AABR Inc., one of the largest service providers for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities based in College Point, is inviting people to attend their weekly open houses, as they look to help more people in the community who may benefit from their services.
AABR, located at 1508 College Point Blvd., was founded in 1956 and has blossomed into a leading service provider for individuals with developmental disabilities in the New York Metropolitan region, according to its website.
Since its founding, AABR opened 23 residential facilities throughout NYC, founded the New York Child Learning Institute, a pioneering school for children with autism, as well as day and vocational programs that serve unmet needs throughout the region.
“While the programs are in St. Albans and South Ozone Park, our spacious site-based programs are filled with individuals of various primary and secondary diagnoses who come from all across New York City,” said AABR CEO Libby Traynor.
Recently, Gwen Sachs came to an open house to find a program for her son. Before finishing the tour, Sachs said she knew it was the place for him.
“I knew immediately. It felt like I’d be leaving him with family. I know that my son will be respected, taken care of, and thrive. Everyone was friendly and giving of themselves. The atmosphere was wonderful,” Sachs said. “The cherry on top was the assistant director, Michele, who gave us the tour. Not only did she know everyone by name and everything about them, she has family members with disabilities herself, so she understands what we are going through.”
AABR’s day programs offer individuals with special needs an excellent and unique experience, providing a healthy balance between education, inclusion and recreation. For each individual, AABR has something different that maximizes their personal growth through developing a lifestyle of productivity, education, leisure and empowerment.
Michael Arnold, director of day programs, said they try to offer as much as possible, from health and hygiene to arts and sports.
“We even have our own choir, and some individuals have jobs in the community,” Arnold said.
Traynor added, “Our support team is filled with good-hearted direct service professionals, clinicians and administrators. They are a well-oiled machine who are on-site orchestrating daily plans.”
The Saint Alban’s site could potentially serve 180 individuals, while the brand-new South Ozone Park site, which just opened last year, could serve 136.
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, there are many empty seats, according to Traynor.
“The pandemic hit us hard, and a lot of families aren’t ready to come back. But we’re ready, and at full force, so we’d like to see some new faces come through our doors,” Traynor said.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Traynor said they’re focusing on health, hygiene and specific protocols as they return to normalcy.
“We’re getting back into the community. Individuals can earn real paychecks at work sites or volunteer with local organizations. Our hired drivers are transporting individuals safely and comfortably on community trips,” Arnold said.
For more information about AABR day habilitation programs and open house dates, contact the director of admissions, Nigeria Worthington, at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit aabr.org/dayhab or call 718-321-3800.