News

Meet Our Employment Specialists


With decades of combined experience, we understand jobs. Many of our Employment Specialists are former teachers, HR specialists or lifelong vocational and support specialists. We are here to help people succeed in their vocations and make our community a better place because of it.

                  Every year Wildwood conducts a survey to give people the chance to let us know how we are doing. This year 164 people who receive supports and 192 family members or caregivers responded to the survey.

                  The results were very encouraging. We are happy to report that 97% of those polled said they would recommend Wildwood to someone else. We are very proud that such a high percentage of those we support answered in this way.

                  Respect is one of the organization’s key values. People believe that the staff is respectful because 98% responded that they felt respectfully treated most or all of the time. At the same time, 93% of respondents reported that they are getting the help they need, most or all of the time.

                  “If we voice a concern with something, they always do something about it,” a family member said in their comments.

                  Ninety percent agreed that their supports are helping them to be more independent, most or all of the time and 96% said that their questions are answered in a timely fashion.  Working closely with families and helping people develop their goals is a very important part of Wildwood’s mission. Ninety-two percent of those responding agreed, most or all of the time, that that is a reality at Wildwood.

                  A consistent message throughout the survey responses was that staff shortages can be problematic. Our human resources department has developed a detailed strategic plan to reduce turnover and to attract quality people to work at Wildwood. In this past year we also added a new Training and Staff Development Department.  This department is working with all levels of staff to help them develop greater competencies and expertise in their jobs and careers.The creation of the Training and Staff Development  Department came about in large part because of feedback we've received, like the responses in past satisfaction surveys.

       There are some new faces in Wildwood's leadership. We'd like to introduce you to some new members of the Wildwood team. We welcome Bill LeForestier as Director of Wildwood School, Tracy Blowers as Director of Training and Staff Development, and Mark Armstrong as the Strategic Director of Home/Housing Supports.

 

By Tom Schreck, Director of Communications

            Every year Wildwood conducts a survey to give people the chance to let us know how we are doing. This year 164 people who receive supports and 192 family members or caregivers responded to the survey.

            The results were very encouraging. We are happy to report that 97% of those polled said they would recommend Wildwood to someone else. We are very proud that such a high percentage of those we support answered in this way.

            Respect is one of the organization’s key values. People believe that the staff is respectful because 98% responded that they felt respectfully treated most or all of the time. At the same time, 93% of respondents reported that they are getting the help they need, most or all of the time.

            “If we voice a concern with something, they always do something about it,” a family member said in their comments.

            Ninety percent agreed that their supports are helping them to be more independent, most or all of the time and 96% said that their questions are answered in a timely fashion.  Working closely with families and helping people develop their goals is a very important part of Wildwood’s mission. Ninety-two percent of those responding agreed, most or all of the time, that that is a reality at Wildwood.

            A consistent message throughout the survey responses was that staff shortages can be problematic. Our human resources department has developed a detailed strategic plan to reduce turnover and to attract quality people to work at Wildwood. In this past year we also added a new Training and Staff Development Department.  This department is working with all levels of staff to help them develop greater competencies and expertise in their jobs and careers.The creation of the Training and Staff Development  Department came about in large part because of feedback we've received, like the responses in past satisfaction surveys.

How to Enjoy Caregiving: Caring for Your Loved One with a Disability
Thursday, October 4, 2018 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Latham Conference Rooms A & B
Presented by Melinda Burns, Director of Adult Education at Wildwood Programs
As a caregiver, you make a huge difference in your loved one's life. Caregiving is a very
important role that takes continual effort and hard work! Join us at this workshop to
learn about practical ideas, tips and resources to help make the journey more
manageable and enjoyable.
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Overcoming Obstacles: Becoming More Flexible and Positive
Wednesday, October 10, 2018 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Latham Conference Rooms A & B
Presented by: Michelle Brown, LMSW, Coordinator of Integration & Advocacy at
Wildwood Programs
In this interactive workshop, I will assist participants to explore life goals and dreams
and examine the obstacles we all face. People will be encouraged to learn problem
solving techniques to overcome obstacles. We will discuss methods to remain positive,
adjust life goals when necessary and to retain a successful attitude. Realistic problem
solving will be discussed.
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The Transitional Spectrum for Children
Friday, October 12, 2018 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Latham Conference Rooms A & B
Presented by: Scott Iovinella, Transition Specialist and John Clausson, Coordinator for
Transition Readiness Dept. at Wildwood Programs
During this workshop you will be provided with a general overview of service transition
throughout school, options after graduation, the current state of OPWDD and what you
can be doing NOW to prepare your son or daughter for their life after graduation. It is
NEVER too early to gather information and learn about these services. Parents and
guardians of children in all age ranges are encouraged to attend.
* Please note that for this workshop we will only have 5 openings for staff members:
Parent/Guardian presence is strongly encouraged.
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Recipe for Reducing Problem Behavior
Friday, November 16, 2018 10:00 am – 12:00 pm (Part 1)
&
Friday, November 30, 2018 10:00 am – 12:00 pm (Part 2)
Latham Conference Rooms A & B
Presented by: Marianne Simon, PsyD & Janean Sylvester, In-home Behavior Support
Specialist, Wildwood Programs
With the holidays approaching you’re probably thinking about the food you want to
prepare, and you might also be dreading the vacation, having your kids home all day
with nothing to do but drive you crazy. In this two-part workshop, we will introduce you
to ABA, the science of behavior, the functions of behavior, and tools you can use to
track behavior. Think of it as a recipe for getting problem behavior under control. In Part
2, we will use the data you collected and talk about some possible function-based
strategies you may want to try. Come prepared to actively participate in discussion and
data collection. We will give you the recipe, you collect the ingredients (data) and go
home with a fully-cooked plan to reduce problem behavior, so you can enjoy wine
instead of whining with your dinner.
*Please note that for this 2-part training, attendance on both dates is necessary and
required.
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The Path to Success Begins with Self-Advocacy
Wednesday, December 12, 2018 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Latham Conference Rooms A & B
Presented by: Dr. Knapp-Ines, Clinical Investigator at CARD (Center for Autism and
Related Disabilities)
It is never too early to teach self-advocacy skills to your child. This two-hour training will
discuss the importance of being able to advocate for oneself, ways to teach selfadvocacy
skills, and supports that will help individuals with autism learn about
themselves and their specific likes and dislikes.
All workshops will take place at:
Wildwood Programs, 1190 Troy-Schenectady Road, Building 1, Latham, NY 12110. The
trainings will be held in Conference Rooms A & B.
Light refreshments will be served.
To Register call 518.640.3300
(For questions only, please contact Michelle Singh at 518.640.3350

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