July 13 marks the first anniversary of our partial return to the office. We worked remotely from the beginning of the shutdown but as restrictions began to be lifted, we had the office deep cleaned, sanitized and outfitted with plexiglass shields to maintain appropriate social distancing. All of us are well equipped with PPE and various cleaning supplies for our individual use. We have developed a schedule where we split the staff into two shifts working two days in the office and two days remotely with Friday as a clean-up and meeting day. We are still not seeing people in the office or making home visits, but we are doing our best to stay in contact with all of the consumers. We have established dedicated hot lines in both offices. Our current plan is to continue with our split sessions until the end of August and gradually increase office time through September with a full opening October 1.
I cannot discuss dates without commemorating the 31st Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26. We have come a long way by promoting universal design, enhancing equity in public education and continuing our advocacy for equality in all areas of the American experience.
For the future we need to remain aware of the importance of this legislation and to be sure that its intent remains prominent in the conversations on inclusion, equal rights and diversity.