Guidance on Restart RT

Testimonials from Families

The Beam family would like to express our extreme gratitude to all of the employees at RT Industries for providing a safe and enjoyable environment for our brother/son.

When this pandemic hit, RT Industries immediately made decisions based on what was best for their employees, staff and families, as well as communicated their plans clearly throughout the process.  Our minds were put at ease with the parameters they have put in place!

RT Industries has provided interest-driven work positions, community experiences and social opportunities for my brother for the past 15 years.  Their clear communication and consideration for his specific interests and needs have provided a caring workplace for him to grow and enjoy every day.

Jenny has attended RT ever since she transitioned from Riverside, where she had been since she was a toddler. It is her normal. She loves having her own place to go and has grown to love each and every one of her providers along the way.

 

This COVID shutdown was hard. It interrupted her normal and her schedule, but the employees at RT did their very best to provide opportunities for her to socialize with her people and activities that she could do at home.

 

The communication was clear and we knew what to expect going back. We are thankful they were able to open back up in some capacity and Jenny could back to her new normal. The arrival of summer eases the burden as Jenny loves to float in her pool with friends and family! We are so grateful for RT and all their staff! 

The measures taken for safety are very important to us and we certainly appreciate what RT is doing in this regard.

The staff has been very patient with our questions-especially the Marys.

RT shutting down has been hard on everyone. We were all very disappointed when RT had to shut down production.

We are happy that RT has been able to keep many of their people employed in the community and in enclaves. Amy was very happy to be put on an enclave to Nitto. We are impressed by RT’s staff organizing and action planning. Amy really enjoyed the cyber activities. It gave her something to look forward to almost every day. When things started to open up, community connections did a good job handling the small groups. Amy enjoyed going out on activities with Sandra & Mariah.

Karen has worked for/participated at RT all of her adult life. Few things give her real joy and satisfaction like seeing her friends and keeping her working schedule. Prior to Covid, if Karen was sick or had to miss a day of work, she was almost inconsolable at times. So I knew helping her to understand and come to accept a “shut down” was going to be a big challenge. 

 

We drove past the RT building often in the beginning, just so I could show her all the places that were in fact closed. I reminded her it had nothing to do with her, but that everyone was trying to stay healthy and not get sick.

 

MaryJo was awesome at updating us over the phone. While sad, Karen was able to hear from MaryJo what was difficult just hearing from me. For WEEKS she would repeatedly say, “Come on Sharrie call… Come on Sharrie call!” Sharrie was in charge of transportation, and Karen was used to getting calls from her if there was a delay, closing or whatever. Karen missed everyone badly.

 

Soon RT offered Zoom meetings. MaryJo assured me about trying it, and after the first meeting Karen was thrilled to see familiar (masked) faces!! It was life-altering and reassuring, seriously. Those Zoom meetings really kept Karen and me sane. It didn’t matter what they were doing, when RT staff were on dancing, talking, and especially being silly, it was a MUST WATCH for the two of us!! 

 

Recently Karen had an opportunity to go to the enclave she has worked for a few years. She is at 3 days a week, and she will repeatedly say she “can’t wait” to go back in! Never have I known anyone so devoted to their work!! She is proud of the money she earns and the work she does. She is more confident and knows her sense of purpose each day she gets to contribute to her job.

 

We have played cards, taken many walks and been on daily “adventures” while we’ve been quarantined, and some really good ones! Still, her place of pure joy is in her independent time going to work (or activities) with her peers and staff. 

 

I am so grateful RT is here in Miami County, and I hope to never take it for granted! With all of the changes and challenges they have faced over the years, they remain and are serving people like Karen in the greatest capacity! Thank you so much from her family and me!

Bill has really enjoyed the outdoor venues that he has been going to since the pandemic.  Jay and I are grateful that RT Industries has been able to adapt the curriculum in this unusual time.  Thanks RT Industries for all that you do to keep Bill and everyone safe.

Brennen was fortunate to attend KinderCare in Troy when he was little with his brothers. When he attended Troy Jr. High and Troy High School, Riverside Transportation was there for us to pick him up and bring him home. After Brennen graduated in May, 2010, he started at RT Industries. Everyone at RT loves Brennen! His bus driver tells me that his smile each and every day just makes her so happy!

