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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.



January 6, 2021

Today was a historic day for ACLD, as our Essential Staff began receiving the first round of COVID 19 vaccines.

The vaccines were administered by ACLD’s Nurses, trained by Charles Evans Center nursing staff and Dr. Christine Brown, Chief Medical Officer. Thank you to our nursing team that administered the first vaccines today: Matthew Woitovich, Julie Rava-Young and Denise Hartman.

As always, we will continue to get through this together and stay ACLD Strong.

December 21, 2020

COVID-19 and Vaccine Information from OPWDD


Click here to read about COVID-19 and vaccine information in plain language

Click here for an educational resource on COVID-19 and the vaccine.

October 21, 2020

ACLD Schools Update

Click Here for Kramer LC Parent Handbook – Revised
Click Here for Spiegel CC Parent Handbook – Revised
Click Here for Letter to Families – October
Presione Aquí para Carta a Familiares – Octubre – ESPAÑOL


September, 2020

ACLD Programs Safety Reopening Plans

Click here for Administrative Offices – Safety Reopening Plan
Click here for Schools – Safety Reopening Plan
Click here for Residential Services – Safety Reopening Plan
Click here for Site Based Respite – Safety Reopening Plan
Click here for Bethpage Article 16 – Safety Reopening Plan
Click here for Hauppauge Article 16 – Safety Reopening Plan

Day Programs
Click here for Bethpage CHOICES Day Program – Safety Reopening Plan
Click here for Bethpage CONNECTIONS Day Program – Safety Reopening Plan
Click here for Bethpage GOLDEN OPPORTUNITIES Day Program – Safety Reopening Plan
Click here for Broadway Day Program – Safety Reopening Plan
Click here for Glen Cove Day Program – Safety Reopening Plan
Click here for Hauppauge CHOICES Day Program – Safety Reopening Plan
Click here for Hauppauge OASIS Day Program – Safety Reopening Plan
Click here for Levittown Day Program – Safety Reopening Plan
Click here for PWW Day Program – Safety Reopening Plan
Click here for STRIVE Day Program – Safety Reopening Plan
Click here for Westbury Day Program – Safety Reopening Plan


September, 2020

ACLD Schools Reopening

We hope you are safe and healthy, and have found some rest and relaxation over these summer months.  As we approach the start of our 20-21 school year, we want to share some important new information with you about health and safety protocols that will be in place at our schools in the upcoming year.

Our schools are planning for a 5-day a week, full day return to school in the fall with staggered shifts of arrival and departure to allow for the necessary health screens and social distancing that are essential to keeping everyone safe and well.

However, any family can choose a 100% remote learning, for any reason.  If your preference is 100% remote learning, we ask that you let us know this by Monday, August 10th,  so that we will have enough time to plan.

Criteria to Open Schools:

We continue to carefully monitor a constantly changing health landscape, with priority given to the health and safety of our students, teachers and staff.  This commitment will be the foundation of all policy and practice, not only in our schools, but across New York State moving into this new school year.

We, along with all schools in New York, await our Governor’s directive on the re-opening of schools, which we understand will be dependent upon close monitoring of the metrics of the COVID-19 virus.  Dependent upon the scope of the infection rate, we may be given orders by the Governor to stop children attending 5 days, and go to a hybrid or fully remote option.

Our proposed hybrid model consists of 3 days of full day attendance for our most challenged students, those enrolled in the 8:1:2 class structures.  For students in our 10:1:2 class structures, the hybrid will allow for 2 full days of attendance.  On the remaining days of the week, remote instruction will be provided.

Should it become necessary, we would resume our 100% fully remote model of instruction.  This model will include a technology assessment with your family (with a goal of access for all families), mailing and delivery of necessary materials and instructional materials, as well as an expectation for daily check in and attendance.

