DSP Recognition Week 2020

A message from Brian Hulten, CEO to Opengate Direct Support Professionals (DSPs)

Annually we take a pause to recognize the essential job Direct Support Professionals perform. September 13-19, 2020 is designated as Direct Support Recognition Week as a national campaign to thank DSPs for all they do on a daily basis.

Join us in sharing our appreciation of the many unsung heros who truly make a difference in the lives of individuals.

Thank you to all of the Opengate DSPs who so compassionately care every day.


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COVID-19 Updates

Opengate is happy to announce that we have moved into Phase 4 of the New York Forward Reopening Plan allowing home visits, community outings and day services, and residential extended home visits under strict guidelines. (see below)

All prevention measures and procedures will continue to be monitored throughout our facilities as well as the practices of social distancing, wearing masks when needed, and frequent hand washing,

We appreciate how our staff, residents, and families have faced the challenges and hardships presented by COVID-19. Everyone stretched beyond expectations to ensure responses are carried out safely and in a timely manner. 

Please download the following documents for reference:

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Opengate Awards 2020

Historically, Opengate celebrates Awards Day with dinner, dancing and a gathering of individuals and their families along with staff members at a lovely venue. The unprecedented challenges of 2020 and COVID-19 prevented our annual social event, but in true Opengate fashion, we found a way!

Residence Managers did an outstanding job of tailoring each celebration to the interests of the residents of that house creating a festive spirit which brought enjoyment to all. In addition, outdoor parties were held on days with favorable weather accompanied by barbecues, Hawaiian shirts and tikis. Some of the residents were delighted to have favorite foods delivered to their houses.

As you can see in each photo, residents took pleasure in dressing for the occasion to proudly receive their awards and have pictures taken to commemorate their special day.

Due to COVID precautionary measures we were not able to include family members in the festivities, but we know they join with all of us to honor each individual’s accomplishments in 2020.

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30 Year Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), signed into law in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush, is landmark civil rights legislation which ensures people with disabilities are entitled to the same rights as every other American. The law and its enforcement influences all sectors of public life including employment, accessibility, and public services.

Americans are celebrating 30 years of victories as well as a shift in perspective regarding those with disabilities. The ADA has served a generation of people with disabilities and paved the way for better accessibility, education and employment options. Additionally, with the advent of social media, advocacy and awareness is reaching a new generation with information about disability rights and giving rise to expansion of the movement.

The ADA is a promise to people with disabilities that enables them to achieve their full potential and the opportunity to contribute economically and socially to their communities. At the core of the ADA is the furtherance of rights and protections overlaying all categories of disabilities and providing assistance, outreach, enforcement and the prohibition of discrimination.

“This law not only can help disabled individuals learn about our rights, but I think also can really foster a sense of dignity and pride within disabled individuals to recognize that we are not the problem, we are not the ones that need to change,”

Judy Heumann (one of the founders of the disability rights movement)

Moreover, in the span of 30 years, the ADA provided for more visibility of people with disabilities as public spaces and transportation became accessible. The social and personal impact the ADA has had on millions of American lives reflects on the last 30 years of progress. Nevertheless, there are still significant disparities in services, benefits and support which continue to be addressed.

Opengate joins advocates and other agencies in our collective mission to prepare individuals to achieve their personal outcomes with positivity, dignity, and respect. We recognize the positive impacts the ADA has made for all people with disabilities and persist in building better lives on its success.

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Employee of the Month, May 2020

We are very happy to announce the May Employee of the Month!

Sharon Oloo, Lead Counselor at ICF Gray.

Sharon received 3 nominations recognizing her dedication. She did not hesitate to volunteer to be quarantined with our first Individual exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19, and went on to volunteer a total of 3 times at different Residences and spent 28 days on campus during the Pandemic.

Sharon never complained or showed any displeasure regardless of how unpleasant the situation became but continued to be steadfast in her commitment to caring for our Individuals.  During her second quarantine, she became ill, but continued to check on the Individuals that were in her care while recuperating at home, and would also offer words of encouragement to the management team.

Once Sharon was cleared to return to work she did not hesitate to volunteer a third time to quarantine at another house.  She always made sure to communicate with the families and offered emotional support and encouragement to her peers.

Sharon has been a valued member of the Opengate family for the past 7 years and has proven to be a caring team player who believes in our vision and mission. Her tenacity, positive attitude, and work ethic in a very difficult time are unmatched.

Sharon, thank you for all that you do with the Individuals we serve. 

This recognition is well-deserved.

Employee of the Month award recipients receive a $100 bonus as a token of Opengate’s appreciation. 

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COVID-19 Updates
COVID Updates

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