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Our History

Wayne County Chapter of NYSARC was incorporated on October 1, 1964 by:

  • *Eleanor & Joseph VanHaelst
  • Gerald Campbell - Margaret
  • David Breen
  • *Lou Anne Montemorano - Pat
  • John & Amelia Catholdl
  • *Bessie Schnabel - Arthur
  • *Mary Laudenslayer - Charles
  • *Janet Mosher - Bev

*original founders according to early news releases


Wayne County Chapter NYSARC, Inc. (Wayne ARC) History


Public Law 89-313 had a major impact on families that had children with
developmental disabilities. As the school districts and the newly created BOCES began to provide services for the moderately disabled children and youth , the more severely disabled children were deemed not appropriate for BOCES Services, thus a need for a day training program.

November 1962
Concerned parents met with Dr. Sirkin, Wayne County Mental Health, to discuss their needs.
April 1964
Parents met, elected officers and decided to move forward and form a local unit of the New York State Association for Retarded Children. It would be called Wayne County Chapter of New York State Association for Retarded Children, Inc.
October 1964
Wayne County Chapter of New York State Association for Retarded Children was incorporated into NYSARC, Inc..
Early 1967
Original services were provided to six sons and daughters of those organizing members in basement of Lutheran Church. Lyons. Barbara Pyle was teacher/director and she had one teacher, Shirley McNaney, and a volunteer, Rose Hann, as her staff.
Wayne County Chapter purchased a residence at 15 Lawrence St., Lyons to provide services to 41 children and youth.
Rose Hann, now a paid employee, taught a six week program in August for 3-8 year old mentally handicapped youth. (5 in a group).

In September, Ms. Hann taught a class at the Lyons house, for pre-school through Kindergarten age children. This continued until move to Roosevelt Center in Newark.

Teen Program started at Lyons House. Shirley McNaney was Supervisor.
Gary Winch hired as Teen Coordinator.
Homemakers Program started in Lyons with Mary Vandevelde as Supervisor. Program later moved to a shared building with NDC and went under the name of Community Resource Center. Program then moved to Murray St., then old Sarah Coventry Building., and finally to Roosevelt Center and back to its original name of Homemakers.
In April, ARC Vocational Center began on Cuyler St., Newark, in the basement of the Children's Building, at Newark Developmental Center. Gary Winch was the Director and had 2 full time staff and 3 part time staff. They provided services to 19 people.
Barbara Pyle was appointed Executive Director of Wayne County Chapter, ARC.

Vocational Rehabilitation Center moved to former Jackson and Perkins building on Murray St., Newark and served 31 program participants and had 6 full time and 1 part time staff. They placed 2 individuals in competitive employment that year.
Day Training Center had first Summer Program. Ed Steitler was Program Director. The Program was called Outdoor Evaluation Program and it took place in Lyons.

Vocational Rehabilitation Center, Murray St., now providing services to 62 clients with 8 full time and 2 part time staff. Thirteen clients were now in competitive employment.

Prescriptive Program for Preschoolers (PPP) started at Lyons Day Training. PPP name changed to the Infant Stimulation Program and later to the Infant Development Program(IDP).
Vocational Rehabilitation Center serving 105 clients, 22 in competitive employment. The staff had grown 17 full time and 1 part time. Counseling Services were begun through the addition of a Rehabilitation Counselor and solicitation of sub contract work through the addition of a Marketing Specialist.

Day Training moved from house on Lawrence St., Lyons to Roosevelt School in Newark.
In January, Ann Burk was appointed Director of Residential Services . The first Community Residence opened at 15 Lawrence St., Lyons (former location of DTP) for 12 clients.

Wayne ARC Day Training Program took over the established Newark Developmental Center's Day Training Program which was housed in a church in Walworth. 114 people were enrolled in the NDC adult Program which ran 2 days a week, 1/2 day sessions for 12 months. The ARC continued this schedule for 74 people in Walworth and 40 people (mostly from Family Care Homes) entered a Wayne ARC Day Training Program held at a church on West Ave., Newark. They attended 3 full days a week.

