Nysha Recent News

Emphasis on Individual Respect, Program Particulars Yields Positive Results

April 7, 2016  

By Mendy Hecht, Hamaspik Gazette


Hamaspik of Kings County Day Hab Executes Textbook Performance Daily

Walk into the Day Habilitation (Day Hab) center on the premises of Hamaspik of Kings County’s Williamsburg complex any day, and you’ll be both surprised and not surprised.

That’s because, on the one hand, the meticulously-run center is marked by all the staples you’d find at any Day Hab operating under the auspices of the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), Hamaspik’s public-sector partner from the get-go.

No surprises there.

All entry and exit points are properly secured.  Individuals are clean, happy and clearly well-stimulated.  All necessary safety literature and signage is visible.

You’re likely to be pleasantly surprised, though, by the level of interaction boasted by staff with the individuals they serve.  These are clearly well-trained Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) who take their job seriously, yet with a pleasant breeze countering the gravity of their responsibilities.

On a late February afternoon, two or three individuals are working on various educational arts and crafts projects at tables in the center’s spacious multipurpose room.  The earnestness and respect with which their DSPs speak of them speaks for itself.

In a front room moments later, a tall, lanky and delightfully talkative young man wastes no time introducing himself to a visitor, ensuring that the visitor is introduced to his friends as well.  Everyone looks happy.

Elsewhere on the premises, an activity room is brimming with paraphernalia, decorated walls and colorful posters everywhere.  If anything, the room looks like more like classroom, and a well-appointed, catalog-worthy one at that.

There is even a pair of live small pets in a corner pen; their colorful coats, calls and cuddly appearance surely round out the habilitation that beneficiaries get here every day.

If there’s one thing that stands out here, it’s everything: The collective sum of the details.  Director of Day Services Yehudah Spangelet and his teams clearly know what they are doing.

Assistant Managers Mrs. Taub and Ms. Levy punctiliously tend to all the clockwork needed to proficiently and professionally run a Day Hab, not to mention support the people who attend.  (That proficiency and professionalism earned a positive OPWDD audit result in early February.)

Day in, day out, DSPs Moshe Frankl, Meilich Gelb, Chaim Gross, Chesky Klein, Yitzchok Rosenbaum, Joseph Rubinstein and Moshe Schwartz are there to help clients realize their stated long-term habilitation outcomes.

Their Women’s Division counterparts, Ms. Etengoff, Ms. Guttman, Mrs. Neuwirth, Ms. Seidenfeld, Mrs. Stein, Ms. Weingarten and Mrs. Witriol, likewise display due diligence—not to mention the genuine love and bonding that takes deep root among Hamaspik staff and beneficiaries alike.

It’s dismissal time, and a Hamaspik transportation van, wheelchair lift and all, has pulled up outside to collect passengers and drive them home.  Staff almost-reverentially leads the individuals outside, some pushing wheelchairs and some taking others by the hand.

Before the van’s door is closed and the vehicle zips off, the group poses for a photo in the open aperture.  The smiles spring forth naturally.

And at a program visibly attentive to detail, no surprise there, either.