Melissa Ide Named Activity & Resource Assistant Manager

Dec 05, 2016

Melissa Ide has been named Activity & Resource Assistant Manager for Cayuga Centers’ SPwDD Support Programs for those with developmental disabilities. She formerly worked for the agency as a Direct Support Professional in the agency’s respite programs. Holding a bachelor degree in Psychology from Lemoyne College, Ide worked in a residential program for those with developmental disabilities for five years before coming to Cayuga Centers.

The Vice President of the Services for People with Developmental Disabilities department, Shannon Abate, says she’s very excited about this new position for the agency.  With this change, she says “we are super-enhancing the quality of our support programs.”  Each day, a series of sensory, fine motor, and gross motor activities are presented to program participants in the agency’s respite and habilitation programs. 

Melissa_Ide.JPGIde will be coordinating activities for each individual, using the personal goals and valued outcomes each one has identified in an Individual Service Plan.  Ide will begin by conducting an activity and interest survey with each program participant. 

She will then research and select activities that relate to each one’s valued outcomes and goals, “making the connection” between items in their Individual Service Plan and staff members assisting with program activities.  For example, some individuals want to enhance skills in money management – they may practice counting money on coin worksheets at the program site, work to balance a checkbook, and then take a trip to make a purchase in the community.  Many indicate a desire to volunteer in the community.  Ide will research local opportunities based on the interests of the individual and needs of community organizations. 

She hopes to provide more continuity between the various respite and habilitation programs, making sure an individual who may not attend all of them will not miss out on an enjoyable activity. She’d like to plan some activities that will also include clients from other agency departments, such as youth in the residential treatment center, so the programs can come together and have fun with one another.

Abate believes Ide’s research will enhance creativity and increase the variety of activities used day to day, freeing direct care workers to spend more time engaging with individuals rather than planning activities. “As we grow, we want to be sure our quality grows with it,” said Lexie Shutter, Director of SPwDD Support Programs. Ide will track participation, increase in skill development, and progress toward goals, in a partnership with the agency’s Continuous Quality Improvement department. 


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