A message from our CEO, Denise Daviau
New for 2023: Inclement Weather Text Alerts
This year we are excited to announce that we can now text inclement weather updates. On a storm-by-storm basis, based on available data regarding weather conditions, SARAH Inc. may announce a 90-minute delay or a full closure for our Adult Services programs.
To sign up for our weather alerts, text the word “delay” to 860-850-8570 to be enrolled automatically. You will receive an automated response confirming that you have been added to the list.
Delay announcements will also be available through WFSB Channel 3 and WTNH Channel 8.
National Disability Employment Awareness Month
October was National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). This is a time to celebrate the contributions of people with differing abilities to the nation’s workforce. NDEAM is also an important time to spread awareness and education about the importance of access to employment within the disability community.
Organizations across the nation continue to have a strong focus on improved inclusion, equity, diversity, and access. The US Department of Labor designated this year’s theme “Disability; Part of the Equity Equation.”
SARAH Inc. remains committed to providing excellent support and advocating for disabled individuals and their rights to obtain quality employment. Our Employment Services Programs provide in-depth, customized support to individuals seeking employment. We celebrate the positive impact SARAH Inc. supported workers have made throughout our community businesses, both past, and present.
In December, we celebrated our first-ever Holiday Bash in our Westbrook location. We had the pleasure of inviting individuals from the Region 6, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook school districts to visit the program and enjoy fun activities such as a photo booth, cookie decorating, and more! This allowed individuals to experience our Enrichment Program in an engaging and unique way.
Throughout the year, the individuals in our Enrichment Services have participated in various activities and created lifelong memories with their friends. Participants in this program have spent their time volunteering in their communities, developing their life and social skills, and experiencing life-enhancing opportunities.
One fun activity this fall was learning how to make delicious baked foods. Activities like this allow individuals to gain independence throughout their daily lives.
KIDSTEPS Early Intervention Services
SARAH Inc. KIDSTEPS received grant funds from the Frank Loomis Palmer Fund, which helped us purchase Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Kits. The AAC kits are made up of several tools that help children communicate with those in their environment. Research shows that children with access to these materials have success with communication. Success can be seen in things such as a child learning to use facial expressions, pointing, and sign language to express their needs. It can also be more complex, such as a device that uses eye gaze to generate spoken words through an iPad. Each child’s needs and experience will be different.
Since implementing these kits, we have seen multiple children and their families succeed with their communication goals. The following video highlights how our AAC kits are utilized.
Annual Nonprofit Stars Align Award Recipient
In November, we enjoyed attending the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce’s 6th Annual Nonprofit Stars Align Awards and The Big Connect 2022. Congratulations to Samantha Fazzino, a SARAH Inc. KIDSTEPS employee, for being a graduate student grant recipient!
How to Request an Evaluation
To request a Birth to Three early intervention evaluation, you can:
A.) Call the toll-free intake phone number at Child Development Infoline at 1-800-505-7000
B.) Complete the online referral form on the Birth to Three System website, 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 a specific services provider to do an evaluation, you can request them by name during the intake process. Otherwise, your child will be assigned to the program in your town that is next on rotation. If you have any questions, please contact us at 203-453-7592.
Additional SARAH Inc. News
ANCOR Policy Summit & Hill Day
In October, George Reid-Perry, SARAH Inc.’s Sr. Director of Adult Services, attended the ANCOR 2022 Policy Summit & Hill Day in Washington. This important event brought together 200 national leaders to discuss the current state and future of community disability services.
When we asked George about his experience at the ANCOR Policy Summit, he responded: “Being able to participate in the ANCOR Policy Summit provided me with the opportunity to learn about legislative priorities at the Federal level impacting services that SARAH Inc. provides every day. Interfacing with representatives of Connecticut’s legislative bodies, especially our two Senators, ensures we have a seat at the table when it comes to advocating for meaningful change at the State level.”
As an agency, we were proud to have been a part of this event; however, our work is far from over. We are preparing for Connecticut’s 2023 Legislative Session. The Legislative Session is a time when we ensure our voices are heard. This year we will continue to advocate for much-needed funding increases for non-profits, including early intervention services.
To learn more about the 2022 Policy Summit & Hill Day, click here: https://www.ancor.org/event/2022summit/
SARAH Inc. Featured on NHTV
Recently, George Reid-Perry, Sr. Director of Adult Services, and Julie Hall, Sr. Director of Children & Family Services, spoke with Bernadette Welsh from North Haven TV (NHTV) to discuss the importance of our KIDSTEPS program. To see more, click the link below.
SARAH Solutions Podcast
In recognition of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (#NDEAM), our October podcast episode discusses employment and the disability community. This podcast features SARAH Inc.’s Jen Kostek, Intakes and Special Projects Coordinator. With over a decade of experience in our employment programs, Jen is the right person to help us understand the immense value that people with differing abilities bring to businesses that employ them. In this episode, Gaining Independence: Tips for Stepping into the Workforce, she also gives a detailed look into how SARAH Inc. helps individuals identify their scope of capabilities, establish a career plan, and lead them toward gaining newfound independence.
Join Our Team
If you have any questions about an open role, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected] before you submit your application. We look forward to hearing from you!
Thank you Donors
Every year, we are grateful for the support we receive, and 2022 was filled with generosity and growth.
Closing out the year, SARAH Inc. hosted our annual Make a Difference and Giving Tuesday campaigns to raise funds for the children and adults receiving SARAH supports. Thanks to you, we are happy to say this was the best year-end fundraiser SARAH Inc. has had to date. Thank you to Tower Laboratories for being our matching Make a Difference donor. The funds raised return to the programs so we can continue providing high-quality support to those who need it.
SARAH Inc. would also like to thank the Shoreline Ladies Golf Foundation for donating this Fall. Every gift positively impacts more than 1700 children and adults throughout Connecticut. We thank everyone for their continued support now and during the entire year.