What Happens if Someone Gets Sick

In close collaboration with NYSED and NYS DOH, we have developed strict protocols that address prevention, precaution, and response to one or more of our students or employees having a confirmed case of COVID-19.  A ‘confirmed case’ means that a parent or guardian, student, or staff member submits a positive test result from a healthcare provider or laboratory to the school.

Our protocols to keep all healthy include:

Prevention:  if a student or staff member is feeling sick, or has/has had a fever of 100 degrees, or answers ‘yes’ to any of the required COVID-19 health screen/travel questions, they are required to stay home.  Parents and staff are provided with information regarding symptoms consistent with COVID-19.   Should students or staff exhibit any symptoms consistent with the virus, they will be asked to see a healthcare provider and obtain a return to school note, prior to coming back to school.

You can expect that our school nurses will be asking for more healthcare provider notes in this school year, and we thank you in advance for your understanding in the necessity for increased precaution.

Feeling Sick at School:  If a student begins experiencing symptoms in school, they will be isolated and monitored by a school staff member until they are picked up by a parent/guardian or emergency contact.   Staff members who become symptomatic at work must notify a supervisor and immediately leave the building.

Contact Tracing:  In the event of a confirmed COVID-19 case in our schools, local and state DOH departments will be contacted and investigation will be conducted in concert with them to determine close contacts within the school.  Once the close contacts are determined, all will be instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days since their last exposure to that confirmed case.  If there’s more than one case in a school, we are prepared to follow directives given by the DOH which could include closure of classrooms or the whole school for a period of quarantine.

Instruction will continue remotely during any necessary quarantine periods.

Overall Health and Safety Protocols

-At all times, staff and families must wear face covering protecting/covering their nose and mouth while at the school.  Though we will provide practice and encouragement for your children, exception is recognized for young children and those who are not developmentally able to wear a face covering.

-Attention is given to social distancing by the staff in our schools, where possible throughout each school day.  Families are asked to respect and practice the same upon a necessary visit or pick up/drop off times at the school.

-Schools will be cleaned and disinfected throughout the day and at night, with special attention given to high-touch areas.  Cleaning logs are kept to define and document cleaning and disinfection daily schedules.

-Face coverings, gloves, staff smocks, sanitizers and EPA approved cleaning supplies, will be readily available to all staff.  Education is provided to staff on added precautions to be taken during toileting and eating routines.

-Each school will have a designated isolation room for use in the even a student becomes ill during the school day.

For a tour of the school your child is attending please use the following links. In addition, you will find a link to the Covid-19 addendums that have been made to ensure the health and safety of students and staff.











Any questions, please email or call at KLC (631) 665-1900, ext. 350 or 312, stevensr@acld.orgclemensn@acld.org. Spiegel families (631) 647-9577, eisenl@acld.org.

Thank you, and we welcome you back to ACLD!


Noreen Clemens PrincipalRobin Stevens KLC Assistant Principal, and Linda Eisen SCC Assistant Principal


July 17, 2020

We know there is much to celebrate after 17 weeks of suspension of the Day Programs and we are pleased to announce that OPWDD’s certified day programs and services, both site and community based, will resume operations consistent with the Governor’s New York Forward initiative. This directive includes site-based and center-based Day Habilitation programs, and site-based Respite which will reopen on Wednesday, July 22.

In addition, there is guidance on resuming home visits and community outings from OPWDD. We are committed to maintaining health and safety standards, and social distancing regulations to help protect against the spread of COVID-19. The safety of the people we support and our staff is paramount. Below are some of the guidelines and new regulations ACLD will be following for the reopening.

