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The ADAPT Community Network helps thousands of people who have special needs here in New York, all the way from pre-school to the adult community, and they’re helping in new ways as the coronavirus crisis continues.

PIX11’s Tamsen Fadal talked with the top executives at ADAPT about the coronavirus and what the organization is doing to help those who they serve.

Tamsen asked ADAPT CEO Ed Matthews about what challenges his staff, and the community they serve, face during the crisis.

“Schools are closed, centers are shut down, what is ADAPT doing in the middle of all this?” Tamsen asked” You guys run all the time and help a lot of different people, not just the kids, but adults.”

Matthews said that ADAPT has over 500 people who live in their network in both supervised supported and independent settings and another 550 people who live at home and come to their day programs, which are now closed.

“So we have hundreds of people working in our residential programs, literally in harm’s way, to try and provide supports and services to people to keep them healthy and safe,” Matthews said.

Many of their residents are high risk, Tamsen pointed out.

“Are you getting supplies that you need to make sure those people stay safe?” asked Tamsen.

ADAPT has had “the same mandates and edicts for personal protective equipment as do hospitals and nursing homes,” Matthews said.

“Our access, and every other agency at our end of the business, our access to that has been very limited,” he said. “Fortunately we were able to get some on the private markets without too much price gouging, but we still have a real challenge in trying to get what’s known as PPE to our staff working in the residence and to the residence themselves.

Tamsen asked Marianne Giordano, the senior vice president of program services for ADAPT, what the organization is doing to help children with special needs now that schools have closed because of the coronavirus.

“We immediately set up systems where in which the directors and the clinical staff are maintaining regular communications with the families, “ explained Giordano. “We`re providing and supplying list of educational activities and learning website, we’re providing therapeutic resources.”

Giordano said ADAPT is trying to prevent any type of regression both educationally and therapeutic during this time of crisis.

“It`s not an easy time for the families it`s not an easy time for the kids, it`s a lot of change overnight, immediately it happened, and we`re just maintain all the progress that they`ve made to this point in the year.” said Giordano.

To learn more and support the work at ADAPT, you can visit their website by clicking here.