Day Training Program became Day Activities Training Program with Shirley McNaney as Director.

TABS, Trained Aides as Baby Sitters, started under Homemakers with Sandra DeForge as trainer.

In September, a Community Residence opened at 57 DeZeng St., Clyde with a capacity for 10 clients.

Vocational Rehabilitation Center did intense planning for a satellite facility in Walworth, New York; plans were discarded after referral activity fell behind schedule. Grants were received from NYS Dept. of Transportation for two vans.

A Horticulture Program was started with funding from Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR). Christine Dombrowsky was Supervisor. They planted vegetables on land belonging to NDC and sold plants (tomato and pepper) at Farmers Markets, etc.
Vocational Rehab. Center served 174 clients. Approximately 10,000 additional square feet were rented for program space. Printing Program began through a grant from OVR. Supportive Apt's opened at Riverside Complex in Lyons (3 apts).
Administration offices of Wayne County ARC were moved from 515 East Union St. to 231 Murray St. adjacent to Vocational Rehab Center.

Another Supportive Apt. opened at Riverside.

Vocational Rehab. Center began Remedial Instructions Program through the addition of a Remedial Instructor and began a Pre-vocational screening and Training Program.

Day Training Center changed its name to Franklin Roosevelt Center for Educational Activities (later to Roosevelt Center Preschool).
The Vocational Rehabilitation Center added internal Janitorial and Food Service Programs.

Residential Services opened a CR at 43 Main St., Sodus for 12 clients, 55 and over.

Day Training Program moved from Church of Christ, 219 West Ave. to 211 West Ave., Newark.

Public Law 89-313 had been fully implemented so that Roosevelt Children's Center served children between the ages of birth - 5; The Vocational Rehab. Center served persons with employment potential; Day Activities Training Program served those persons (adult) not yet ready for, or interested in employment; the Residential Program served the housing needs of adults who are mentally retarded and the Homemaker Program assisted individuals and families to maintain themselves successfully in the community.
Vocational Rehab. Center was awarded a grant through NYS Dept. of Trans. for 2 new buses and a grant through OVR for maintenance training program. VRC received its first off-site janitorial contract. VRC also acquired a truck to offer newspaper recycling.

Residential opened 2 more supportive Apts., one at Riverside and one in Clyde (Highland). The one in Clyde was only open for a month.

Wayne ARC did its first visibility campaign. A film of the Agency was produced and brochures were printed.
Food Service Program operated a summer week-end concession stand on a local site-seeing train.

Client transportation fees were established. Horticulture Training Program opened a retail outlet -- The Flower Stop.
Barbara Pyle resigned as Executive Director after 17 fruitful years. She had seen the Agency from literally nothing to a multi-million dollar operation. The members of the chapter and, in fact, all of Wayne County will remain forever in her debt for her contributions to the disabled of this County.

Charles C. Karsten (Chris) was hired as Executive Director in the fall of 1984, and within a year was able to complete the already begun plans for relocating Key Industries (formerly the Vocational Rehabilitation Center) and the Administrative and Residential Offices to the present site at 150 Van Buren Street, Newark.
Vocational Rehab. Center moved to 150 VanBuren St. and changed its name to Key Industries.

Food Service became a formal training program with the acquisition of a commercial kitchen. Contracts were begun with Meals on Wheels and Office for the Aging.

A Prevocational Program was started which served the needs of those individuals interested in working but not quite ready to enter the regime of the workshop.
Wayne ARC purchased the property at 150 VanBuren St., Newark. Renovations began for a Seniors Day Activities Training Program.

Key Industries received an ORMDD Day services Grant for workstations in Industry Program to serve 17 individuals.