Day Program Reopening

  • Reopening – Program resumes Wednesday, July 22, 9-3 pm
  • Transportation – ACLD’s Administrative and transportation team has been working on modifying the fleet of vehicles to ensure compliance with social distancing guidelines and safety practices. With modification to the routes, we will be able to transport three individuals with a driver, and in some cases four people with a driver if the people live together in the same home. (family unit). ACLD will supply everyone with a surgical mask and a face shield to be used during transport as well as throughout the day. The health screening will be administered on every person. As part of the screening, the person supported will have their temperature taken by a staff member prior to entering the vehicle. If their temperature is greater than 100. they will not be allowed to board the vehicle.
  • Health Screening – All staff, people supported and essential visitors must undergo the appropriate screening prior to entry into the day program. Each visitor’s temperature must be recorded – if the temperature is noted to be 100℉ or higher, then the visitor may not enter the program. Additionally, each visitor must answer the pre-screening questions.
  • Any individual or staff exhibiting signs or symptoms of COVID-19 upon arrival will not be allowed to enter the program building. They will be required to return home until they are fever free for 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.
  • Social Distancing – At least six feet of physical distance will be maintained among individuals and staff, unless not feasible because of the activity, or as directed in an individual’s treatment plan.
  • Face Coverings – All staff will wear appropriate face masks. People supported must wear face coverings if they can medically tolerate one whenever social distancing cannot be achieved.
  • Group Sizes – Smaller, consistent group size, limited to a maximum of 15 people supported. Minimize the use of floating staff unless critically necessary.
  • Use of social distancing floor markings, physical barriers and continually disinfect high touch areas throughout the day.

Community Outings for the Residential Program

  • Community outings will be limited to no more than 10 people, including staff.
  • Outings to stores, outdoor restaurants, salons, etc., will be extremely limited in frequency and duration. Low risk, outdoor outings are highly encouraged.
  • Planned recreational outings will be limited to one location per day for any person supported participating.
  • Proper hand washing and sanitizing prior to leaving the home and immediately upon return to the home. Staff will have hand sanitizer on hand to ensure people supported are sanitizing throughout the community outing.
  • Face masks/coverings will be worn on all community outings, whenever medically able to tolerate.
  • The transportation team has been working on modifying the fleet of vehicles to ensure compliance with social distancing guidelines and safety practices.

Home Visits From the Residential Program

  • People supported may resume participation in home and family visits as of July 15th.
  • Families will be reminded during any off-site visit, that exposure to members of different households and to public places, in general, should be done with caution and on a limited basis.
  • People supported may participate in a home visit as long as they are not suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, and are not under any quarantine or isolation requirements.
  • The person supported must pass a health screen and temperature check immediately prior to leaving the certified residence.
  • Please note, the location(s) of the visit may not include: (a) any household member suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19; (b) any household member who has been exposed to COVID-19 in the prior 14 days; or (c) any household member displays any symptoms of COVID-19 in the preceding 14 days.
  • All social distancing regulations, face coverings and proper hand washing must be maintained during home visits.
  • Proper health screening will be required upon return to the residence.

We appreciate your understanding and patience as we navigate this reopening. We are so excited to welcome back the people we support and we look forward to resuming our programs in a safe and adapted manner.

If you have any questions, please reach out to your program administrator.


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


June 18, 2020

As you may have already heard, Governor Andrew Cuomo has lifted the no visitation regulation for group homes, and starting tomorrow, June 19th, we will once again allow visitors. We know you have been looking forward to this news, and we are so pleased that families will be reunited once again. It has been a long three months for all of our families and the people we support.

Please note, there are some guidelines as we begin to allow visitors back into the homes:

  • All visits must be scheduled with the residential management team in advance to ensure that the number of visitors at any one time is limited.
  • Visits are limited to one person supported at a time and the number of visitors per person should be limited to two.
  • All visitors must undergo the appropriate screening prior to conducting their visit. Each visitor’s temperature must be recorded – if the temperature is noted to be 100℉ or higher, then the visitor may not enter the program. Additionally, each visitor must answer the pre-screening questions.
  • All visitors must wear a face-mask for the duration of the visit.
  • When possible, visits should be conducted outside, in single occupancy bedrooms, or large spacious common areas as available.
  • All visits must be conducted at the residence. People supported may not leave with visitors as community outing restrictions are still in effect.

