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Coronavirus Updates

ACLD is committed to ensuring the health and safety of every person supported, all families, and employees. Please read the most updated information regarding the COVID-19 virus and the evolving situation.


April 6, 2020

We would like to take a moment to thank all of our staff who continue to meet the needs of our residents, while still caring for your own families. You have all stepped forward in a variety of ways to do extraordinary acts. It is in these moments that we see the compassion, humanity and love for your fellow human being shine through.

Many of our staff have stepped forward to work at the Bethpage Respite Center which opened Thursday. The first weekend went well as we were certified to open with 18 people.

In order to achieve this, we need to bring on additional staff. To learn more about the Bethpage respite Center, please click here. Please contact Kim Fakira at (516) 254-4395 if you are interested in working at the Bethpage Respite Center.

We are grateful to each and every one of you whose actions are nothing short of heroic. You are all superheroes in our eyes and we are so proud to work alongside you.

Stay safe and healthy,

Robert Ciatto, Chief Operating Officer and Robert C. Goldsmith, Executive Director


April 3, 2020

We hope you and your families are doing well and staying safe. While there has been so much grim news, we at ACLD, have seen so many uplifting moments during this crisis: from our dedicated staff coming in on their days off to assist in the homes, our community members donating needed supply, and supporters who continue to give generously. In times like these, it gives us the strength and hope to know that we will come through this together. While we continue to carry out our mission, we encourage you to follow us on Facebook to see how we are delivering programs through innovative ways.

Today, ACLD opened it’s Bethpage Respite Center to monitor the progress of residents diagnosed with COVID-19. The residents who will be placed there are those who have symptoms and don’t require hospitalization.

All staff working with patients are in full protective personal equipment such as gowns, masks, goggles/face shields, gloves and strict protocols have been created under the direction of our trained nursing staff. It is our hope that with the opening of this center, we will be able to contain the spread in the homes to further safeguard our residents.

We would not be able to continue to carry out our mission without the amazing and dedicated staff who continue to step forward to lead during this crisis. With so much uncertainty, we look to our friends and supporters to help us continue to meet the needs of all those entrusted to our care.

If you would like to make a gift to the ACLD Foundation, please click here. Your gift, no matter what size, will help us continue to meet our mission now and into the future.

Wishing you continued health,

Robert Ciatto, Chief Operating Officer and Robert C. Goldsmith, Executive Director


March 27, 2020

We hope you and your families are faring well and staying safe. ACLD continues to carry out its mission, operating its Residential Program for 400 adults with autism, intellectual and developmental disabilities across Long Island. The safety and health of our residents continues to be our priority, as this program remains staffed 24 hours a day / 7 days a week. But we need your help to continue our vital work during this crisis.

While ACLD continues to order through our normal suppliers, there has been a disruption to the supply chain and we are experiencing delays in getting much needed items to help in the fight against COVID-19. If you or anyone in your network has access to any of the following supply, please email info@acld.org:

• Masks (N95 or other)
• Surgical gowns
• Surgical gloves
• Goggle or Face Shields
• Hand Sanitizer
• Disinfecting wipes and sprays
• Oral thermometer covers

Together, with a community of support, we will get through these uncertain times. Thank you for your continued support.

Wishing you and your family good health.

Robert Ciatto, Chief Operating Officer and Robert C. Goldsmith, Executive Director


March 24, 2020

We wanted to update you on extra measures we are taking to further safe-guard your loved ones residing with us during this national emergency. As we hear from our elected officials and public health authorities, it is imperative to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus in our communities. As New York continues to see more confirmed cases of the virus, we know we will see this trend in our own communities, our own social circles, and here in our homes. We want to assure you that ACLD is prepared to handle this emergent situation and we continue to be in close contact with the Department of Health, OPWDD and local officials.