 

Brennen does not like change to his routine. So, when COVID-19 hit, I was prepared for the worst. I knew this change would devastate him, or so I thought! RT staff and Brennen’s SSA contacted me regarding options for Brennen during this time. I was so thankful to have that support. I was furloughed from my employer for approximately three months, so Brennen and I just hung out together and took walks and swam in our pool.

 

I received a call in early June that Brennen was able to go back to RT but would be in a smaller group and had to wear a mask and obey social distancing guidelines. Although I loved having him home, I knew he’d be happier with his friends and going back out in the community and into a normal routine again. RT Industries had to make immediate decisions based on what was best for their employees, staff and families. We are grateful to everyone for looking out for our loved ones!!!

Bonnie wanted to share how her Employment Specialist has been helpful during this pandemic. Bonnie stated, "She helped me search for part-time jobs then we got the interview and I was hired on the spot. She watches me and corrects me if I make a mistake but she never yells at me. She is very nice and very helpful. She helps me to do everything on my own and tells me I can do it."

Way to go Rebecca, RT Employment Specialist!

Quarantine meant doing things a lot differently, including an at-home haircut and small birthday celebration for Mary with her favorite – McDonald’s.  Mary has been able to maintain her independence in her own home with the help of many people. She has an independent provider who has helped her with groceries, cooking and cleaning. She has a nurse who regularly visits to manage medications and to be sure she and her roommate are well. Mary has taught herself to golf during quarantine and has enjoyed visits, walks, and phone calls with the staff at RT Industries. She is happy to be back with a small group of friends and RT Industries staff members exploring her community. She loves going to parks, playing games, and especially eating and shopping with them.  As a mom who worried whether or not Mary could adapt to all of the changes and uncertainty, my mind was quickly put at ease.  RT Industries’ staff has gone above and beyond to transform their services and communicate the progress with me, leaving the peace of mind that she is safe and again enjoying life.  

 

Tammie Rafferty Executive Director, Project Believewww.project-believe.net

Tim and Greg have been enjoying working outside with Justin the passed month.  They have been going with Justin collecting recyclables and cleaning at Miami East School.  They are also enjoying other activities with Justin such as fishing and hiking. (Ask Greg about the fish he has caught).  They are both happy about being busy again and having a routine to look forward to rather than being stuck at home. 

Phase Two: Coordinators will be reaching out to you about additional services we are starting to offer.  Please note, not everyone will move towards the next phase at the same time.  We will slowly add in small groups of in-person services and resume our enclaves.  As we move this direction, there is extensive guidance from DODD on how we should do this.  If you have questions on how this phase impacts you or your service, please contact your Coordinator at RT.  So what’s next – we will continue to move towards small groups of in person services and services that were part of phase one.  Thank you and we look forward to seeing you soon!

  • Production Solutions - will not be returning to work at this time as we do not have work available.  

  • GES (enclaves) - Recycling and Miami East starting back.  Still working with other enclaves on a start back date.

  • Transportation - still looking into safe options to provide transportation but are willing to have discussions about this need!

  • Employment Services - as people return to work, this service will continue as usual.

  • Summer Youth - virtual services will be offered!

  • Day Services - start as virtual and slowly move towards face to face.  Implementing two community-based groups and one group within RT.

  • Continue utilizing HPC for people who may not benefit from virtual service.

Phase One: All RT employees begin extensive training starting 5/11/20 to align with CDC, Responsible Restart Ohio and DODD guidance.  Training will occur through a web-based training system put together by Directors & CEO.

We offer such a wide array of services and each one is so unique that it is hard to do a blanket statement of all services!  First and foremost, RT will continue to provide safe services through this pandemic that align with CDC guidelines, DODD recommendations and the Responsible Restart Ohio. 

 

  • Production Solutions - will not be returning to work at this time as we do not have work available.  

  • GES (enclaves) - We have reached out to these businesses to start the process of coming back.  Many of the businesses are still determining when they will be back at full production capacity.

  • Transportation - still looking into safe options to provide transportation but are willing to have discussions about this need!

  • Employment Services - as people return to work, this service will continue as usual.

  • Summer Youth - virtual services but still considering options!

  • Day Services - start as virtual and slowly move towards face to face.  More to come on this!

  • Utilize HPC for people who may not benefit from virtual service.

As we move further down the path of our "new normal", we will communicate this to you!  Please contact your Coordinator or Director regarding service specific questions.  This information can be found on the Contact section of our website!