Supported Employment became a program option for consumers. This community based work program provided an alternative for individuals, not choosing to receive services in the main workshop.
Supportive Apartments, formerly located in Lyons, were relocated to scattered sites in Newark. Two new sites were added bringing the total number of apts. to 18.

Bob Ritter was hired to replace Sharon McNaney as new Director of Day Activities Training Program, with Rosa Barnes supervising Pre-voc. I and II, Ginny Deutschbein supervising the Walworth site, and Martha Miller supervising 211 West Ave.

Key Industries presented the 1st Employer of the Year Award to Ed Charnock, Manager of the Ames Store in Newark.
Three classrooms were renovated for RCC and Wayne County Headstart because of a large influx of disabled children in need of services.

A Senior's Program joined the list of available services. This Program was designed to serve the needs of people who had retired or just wanted to improve their avocational skills. Robyn Shaw was supervisor.
Residential Services opened an Intermediate Care Facility at 14 Ashley St., Lyons. The Facility was opened for 10 profoundly disabled children between the ages of 4 and 21. Glen Everdyke was Program Coordinator.

Renovations to the second floor of the red brick building on VanBuren St. resulted in an expanded home for the Business Office, Residential Offices and Public Relations/Training.
Community Services Department was formalized and now serves as the home base for Central Intake, Recreation Programs, and a variety of Family Support Programs.
Roosevelt Children's Center's Infant and Toddler Program moved into a newly renovated space at 438 East Union St., Newark.
Residential Services opened a Palmyra Community Residence at 416 East Main St., Palmyra. The house was built to accommodate the needs of an aging population who require a totally accessible home. It has a 12 person capacity. A Supervised Apartment Complex was also built in 1992 at 518 Murray St., Newark for 12 individuals in 6 apartments. They will live semi-independently with staff on the premises.
Article 16 Clinic, under the sponsorship of OMRDD, was opened to provide psychological services, speech and occupational therapies, nursing and social work to consumers. Peg Cain was named supervisor.

Plans were made to build a new facility for Roosevelt Children's Center. The decision to proceed was based on the difficulty of maintaining three Program sites in Newark and the inadequate nature of the inaccessible space in which RCC was housed.
An Individualized Residential Alternative was developed at 808 South Main St., Newark to meet the needs of 3 individuals with complex medical problems.

In June of 1994, the doors of a new Roosevelt Children's Center opened at 848 Peirson Ave., Newark. Program options for children flourish and include many opportunities for children with special needs and typical children, from the community to learn and grow together.

All of the various Day Activities Training Programs were finally able to move into the VanBuren St. facility.

Key Industries started holding support groups for TBI consumers, families and advocates.
Key Industries was approved by the Department of Health to provide the following TBI services: Service Coordination, Independent Living Skills, Structured Day Programs, Intensive Behavioral Program, Community Integration Counseling, Home and Community Supports, Environmental Modifications and Respite Care.
On order to efficiently provide service delivery in a consumer driven environment, the areas of Day Habilitation, Key Industries, Clinical Services and Community Services were brought under the umbrella of Adult Rehabilitation Services. Donna Granger was named Director.

Residential Services began providing Home and Community Services to individuals with Traumatic Brain Injuries.
In April, Executive Director, Chris Karsten passed away unexpectedly. Under his direction, Wayne ARC flourished into a diverse array of services and more than tripled in size. Chris Karsten led the effort in Wayne County for integration of persons with disabilities into all walks of life.

In July, The Board of Directors of Wayne ARC appointed Thomas S. Gramley as Executive Director.
Article 28 Clinic opened, under the sponsorship of United Cerebral Palsy. This Clinic has made physical therapy services available.

Residential Services opened a new IRA at 106 Williams St., Lyons. It has two apartments housing 2 people each.

In November, the Welfare to Work Program, for Wayne County Department of Social Services recipients, awarded a formal grant to Wayne ARC for 20 people.


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Wayne ARC
150 Van Buren Street
Newark, New York 14513
(315) 331-7741