Residential Managers will be reaching out to families to go over the new procedures and to schedule the visits. Please be patient as we accommodate visitors, and know that these protocols may change as we receive further direction from OPWDD.

We know many of you have expressed your frustration with not being given information and clear direction on when programs would open and visitors would be allowed back in. Unfortunately, we are bound by the regulations of State and local officials and we were not getting information from governing agencies to pass along to our families.

While we await more information regarding community outings and when residents can return to work, we will continue to provide the information as we receive it from OPWDD.

If you have any further questions about the new protocols, feel free to reach out to your Residential Administrator.


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


June 12, 2020

Our communication to you this week is to update you regarding a potential summer return to our schools.  Our shift from last week’s communication which was based on information from the New York State Education Department (NYSED), stated that the summer was to be remote learning and school would be closed through August 14th.

What we thought was a certainty about remote learning was undone by late day Friday, June 5th when Governor Cuomo signed an Executive order specific to school districts being allowed to provide on-site services to special education students. As you know, our schools are not districts (we are what is designated as a 4410) and there is lack of clarity from all of our referring school districts and NYSED as to what this means for a summer re-opening for us.

To give you some perspective on the work of NYSED, they have put together a Task Force that will be meeting on the following dates:  6/15, 6/17, 6/22 and 6/24 regarding the work to be done prior to school re-opening. This Task Force is comprised of four regional groups of parents, teachers, school and district leaders, school board members, and other interested parties from every region of the State. Their first statewide meeting is not until July 13th which is after the start of most summer programs.

They closed the task force document with these statements:

“Without question, the paramount concern is to ensure the health and safety of everyone in our educational community.”  “Together, we will create a framework to help guide school districts in the safe reopening of their schools.

We did receive some limited and interim guidance from the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), our day care licensing agency, and the NYS Department of Health regarding what will need to be in place to ensure health and safety based on the Governor’s Executive Order of June 5th.

While it is good to be receiving some clarity and direction from these oversight agencies as to the significant work to be done to re-open, the fact is that we need to wait for all of it to be coordinated under the direction of NYSED, in addition to our cooperating school districts.  For that reason, at this point in time, we maintain the decision for a continuation of remote learning for the 2020 six-week summer session. 

We will continue to update you regarding the safe school re-opening, with more information on specifics of our preparations to follow in the upcoming weeks.


Noreen Clemens Principal, Robin Stevens KLC Assistant Principal and Linda Eisen SCC Assistant Principal


June 3, 2020

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and state of emergency declared by Governor Cuomo, our preschool programs (Kramer and Spiegel) have been closed to children and staff since March 16, 2020 and will be closed at least through August 14, 2020.

In this time period, our staff have, and will continue to provide remote learning opportunities to children, and engage you, our families, in the hard work required to support your children during this difficult time. We know that type of learning cannot replace the necessary interactions with teachers and support staff that your children need, and that can only be provided in a classroom environment.

We are writing today, and plan to each week, to inform you on our plans and progress to reopen our schools, as soon as allowable.

A final decision will be dependent upon guidance from the NY Governor, NYS Education department, state and local health officials and our licensing and regulatory agency, NYS Office of Children and Family services.  Decisions such as the status of bus transportation and allowable class sizes will be crucial to our planning.

We are planning for what we know, which is that the opening of our schools must be done with health, safety and wellness as priority #1.  All practices put in place will be designed to protect your children and our staff, and prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Our planning discussions so far have included the ordering of necessary PPE supplies for our staff, changes to our daily health care checks of children (and staff) to include touchless temperature checks at regular intervals throughout the day, and increased hand-washing routines and protocols. Additional priority includes a securing of effective cleaning products and an increase in the schedule and personnel to accomplish necessary daily cleaning and disinfecting procedures.

