The Broome-Tioga Chapter of NYSARC, Inc. DBA ACHIEVE, was organized and chartered by the State Association in 1952. An organization of parents and friends of the mentally retarded, the agency’s mission is:
To provide leadership, advocacy and opportunities which enable persons with developmental disabilities and their families to enhance the quality of their lives. To this end, all of our services help to advance the skill levels of our participants, promote inclusion, integration and socialization, and encourage independence.
In partnership with business, education, government and other community organizations, ACHIEVE is a leader in promoting the abilities of persons with developmental disabilities, in working to influence legislation relating to this part of the population, and in increasing their acceptance as valued members of the community.
In partnership with families, ACHIEVE is an advocate for persons with developmental disabilities in problem resolution, in identifying unmet needs, and in obtaining needed services.
In partnership with persons with developmental disabilities, ACHIEVE provides opportunities in employment, housing, family living and social activities while maintaining choice, safety and respect.
ACHIEVE is a private, tax exempt, not for profit corporation. Funding is obtained primarily through the NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. Other funding sources include private contributions, Broome County as a county contract agency, the NYS Office of Vocational & Educational Rehabilitation Services for Individuals with Disabilities with fees for services, and subcontract work from a number of community industries.
The original goal of the agency was to provide educational services to children excluded from the school system because of mental retardation. This program grew in size over the years until the state education laws mandated establishment of classes within the educational system for all handicapped children from ages 5-21.
It became obvious early on that a program that developed vocational skills was needed to accommodate the individuals who were approaching adulthood and coming out of the school system. A Work Activities Program that focused on vocational training and social skills appropriate for adulthood was established in 1964, with 10 adults.
The Sheltered Workshop/Vocational Training Program has experienced tremendous growth and expansion throughout the years. The vocational training and contract work has become more diversified and sophisticated. As the types of contracts and contract needs changed and the number of participants increased, the agency established several satellite workshops in the 1980s until it secured adequate funding to open the Tioga County Multi Functional Facility in 1994 and consolidate workshop operations by constructing the Lester Avenue Facility in Johnson City, which opened in 1997.
A Supported Employment Program that provides assistance to individuals with vocational opportunities with community employers was established in 1987 with grant funding through VESID and OMRDD. Currently, ACHIEVE’s CVI program provides vocational training and transitional work employment to adults aged 21 and over at its three facilities (Lester Avenue, Cutler Pond Road and Tioga) and provides Supported Employment Services to 68 individuals who are actively working in jobs, with an additional 28 people participating in job assessment or development.
During the 1980s, although the agency’s day services were exclusively focused on Vocational Programs, it became apparent that there were significant gaps in the continuum of services available to the mentally retarded population, particularly those who lived in the community and were involved with the Developmental Center and who needed concentrated training in development of daily and independent living skills rather than vocational training.
ACHIEVE opened a Pre-vocational Day Training Program for 25 people, operating at two different sites, both in Broome and Tioga Counties in late 1985 and early 1986. ACHIEVE also opened a Day Treatment Program for 40 individuals in June of 1986, and increased its certified capacity to 75 in July 1988 with the opening of the new Day Treatment Center.
Concerns by parents regarding the future of their sons and daughters in terms of living arrangements, supportive counseling, etc., were seen as areas that the agency should address. This led to the establishment in 1977 of the first Community Residence at 152 Chapin Street in Binghamton. The Broad Street residence opened during the latter part of 1977 with the 73 Main Street residence opening during the spring of 1978.
With the assistance of special member item grants from New York State Senator Libous, respite beds were opened at Broad Street (1993) and Carlton Street (1997) to provide families with the option of overnight respite for emergencies or planned vacations.
Under NY CARES, an initiative sponsored by Governor Pataki to reduce residential waiting lists for people living at home, the agency has opened five new residences since 2000. Specifically:
Patterson Court – 2000 Rose Lane (2005)
Wildwood Drive – 2001 Sunset Drive (2005)
Clarkson Drive – 2002
At the present time, the agency operates 12 residences and one supervised apartment program serving 104 individuals in Broome and Tioga Counties. The program also oversees 10 individuals in Supportive Apartments, and four people in the Individualized Supportive Sites.
ACHIEVE began a Summer Recreation Program in 1954 for children who were developmentally disabled. This remained under ACHIEVE sponsorship until 1972 when the Chenango Forks school district took over the program with the purpose of serving all handicapped children in the local community.
In 1982, the agency was asked to resume sponsorship of the Children’s Summer Program. This program is funded by community development block grant monies, contributions from private donors, service groups in the community, and some state monies. This program provides a six-week activities and recreational day camp for handicapped children ages 5-21, in Broome County. Its purpose is to ensure a continuum of developmental services between school sessions in order that the handicapped children involved will maintain or increase levels they achieved during the school year. The camp serves between 150 and 200 children during the four-day, six-week session.
When an individual reaches the age of 18, they are assumed to be legally competent and able to manage their affairs. Guardianship enables parents/families to legally act as advocates for those individuals who need assistance with decision making and managing their affairs.
In 1987, the ACHIEVE established a Chapter Guardianship Program through NYSARC, Inc. that allows NYSARC through the Chapter to act as guardian, standby guardian or alternate standby guardian for individuals/families who have no one else to act as guardian for their child.
The ACHIEVE program also provides information and assistance to families who are in need of Guardianship services. ACHIEVE staff are available to meet with parents/families who would like more information on what Guardianship is and how to establish Guardianship.
FAMILY SUPPORT SERVICES
Established in 1989, the purposes of the Family Support Services Program is to provide assistance and support to families having a person with mental retardation/developmental disability who resides at home. Family Support Services offers an array of services including: General Family Assistance Services, Environmental/Home Modifications Adaptive Equipment, Party Night Program, and Family Support Group as well as in-home respite and residential habilitation services.
MEDICAID SERVICE COORDINATION
Medicaid Service Coordination (MSC) is a program designed to provide assistance and advocacy in many areas, including finding a day program, medical providers, residential placement, recreational activities, financial supports (such as SSI or food stamps), respite, etc., joining groups or organizations and promoting relationships in the community with businesses (such as hairdressers, pharmacists, etc.).
Read Our Positions Statement
Best Bagels Fundraiser to Benefit ACHIEVE: Best Bagels in Town on Hooper Road in Endwell is read more
Holiday Wish List: Each year our Residential Services program puts together a “Wish read more
Sheltered Workshop Closures: As many of you may be aware, OPWDD has submitted read more