Originally shared via the Times Union Opinion section. 

It is difficult right now for our community to focus on anything other than the pandemic. It is a scary and emotional time and I know, for many of us, the fear has been consuming. Still, it is important that we don’t lose sight of the people and families in our community living with disabilities. We need to remember them now, more than ever.

Autism and other developmental disabilities don’t go away and people don’t grow out of them. Times may change, but the needs of families remain and, regardless of what is happening around us, these families need our help.

Agencies like Wildwood Programs support families with disabilities. We make it possible for families to stay intact, for parents to be able to have careers and for their loved ones to maximize their independence. Our more than 750 employees contribute to the local economy when they rent apartments, purchase groceries and buy school supplies for their kids. We, and agencies like us, are a significant part of the local economy.

The pandemic has left New York with a large debt. That debt will trickle down to agencies like Wildwood if there is not a federal bailout. That is not a simple budgetary line item. It will have a profound effect on people’s lives. If supports and services cannot survive, that means families, who are already up against significant challenges, will be in crisis.

I know we all are facing a difficult time. We cannot forget our neighbors and the families in our own communities who have so much to lose. We need to let our elected officials know just how important this is.

Lou Deepe

COO/Incoming CEO
Wildwood Programs

The deadline for Spring Semester Registration is January 15, 2021. 

Sign up now for Adult Education's spring courses! Many of the courses offered in 2021 are a part of the Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL) initiative and will focus on physical, emotional, and mental well-being. 

Find more information, a full list of courses offered, and registration paperwork here:

Dear Wildwood Families,


I hope that you and your family are well during these trying times.

As the number of COVID-19 infections grows in our region, we are experiencing occurrences as well.  They have been limited and contained, but we wanted to update you and reassure you that we are working with our local health departments to minimize the possibility of further spread of the virus.


Since Thanksgiving, we have had four staff test positive for COVID-19--one each in two of our residential programs, one in our community habilitation program, and most recently, one in our New Karner day habilitation program.  We have also had two people we support test positive--a student in our Building 4 Young Adult Program, and a person in one of the residences where there was also a positive staff test. In all staff cases, the staff are isolating at home until they are medically cleared to return to work.


In the house where a resident tested positive, the individual is isolated and the other residents are being quarantined in their rooms. That resident is currently asymptomatic and the staff member that had also tested positive from that residence has very mild symptoms. The staff’s last day at the residence was November 28.

(For the sake of clarity, the term "Isolation" refers to separating sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. The term "Quarantine" refers to separating and restricting the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.)

All safety protocols and procedures were in place and being followed throughout all our programs and sites. 

Anyone who has been in contact with any of the people who tested positive has been notified. All residents, their families and affected staff have been notified of the positive tests and have been given directions about how to proceed. Enhanced disinfecting measures are being taken and the staff is following all outlined protocols and procedures.

Please note that The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other privacy laws restrict us from disclosing any personally identifiable information regarding positive cases or mandatory quarantine.

We are doing all we can at this time and our number one priority is keeping the people we support and our staff members safe.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.




Throughout the month of November, Wildwood's Executive Management team hosted several virtual "Town Halls" where families, staff, and community members could tune in to learn more about the current status of Wildwood and ask questions that would be answered by leadership. If you missed them or were unable to attend, a video that recaps the meetings has been shared to our YouTube page! Find a compilation that covers all the topics and questions asked here: 


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