As we continue to work with the ACLD Executive Team we look to you, our family community, to assist us by sharing your thoughts and concerns.  As this letter is being sent to our current families, as well as those whose children will be joining us in September, it is most important that we start and continue these conversations as we work towards a safe re-opening.

I encourage you to contact any of us at the emails provided below, and we will keep you ‘in the loop’ each week on our progress and any decisions made at the State and local government levels that impact  safe return to our school buildings.


Noreen Clemens Principal, Robin Stevens KLC Assistant Principal and Linda Eisen SCC Assistant Principal


May 28, 2020

We hope you and your families continue to be well and we want to thank everyone who has supported our work during this pandemic. Although our programs remain suspended under the regulations of OPWDD, our staff has remained committed to caring for the 400 adults living in our Residential Program.

When this crisis began in mid-March, ACLD, like so many others had the task of locating and securing PPE and much-needed supply to combat the virus. This coupled with measures to safeguard the health of staff and residents has led to unforeseen expenses. ACLD also implemented the following measures:

  • Setting up and operating the Bethpage Respite Center
  • Antibody testing for all people we support in our community residences
  • Implementing new sanitizing procedures in all residences and offices
  • Developing procedures to safely take the temperature of all staff and people we support
  • Staff incentives and bonuses for those working in the Bethpage Respite Center and residences with active COVID-19 cases

The total costs involved in responding to this virus, and planning for future reopening are all unbudgeted and unknown costs.

So many of you answered our call in our greatest hour of need, and we thank you for that. But we still need your help to continue to meet the needs that have arisen from responding to this pandemic.

See below to donate to the ACLD COVID-19 Fund and help us continue to meet our mission while safeguarding the health of all the people we support.

Text the word ACLDStrong to 44-321 on your cell phone Donate online at acld.org ACLD Foundation receives a portion of your Amazon Smile purchase. Must use this link Start a Facebook Fundraiser on your page for the ACLD Foundation.


May 24, 2020

Are you cleaning out your closet during this quarantine? ACLD’s RewearAble program is now accepting contactless clothing donations. Call us at 516-822-2099.

It’s simple. You can drop off your items Monday through Friday from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm in the blue bins behind the 837 building on our Bethpage campus.

Just call us when you arrive and we will come out with a receipt for you. Please make sure your items are tightly sealed in a plastic bag before arriving and placing in the bins.

As always, your donation helps to create jobs for adults with learning and developmental disabilities and we thank you for your support. Call us at 516-822-2099 with any questions and we hope to see you soon.

Thank you.


May 22, 2020

We hope you and your families continue to be well. As more states continue to slowly reopen, we look to the future to see how we can safely reopen our programs and services. While we continue to take our lead from the CDC, the Governor, OPWDD, County officials, and Department of Health, we are exploring the many ways we will have to adapt in order to welcome back the people we support safely.

We have already taken the first steps in this process by working in conjunction with the Charles Evans Center to test our residents for antibodies. This testing was completed over the past week and we plan to utilize this information to help ease some of the protocols that were put into place to help mitigate the spread of the virus in the early days of the crisis.

In an effort to start to reopen our office buildings, we are developing procedures to safely take the temperature of all staff and visitors to the Bethpage campus. This protocol has been in place at the residential program for all staff reporting for work to the homes, since April. In addition, we continue to adhere to social distancing regulations and mandate the wearing of masks.

If you follow us on Facebook or Instagram, you have probably seen the art classes and music performances that are taking place online, all in an effort to continue to keep our residents, families and supporters engaged. We have also continued to share our Working Wednesday post, highlighting adults of all abilities who continue to work in essential jobs throughout our community.

ACLD is made up of so many different people who, together, share a purpose of creating an enviable life for all. Throughout these past 9 weeks, we have seen first hand how our ACLD family has come together to unite against a common enemy, COVID-19. Whether you donated supplies when we were in need, or you sent dinner to one of our community residences, or you participated in our #Active4ACLD challenge, or you donated to the COVID-19 Fund, you were there in our greatest hour of need. We thank you for being there for us, and remind you that we still need your help.

