situations they have experienced together. This short is just an intro – who they are and where they come from! We hope you enjoy.

If you enjoy this short stay tuned, we will be releasing the next episode Friday, October 1st! You can find that episode and all other episodes here: https://ninetyninepercenteffective.podbean.com/