The Community Inclusion Project is dedicated to building meaningful connections between individuals with intellectual disabilities and their communities through engaged participation in local organizations and resources. The objecitve is to provide many opportunities to develop respectful and reciprocal relationships and to increase personal growth in one's neighborhood.
This is done by promoting such valued outcomes as presence and participation in community life, exercising choice in life style and vocation, developing and enhancing personal skills. We act in partnership with each individual we support to achieve these outcomes.
As we all desire to be valued, to do good work, to be known to others in community and to be loved, we assist the people we support to achieve these typical life experiences. We do this by connecting and supporting people in employment, volunteerism, and membership in local places in a person's life.
The Community Inclusion Project is considered to be a 'Without Walls' day habilitation and supported employment program and is funded by the New York State Office of People With Developmental Disabilities.
By Tracey Hempel
Associate Executive Director of Community Supports
April 29, 2016 will be my 20th Anniversary with The Arc of Rensselaer County; thankfully it’s also a Friday! I can say for certain that when I crossed over the river, I didn’t anticipate the journey that I was about to begin. We had 28 hour shifts back then, I was a floater (DSP) which meant I worked at every location, but Hoosick St., Detroit and Euclid Ave were places that I called home. They were the absolute joys of my work schedule; now that’s not to say that I didn’t love other place or people, but I had an undeniable, almost innate, connection with the people who lived in those places. I look back at those memories, like I do my childhood memories. For all intents and purposes, they could be because no place and no one person has defined me more than The Arc. Ok, maybe my kids and my husband have had a hand in shaping me too, but in three years, I will have been working at The Arc for half of my adult life. I would be lying if I told you that statement doesn’t impact me; I am who I am because of all of the people who I have crossed paths with over the years, all of the experiences they shared with me and the lessons that came along the way. For that, I am thankful.