The costs involved in battling this virus, and planning for future reopening are all unbudgeted and unknown costs. By giving to the COVID-19 Fund, and encouraging others to do so, you will help ACLD continue to meet its mission while safeguarding the health of all the people we support across nearly 100 locations.

To make a donation – TEXT ACLDStrong to 44-321, make a donation online at www.acld.org/support-us/covid19-fund , hold a Facebook Birthday Fundraiser for the ACLD Foundation, support us in the upcoming events and virtual fundraisers in development as we adapt them to meet the current regulations.

We will continue to keep you updated as our reopening plans are established and we look forward to once again seeing you all in person.

Be well,

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


May 8, 2020

We hope you and your families continue to be well. As we enter week 8 of this continuing crisis, we wanted to give you an update on ACLD.

Thirty-one of ACLD’s 41 residences, and 3 of 37 apartments, had people who were confirmed or suspected of having the virus. This drove us to take proactive measures to develop the Bethpage Respite Center. We opened the Respite Center the first week of April to better meet the needs of those who were diagnosed with COVID-19, and to help mitigate the spread in the homes. The Center saw a total of 28 people in the three weeks it was open. As we began to see fewer new cases in the homes, the need for the Respite Center no longer existed and it closed on April 24. While we still have several people who remain hospitalized with the virus, residents who were sick have now recovered, and we continue to see a downturn in new cases. This is wonderful news to share with all of you.

Our hearts ache for our families who have lost loved one to this crisis. When we are all able to gather once again, ACLD plans to hold a memorial service to celebrate the lives of those we’ve lost. There are also plans to memorialize them in our brick courtyard on our Bethpage campus.

These past several weeks have been most challenging for our families who have been unable to visit their loved ones in person. Our Residential staff has been connecting families through Skype, Face Time, and on phone calls. Though apart during this time, we are helping families to stay connected.

Our community has also come together to support us in so many wonderful ways. Many of our homes have had food delivered to them through our friends, board members, staff and families. The Girl Scouts created greeting cards for residents to lift their spirits while quarantined at home. Others have donated needed supply for the homes, and still others have gathered for a drive-by parade to celebrate our DSPs. We are truly touched by the outpouring of support and the gratitude shown to our staff and residents.

While we wait for State and local officials to guide us through a reopening at some point, our staff continues to work together to reimagine how to provide services in ways that safeguard everyone’s health. We know these uncertain times challenge us to adapt, and many things such as our programs, our events and our gatherings may look different. However, our commitment to the people ACLD supports remains the same.

We encourage you to follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitterand LinkedIn. We look forward to the day we can gather again soon.

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


May 6, 2020

Today kicks off Clinicians Appreciation Week, formerly known as Nurses Week here at ACLD. This recognition week traditionally recognizes nurses, but this year we would like to include the Behavior Intervention Specialists and the Psychologists as well. Together with the nurses who have been on the frontline of this pandemic, these dedicated staff members have shown their dedication and devotion to our residents. You all have been instrumental in guiding us through this crisis. In the face of these uncertain and challenging times, you have been there to care for the sick and comfort the frightened. Thank you does not seem sufficient for all that you do each and every day. We applaud you and appreciate your devotion to ACLD.

Enjoy this brief video highlighting all of our clinicians this week. We look forward to celebrating you further when we are all together again.

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


May 4, 2020

Thank you to all who have participated in the#Active4ACLD challenge to support our mission by posting your photos and by donating to the ACLD COVID-19 Response Fund.

There is still time to participate, as we have extended the challenge through May 8th. That gives you plenty of time to choose any activity that you want to do – walking the dog, jogging, rollerblading, home exercises, and post a picture of you doing your activity on social media using the hashtag #Active4ACLD.

