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  • Kevin Mcguckin

News Notes from the CEO

Updated: Mar 19

We are coming to the month of March & hopefully Spring is around the corner. Some of us are probably glad to see February gone with the cold & snow. March is the month when spring officially begins and Daylight Savings takes root typically the second Sunday in the month. It can be a dramatic month with sometimes wild and shifting weather as Mother Nature tries to shed her winter coat. But as the seasons change from winter to spring, it's the perfect time to review & reflect on how the Pandemic has brought many challenges to Arkay.

As we continue through the pandemic. the future is looking brighter for all of us due to the vaccine. At this point in time, Arkay has had approximately 40% of our staff receiving the 2nd COVID vaccine. This tells us that someday in the future we will get back to normal. Currently, Arkay is at 25% of our former consumer capacity, & we hope to grow are consumer base further in a safe & healthy environment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state of Michigan have established a prioritized list of who will get the vaccine and in what order. The priority groups may be revised by the state of Michigan. Wayne County will follow MDHHS guidance on this distribution strategy and priority group classification.

The Michigan Disability Rights Coalition signed on to a Jan. 14 letter written by Self Advocates of Michigan, a group that advocates for the rights of people with disabilities, pushing state officials to move people with disabilities higher on the priority list and ensure they can get to vaccine sites safely. In Detroit, residents with documented intellectual or developmental disabilities were eligible for vaccines on Feb. 11 is expanding COVID vaccine eligibility to residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Mayor said residents 18+ with disabilities can call to schedule an appointment at the TCF center for next week. Wayne County Public Health is presently vaccinating individuals in Phase 1A and select subgroups of Phase 1B of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan. Wayne County seniors are also eligible to receive the vaccine. Seniors should coordinate with their hospital group or Meijer to schedule a vaccine appointment. Supplies are still limited to all providers so please be patient.

Virtual Skill Building & Supported Employment

Again, if you have a loved one who can't attend in person, Arkay has virtual skill building (VSB) which can assist your loved one. I want to emphasize VSB because it would be so good for your love one to interact & learn with others during this time period. We have a great team who has put together a great curriculum for the people we serve. I really think you would enjoy being part of this program. These sessions have been very welcomed by our participants. Our team is very dedicated to helping our consumers to connect with others using technology. Please make note: Arkay has received funding to work on a new curriculum for our consumers.

Lastly, consider setting aside part of your budget to support the work of Arkay with a tax-deductible charitable donation. We’ve simplified the donation procedure, allowing supporters to donate online or by mail. Visit www.miarkay.org to make a gift using a credit card or send a check to Arkay. Every gift matters. We thank you in advance for responding to this need.

Very Sincerely,

Kevin McGuckin Arkay CEO

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