Given the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic, we have replaced QSAC's homepage for the duration of the situation. You can still view QSAC's regular website by clicking any of the links on the above navigation bar.
Updated: March 25, 2020 at 5:00pm
To All Group Home Families:
We find ourselves in an unprecedented situation and we want you to know that the health and safety of your family member is our top priority. As directed by the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities, effective today, March 25, 2020, we must temporarily suspend all home visits.
If you decide that your family member will visit you, we are unable to provide an exact date when this restriction will be lifted and when your family member will be able to return to the group home. If you have any questions, please email email@example.com.
A Letter from QSAC's Management Team
March 24, 2020
Dear Families and Employees:
We hope that this message finds you and your loved ones safe and well.
As you know, we find ourselves in an unprecedented situation. COVID-19 (coronavirus) has changed life as we know it and has caused unforeseen anxiety and challenges for many New Yorkers. We recognize that this public health crisis has posed significant difficulties for families, individuals we serve, and QSAC’s employees. Along with other members of the agency’s leadership team, we continue to take actions to ensure the health and safety of the individuals we serve and our employees.
This crisis has also brought out the very best in people. We are encouraged by the many direct support professionals and other staff members who continue to support the agency’s mission and operations. Your continued willingness to ensure continuity of services for individuals we support is inspiring and a testament to your humanity.
Sadly, there is still a lack of clarity as to when the COVID-19 situation will be under control. In light of this, the days ahead will be challenging, however, as New Yorkers we are resilient, resourceful, and hopeful. Together, we will overcome the crisis before us.
This crisis continues to present us with a number of unknowns. Even in the face of this uncertainty, we remain committed to providing programs and services of the highest quality for the autism community of New York City and Long Island.
We will continue to keep you posted regarding COVID-19’s impact on QSAC. You and your families are in our thoughts during this difficult time. We remain grateful for your commitment to QSAC and the autism community.
Lisa A. Veglia, LCSW, MPA, SAS
Chief Executive Officer
President and Chief Operating Officer
Effective Saturday, March 21, 2020 at 8:00 pm, Governor Cuomo has issued an Executive Order that sets forth work restrictions until further notice. Specifically, NYS residents are not allowed to travel unless they are considered Essential Health Care Workers, which include OPWDD Group Home staff, staff that work in families homes and administrative staff to support the essential functions to operate QSAC. Failure to comply with this mandate may subject you to a civil fine.
Additional information regarding your work status will be communicated prior to Monday. All group home staff and in home staff currently working should continue to work.
All staff will receive an email with an attachment that indicates you are an Essential Health Care Worker as well as a letter from Lisa Veglia and Cory Polshansky indicating that you are able to travel to/from work. Only staff who continue working should furnish this upon request. In addition, all staff must carry their QSAC IDs.
CityMD has closed several locations throughout the region. Please view CityMD's website for the most up-to-date information regarding those locations that are open.
To all group home families, effective immediately, as directed by the NYS Office of People With Developmental Disabilities, all visits to group homes are suspended until further notice. We highly discourage having your son/daughter visit you at your home.
Effective Wednesday, March 18, 2020 all QSAC day habilitation programs will be closed until further notice. If you're family member lives at home with you and you are interested in Day Habilitation services at your home, please email DayhabAtHome@qsac.com with your details and we will be in touch. For any other questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In accordance with the New York City Department of Education as well as Nassau and Suffolk counties, QSAC’s early intervention, SEIT, SETSS, preschool, school, after school, and after day programs will be CLOSED beginning Monday, March 16, 2020 and will remain closed until notified otherwise.
At-Home Learning Resources
During this unprecedented crisis, we recognize that families may be seeking educational resources to use in supporting at-home learning while schools and other programs are closed. Below you will find a series of resources, websites, and mobile applications that may be helpful. We will continue to update this with new resources.
Resources for Children and Students
BrainPop: This website offers web-based educational resources for an array of subjects including social studies, science, math, English, arts and music, health, engineering, and technology. Currently, they are offering free memberships for families.
ExploreWork: ExploreWork offers online courses focused on career planning and the development of work skills for students with disabilities. The website is a collaboration between George Washington University and the Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center (WINTAC). The website is free.
Skills to Pay the Bills: This downloadable workbook provides tips, strategies, and activities for helping students learn and practice soft skills for the workplace. This resource is free.
Storyline: The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s award-winning children’s literacy website, Storyline Online, streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. Readers include Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, James Earl Jones, Betty White and dozens more.
Resources for Adults
Resource Folder: This Google Drive folder contains an array of resources that can be used to support skill development. The resource provides an extensive selection of websites, applications, social stories, videos, visual supports, worksheets, and workbooks.
Google Arts and Culture: Google Arts & Culture is an online platform through which the public can access high-resolution images of artworks housed in the initiative's partner museums. You can also take virtual tours of some of the world's most famous museums and historical sites. This resource is free.
Computer Literacy (Online Course): Northstar Digital Literacy has made its Basic Computer Literacy course available online for free for a limited time in response to the coronavirus/COVID-19. If you are interested in getting access to other features/courses, please email Joseph Amodeo at email@example.com.
Monterey Bay Aquarium Live Stream: Be delighted by the antics of the aquarium's sea otters or mellow out to the hypnotic drifting of our jellies. With ten live cams to choose from, you can experience the wonder of the ocean no matter where you are. The website is free.
Virtual Tour of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History: Dinosaurs! Snakes in jars! Giant diamonds! Our suggestions: The Ocean Hall, The Hall of Mammals, and the Hall of Fossils. Or, mix it up with minerals.