RISE’s day program without walls, The Main Street Connection, has had a bit of a makeover in their program day since the COVID-19 pandemic affected our way of life. Typically, participants of this innovative program would gather Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 2:30pm. During this time they are afforded the opportunity to use and build upon their current skill set to participate in the life of the community. The group works on individual goals and a daily routine, even though the activities for the day vary. Since RISE’s programs have not commenced due to social distancing and self-quarantining at home, the Main Street Connection has continued to connect with each other during virtual day program via Zoom video.

JoAnn Vitale, supervisor of day and community services, shares her screen displaying a group of day program participants in a Zoom video chat lead by Michelle Callahan, day program coordinator, and David Weiss, direct support professional. They are talking, laughing and working on their goals online. This method has proven to be very effective even though the individuals cannot gather in person. They still connect and have the feeling of being together throughout the week, which helps eliminate the feeling of isolation in their respective houses. Two Zoom sessions are available each day, in both the morning and afternoon, for any and all day program participants to join. They work on skills, chat, progress and most importantly, help elevate each other’s spirits by socializing on Zoom.

Ms. Vitale shares that this virtual day program will continue for the foreseeable future, as we continue the strict guidelines of social distancing. It is a safe and effective way to keep program happening. This is yet another innovative idea of RISE’s Main Street Connection.

RISE Life Services provides a residential and supported living environment on the East End of Long Island, dedicated to empowering people with intellectual disabilities and mental health challenges to RISE to their full potential. To learn more about RISE Life Services, day program, residential housing, job opportunities and other programs, please browse our website.