We are working closely with our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Christine Brown, and our Director of Nursing, Faith Mazzone to contain the few confirmed cases we currently have in two of our homes. Recently we updated our protocols encouraging residents to stay in their rooms in order to contain any unknown transmissions. We continue to explore ways to deliver interactive programming in coordination with our day program and residential staff , such as spending time outdoors, exercising, taking walks and doing activities in the home. Please note as per social distancing regulations, activities will be in small groups.  Additionally, technology such as Skype and FaceTime are being brought online to give our families an opportunity to connect with their loved ones. The health and safety of our residents remains our number one priority.

We know that these are uncertain and anxious times, but please know that ACLD and all of our staff remain committed to your family member. We hope that you and your families are staying safe and we know that we will all get through this unprecedented time together.

Be well,

Robert Ciatto, Chief Operating Officer and Robert C. Goldsmith, Executive Director


March 17, 2020

We know that you are concerned about your family member’s safety during this COVID-19 situation. For several weeks, ACLD has been implementing and enacting protocols to prepare for the inevitability of program closures.

Beginning tomorrow Wednesday, March 18th, all Day Programs will be closed for the people supported until further notice. Please note this includes all Day programs: Day, Vocational, Supported Employment, Respite, Strive and Community Hab. ACLD’s Children’s Services has also closed for students as of Tuesday, March 17th.  The ACLD Residential Program will of course continue to operate.

We recognize that the safest place for your family member is home according to all public health officials, to safeguard their well-being. In addition, there will be no visitors to all ACLD Community Residences. If you choose to take your family member home from an ACLD residence for therapeutic leave, please note your loved one will have to remain in your home for the duration of this national emergency.  We are working to provide access to Skype, FaceTime and other forms of communication with your family member during this time. We ask for your patience as we develop the best way to deliver this new form of communication.

To receive the timeliest information, please sign up for email notifications at info@acld.org. Provide your FULL NAME, FAMILY MEMBERS FULL NAME, PROGRAM LOCATION and EMAIL ADDRESS.

We will continue to update you as more information becomes available. Thank you for your cooperation and support during these extraordinary times.

Stay safe and healthy,

Robert Ciatto, Chief Operating Officer and Robert C. Goldsmith, Executive Director


March 16, 2020

ACLD Children’s Services will be closed tomorrow 3/17 until further notice to students. Staff should report to work.

We thank you for your continued patience during this difficult time. As you likely are aware, there is no bus transportation being provided by Suffolk County to and from our Preschool Program.

I will alert you that very few children attended school today, and we would anticipate that situation continuing in light of the messages being received from leaders at our state and federal government levels.

Effective today, many building level changes were put into place to insure that we all stay well. For example, visitors to our schools will be screened, limited or restricted. Our school nurses will be calling you if your child is absent- to triage, provide consistent communication and to track and determine reasons for absenteeism.

Our ACLD Medical Director has met with our nurses and advised that extra caution be applied to their daily decision making on whether a staff member or your child may be sick enough to be sent home, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and symptoms that would exclude your child or a staff member from school.

Additionally, our infection control and cleaning and sanitizing procedures have been reviewed and increased, to include ongoing disinfection of all frequently touched surfaces.

Please review our Medical Guidelines, give us a call with any questions. We thank all of you for continuing to keep your children home when they are not feeling well.

You may call and leave a message for our school nurses if your child will be out sick. Nurse Bert at Kramer (631) 665 1900, ext. 327 and Nurse Roseanne at Spiegel (631) 647 9577, ext. 231.

Wishing you and your families continued good health,


Noreen Clemens, Director, Robin Stevens, Assistant Principal and Linda Eisen, Assistant Principal


March 13, 2020

There is an understandable growing concern regarding the COVID-19 virus across all of our communities. ACLD is committed to ensuring the health and safety of every person supported and our families.

In an effort to minimize these concerns, our programs have curtailed their activities in the community; recreation trips and events have been temporarily postponed, and a new visitor policy has been instituted at the guidance of OPWDD. ACLD’s Nursing Department continues to diligently monitor the updates made by the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control to ensure that all proactive and reactive measures are taken. At this time, to our knowledge, no one in our programs or on staff have been diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus. We will continue to update our website with important information as this situation continues to evolve.

We thank you for your cooperation during this time, and if you have a specific question regarding your family member’s program, please contact the appropriate Program Administrator.