#Active4ACLD challenge coincides with #GivingTuesdayNow, tomorrow May 5th. Giving Tuesday Now is a new global day of giving and unity. Every act of generosity counts and everyone has something to give. Whether you choose to participate and post your activity or make a donation to the ACLD Covid-19 Response Fund, your generosity will be counted and appreciated.

Our front line staff have been going above and beyond to care for the men and women we support and this fund is helping with the changing needs that are arising as a result of this pandemic.

Please join in on our #Active4ACLD challenge and support us this Giving Tuesday. Let’s continue to get through this time together.

Stay safe and healthy!

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


May 1, 2020

This weekend ACLD is challenging you and your families to get out and be active while supporting our mission. Choose any activity that you want to do – walking, running, bicycling, home exercises etc. and post a picture of you doing your activity on social media using the hashtag #Active4ACLD starting today through Friday May 8th.

Here is our Executive Director Bob Goldsmith, his daughter Shari and his wife Elaine kicking off our #Active4ACLD challenge from home with some stretching and warm up exercises.

Join in on this challenge, share our social media posts, tag your friends in our posts and consider making a donation to the ACLD Covid-19 Fund to support our response to the pandemic.

This is a fun way to connect with the ACLD family while we safely shelter in place.

Stay safe and healthy,

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


April 30, 2020

Though direct support staff are not typically recognized in the public’s daily acknowledgement of essential workers, we know that our DSPs and clinicians are our first responders in this pandemic. We at ACLD value our staff’s dedication and devotion throughout this crisis.

We would like to share this brief video with you to recognize and thank our staff who were nothing short of amazing. Our staff came in day after day to support our residents, care for the sick, and comfort others while grieving losses themselves. The lack of public recognition is not commensurate with the commitment our staff has for the people we support. We acknowledge and thank them for their selfless service to others.

Stay safe and healthy,

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


April 23, 2020

Dear Staff,

ALL of you are the core of ACLD, and regardless of the change in our daily routines, you have all risen to the challenge.

Thank you to our staff who has remained on the front lines through difficult days, long nights and celebrating victories while caring for the most vulnerable among us – our people supported. Behind the front lines, there is also staff deserving of appreciation. They have been diligently working remotely and adjusting daily to the changing needs and requests of our front line staff. Your combined efforts allow ACLD to continue to provide the pursuit of an enviable life for many.

We are in this together, and we will all be back together again soon. With our deep gratitude for your support of the fine work you are doing.

Wishing you continued health,

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


April 17, 2020

We hope you and your families are healthy and staying safe. In the past several weeks, we have seen so much change in our world, but one thing that has been constant is the dedication and devotion of our staff to our residents.

There have been so many extraordinary acts of selflessness: from our frontline staff coming in on days off to check in on sick residents, to staff volunteering to staff our Bethpage Respite Center. We are proud to call these staff ACLD employees and we thank them for their brave service to our vulnerable population.

So many of you have reached out to ask how else you can help, and in response, we have created the COVID-19 Response Fund. Donations made to this fund will help with the changing needs that arise as result of this pandemic. If you are in a position, to help please consider supporting this effort. With the recent passage of the federal stimulus package, cash contributions of $300 made to a nonprofit charity such as ACLD, can be claimed by taxpayers taking the standard deduction on their 2020 tax return.

Donations can be made online at www.acld.org/support-us/covid19-fund or if you prefer to send a check, please send to ACLD Foundation, 807 South Oyster Bay Road, Bethpage NY 11714. Please make checks payable to ACLD Foundation.

We look forward to the day we can celebrate together again at one of our many events. Until then, we encourage you to follow us on Facebook at @ACLD1 to see the many different ways our community has come together to support and lift us during these challenging times.

We wish you continued to health,

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


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


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


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


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.

Suspension of Community Outings and Home Visits

Be well,

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


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


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


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, March 21, 2021. 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 C. Goldsmith, Executive Director and Robert Ciatto, Chief Operating Officer


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


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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