Rochester, NY- 8 December 2011
Thirty-five years ago a group of parents joined together with the goal to help ensure quality support and services would be available for their developmentally disabled children throughout their lives. Lew and Phyllis Wolf were two of these dedicated parents, and the primary driving forces behind the establishment of Continuing Developmental Services or CDS.
Today, CDS serves over 1,700 people with developmental disabilities, offering programs ranging from residential transition, employment training, day services, family support and most recently, affordable Senior Living and veteran outreach through The Warrior SaluteTM Program.
With their expanding services, and a 35 year milestone this year, CDS is launching it’s new brand under the name CDS Monarch, Inc.
“The idea of changing our name and brand was something we have taken into very careful consideration.” stated Mark Peterson, Monarch’s Board Chair. “It’s not something we took lightly, we recognize the individuals and families that have a vested interest and emotional connection to CDS. Nor was it an aesthetic decision. It came from an operational perspective—being able to build awareness, support and connection to people within a greater scope of services than we had 35 years ago, and in a way that makes sense to the community. This was important to us.”
How do the individuals feel about the change?
“I like the new look.” said Terrell P. who has recently found community employment as a result of CDS Monarch’s programs and support. “I’m grateful for what I have achieved with the help of everyone here, and being able to help even more people is something to be really happy about.”
Terrell, who lives at home with his family, enrolled with CDS Monarch in 2008. He began his training in Flutters Cafe in an entry-level position, from where he worked his way into a leadership role.
Last year, with the help of a CDS Monarch supported Employment Placement Specialist and his own dedication to learning, Terrell successfully completed the Monroe County Department of Health Level II Food Certification exam, allowing him opportunities for growth and independent employment, outside the structure of CDS Monarch’s programs.
“I took the test so that I could obtain a better position in the future,” said Terrell. “I feel great about my accomplishment.”
Today, Terrell is a full-time employee of Rochester General Hospital. He works as a Porter in the Foodservice department—an expected entry-level position for all RGH Foodservice employees—and one for which he was well-trained and qualified as a result of the vocational training and employment support from CDS Monarch. He is responsible for delivering foodcarts to rooms, doing prep work, dishes, and cleaning, and looks forward to additional opportunities as he continues developing critical employment skills.
“Terrell is perfect example of someone who keeps us going on a daily basis.” states Sankar Sewnauth, President and CEO of CDS Monarch, “He’s a true inspiration, not only to the other individuals here, but to those of us who have had the privilege to be a part of his growth and success. He has the dedication, compassion and courage to which all of us could aspire. We couldn’t be happier for him.”