For our updated visitor policies, please click here – Day Program Visitor Policy and Residential Visitor Policy.

CDC Guidelines and Handout, please click here

Thank you,

Robert Ciatto, Chief Operating Officer and Robert C. Goldsmith, Executive Director


March 12, 2020

ACLD is committed to ensuring the health and safety of every person supported, our families, employees and supporters. Out of an abundance of caution and in an effort to minimize health and safety concerns due to the COVID-19 virus, the ACLD Foundation will be postponing its 5th Annual Bowling event originally scheduled for Sunday, March 29th.

The new date is Sunday, September 13th. For those who have already registered, we hope you can join us on the new date. To help us out, please click on the button below and let us know if you will be able to attend or would like your money back.

For any other questions, please contact the Development and Community Relations Department at 516-822-0028 Ext. 178.

Thank you,

Robert Ciatto, Chief Operating Officer and Robert C. Goldsmith, Executive Director


March 6, 2020

As you are already aware, over the past several months there has been a growing concern nationwide regarding the COVID-19 virus (Novel Coronavirus).  Recently, there have been several confirmed cases in the United States.

ACLD is committed to ensure the health and safety of every person supported, all families, and employees. As such, staff trainings, policies and procedures, and precautionary measures have been implemented in all programs throughout the agency.

  • ACLD has provided educational materials and training to all staff to ensure that they understand how the virus is spread and what preventative measures can be taken to decrease exposure.
  • ACLD’s Nursing Department has been diligently monitoring the updates made by the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control to ensure that all proactive and reactive measures are taken.
  • Policies and Procedures regarding exposure and containment are being implemented.

For more information regarding COVID-19 virus you may contact www.cdc.gov/COVID19


Robert Ciatto, Chief Operating Officer and Robert C. Goldsmith, Executive Director


Frequently Asked Questions

Now that the Day Programs are closed, how will my family member work on his/her goals during this time?

Since the Day Program staff have been redeployed to the residences, the existing Day Hab plans will be modified and instituted to the best of their ability. 

Do you have enough staff to take care of our family members who live in your homes in the event staff begins to call out or gets sick?

Yes, the Day Hab staff have been redeployed to the homes – they are a large workforce and puts us above the minimum staffing requirement in the homes. 

What if I want to take my family member home?

Families who want to take their family member home, can do so. However, please note they must remain at home with you until this national emergency is over. 

My family member lives in an apartment. Will anyone be checking in on them more frequently?

Since staff from our Vocational and Supported Employment programs work with many of the people who live in our apartments, they will be checking in on the residents more frequently.  

What happens if you suspect a resident has the virus? 

As per the new protocols in place, anyone who is exhibiting signs of illness will be evaluated by one of our Registered Nurses, who will triage the symptoms. Based on this, the staff will transport the resident to the hospital for evaluation and diagnosis. Residents with confirmed cases of COVID-19 who are exhibiting acute symptoms, will likely be hospitalized. If hospitalization is not required, residents will remain isolated at home and treated with supportive measures as prescribed by their physicians. 

How will a quarantine work in the home?

Residents with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 will be confined to their bedroom as often as possible for 14 days from the onset of symptoms. During this time, staff will ensure that personal needs are met and allow for communications with family members.  In addition, floating of staff will be minimized. Whenever possible, limiting the infected resident to one bathroom and sick area, away from the rest of the residents, will be practiced to minimize the spread of infection. 

Will you be utilizing telemedicine at all to minimize the risk of going to an urgent care or emergency room during this time?

We are exploring ways that our community partner, The Charles Evans Center, can provide telemedicine services during this time. We will update our families as we have further information on this. 

As shortages increase, how will the homes be able to access needed items such as toilet paper, paper towels, etc?

Our residences have well stocked pantries and fully stocked emergency supply kits. Our Purchasing Department works with various suppliers to ensure that items such as toilet paper, paper towels and paper goods continue to reach the residences. In addition, we are exploring additional ways to work with food supply vendors to ensure there is no disruption with food supply. 

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