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Arc founding member Mary Derby (left) and current Board member Cheryl Englert

 


Executive Director Chris Peterson highlights an incredible accomplishment

 

 

 

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Independence is the Greatest Holiday Gift for Arc Consumers

There's no place like home for the holidays.

 

Nowhere do those words ring more true than in the hamlet of Lakeville, NY, where six maturing community members with disabilities are able to celebrate the season in a newly constructed home that allows them to live as independently as possible in a community-based setting.

 

Just days before Thanksgiving, the six residents together opened the Turtle Rock Road IRA (Individualized Residential Alternative) with the symbolic cutting of a red ribbon at their new home, located in the northeast corner of Livonia. The first of the housemates moved in Monday, November 12, the same day that the ceremony was attended by more than 40 people, including families, friends, community members, and staff.

 

The Turtle Rock IRA, the newest of 13 residences operated by The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming, is home to people who range in age from 42 to 72. The 3,638 square-foot ranch home is fully handicap accessible, including a barrier-free design for wheelchair mobility, automatic door openers, widened doorways, lowered counter spaces, and roll-in showers. Certified by the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD) Department of Quality Assurance as a Chapter 21 Impractical Facility, it also includes a sophisticated sprinkler system, in addition to a hardwired smoke and heat detection system.

 

For Mary Derby, of Geneseo, it is a milestone in providing appropriate living conditions for members of a constantly evolving population. "The job is never done, but the ribbon cutting certainly makes us proud to know that we've accomplished something significant in this county," Derby says.

 

A long-time advocate for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities, Derby founded The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming in 1961 as part of a small group of parents. Spurred by the need for children's services, the group’s mission soon grew to encompass vocational and residential services for all ages, among other programs that continue to thrive.

 

Derby remains actively involved on local and state levels for the benefit of people with disabilities. She has served on the OMRDD Commissioner's Task Force on Aging, where for years she campaigned to move older, less ambulatory consumers from a multi-story group home on Route 408 in Mount Morris into a home that ultimately would become the Turtle Rock IRA.

 

The Turtle Rock IRA is the first Arc of Livingston-Wyoming residence to be funded through OPTS (Options for People Through Services), an OMRDD program designed to help provide individuals receiving services and the agencies that serve them with affordable options that promote inclusion and personal choice. It is also the first Arc of Livingston-Wyoming residence in the Town of Livonia. Larry Levey Contracting of Geneseo was the general contractor for the project, and SWBR Architects of Rochester was the architectural firm. Prior to the Turtle Rock project, SWBR served as architect for The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming's Eric Grammas IRA, located on Groveland Road in Geneseo.

 

The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming is the two-county region’s largest not-for-profit organization serving people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. Its Residential program provides safe, secure community housing for consumers of all ages and abilities. The program is in a period of dynamic growth, with the next Arc of Livingston-Wyoming IRA already scheduled to open December 4 on Morse Street in Dansville. The agency is currently accepting for positions within the program, and for positions on the Residential committee of the agency’s Board of Directors.

 

For information on how to apply, or to learn more about any Arc of Livingston-Wyoming program, contact Public Relations Director Jeff Thomas at jthomas@lwarc.org or (585) 658-2828 ext. 128.